Critic's Picks, Feb. 26-March 4 | Critics' Picks | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Critic's Picks, Feb. 26-March 4

Shows by The Twilight Sad, Sleater-Kinney, Mutilation Rites, plus a showcase of local hip hop

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The Twilight Sad plays brillobox
  • Photo courtesy of Nicola Collins

[INDIE ROCK] + FRI., FEB. 27

Loud, distressed and heartbroken: The Twilight Sad is a downer. The Glasgow trio has played by these rules its entire career, but the band has shifted the sonic palette around over the years. From its noisy early days to the shot of synthesizers that kicked in on 2012's No One Can Ever Know, the band has explored a handful of big, dark genres while keeping the lyrical themes mostly consistent. Its latest album, Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave fuses the old and new Twilight Sad into one cohesive being. The band plays Brillobox tonight, with Port St. Willow opening. Shawn Cooke 10 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $12. 412-621-4900 or www.brillobox.net

[HIP HOP] + SAT., FEB. 28

Just six months after the first go-round, the Rex Theater will host the second annual Steel the City Festival — but this time, it's only locals. Now, they won't reject non-Pittsburgh attendees at the door, but, unlike last August's event, the lineup will only include Pittsburgh-based MCs and producers. It's a slight departure from last year's event, which brought in Morgantown's Huey Mack to head the bill. Headliners include Beedie, B White (of The 58s) and The Come Up Boys, from Mac Miller's Pittsburgh label — REMemberMusic. Palermo Stone, Kidd Keem & AF Rome, Courtesy, Villain151 & Abso and more round out the event. SC 9 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $10. 17+. 412-381-6811 or www.rextheater.com

Sleater-Kinney plays Stage AE
  • Photo courtesy of Brigitte Sire

[ROCK] + SUN., MARCH 1

When Sleater-Kinney gets the team back together, you don't ask questions. Next to no one expected a new single or album announcement to come along with last year's Start Together reissue collection, but here we are, partway into the band's comeback tour. No Cities to Love finds Brownstein, Tucker and Weiss as impassioned and urgent as they've ever been. They needed nine years to raise kids, film a hit TV comedy show, and drum in other projects, and that's fine — they haven't lost an ounce of the old magic. Sometimes you just need a break. Lizzo will open the sold-out show at Stage AE. SC 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $25. 412-229-5483 or www.stageae.com

[METAL] + MON., MARCH 2

Mutilation Rites stops in Pittsburgh tonight on the heels of its brutal but great second album, Harbinger. The metal community — or at least those who write about it — seem obsessed with pinpointing genre tags. And much like the best bands in metal, Mutilation Rites doesn't easily fit into labels like "black" or "death." It simply makes ugly, visceral and dynamic music that provides little room to breathe (ignore the fact that Harbinger has a track called "Exhaling or Breathing In"). Wrought Iron, Egality and Mere Phantoms will open at The Mr. Roboto Project. SC 8 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10. 412-345-1059 or www.therobotoproject.org

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