Song: “Trapper Keeper”

Artist: Dopapod

Album: Redivider

Year Released: 2012

Genre: Jam Band

Local Connection: Last song played before a paying audience at the The Rex Theater before it prematurely shutdown due to the pandemic on March 7, 2020

Did you know? Dopapod was formed at Boston’s Berklee College of Music in 2008, as a duo with Eli Winderman and drummer Michelangelo Carubba

PittSongs is a non-chronological history of Pittsburgh music

Support The Rex Theater
Support Dopapod

I am happy to announce that HughShows Ticket Giveaway is back as we team up with the cool folks at Grey Area Productions to offer up a pair of passes to one of their upcoming shows.

Today’s contest will get you and a friend into the Railroad Earth concert at The Rex Theater on the Southside of Pittsburgh on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Kyle Tuttle Band will be opening the 8pm (Doors at 7) over 21 show.

To enter, send an email to hughshows at gmail dot com with the subject line Railroad Earth Tix with your name in the message body. You must bring ID to the box office the night of the show be admitted.

Winners will be contacted on Tuesday, March 17.

Good luck!

UPDATE 3/12/2020
Railroad Earth has postponed the Pittsburgh date of the tour due to public health concerns.
Apologies to all who entered. Keep on the look out for future ticket giveaways.


After Brendon agreed to a First/Last for me, I delved a little into his music and was totally looking forward to his set opening for Deer Tick. Regardless of the bummer time I seemed to have had (and having the band call me out on it…awesome!), I did enjoy the night, especially the Viking Moses part of it. He kind of reminds me of early Palace Brothers, which is a great thing. There was also the news that there was a tribute album called Lucky Numbers released last week featuring bands such as Castanets and Devendra Banhart covering his tunes. He ended up being super nice and always has a home here on this blog.

Believe me, literally photographing hundereds of bands a year, I am used to drunken audiences that don’t seem to be on their best behavior but this night it almost put me over the edge. Not even being a sell out, the lip of the stage was annoyingly crowded as the band took the stage. With no regard to people who were minding their own business staking out a spot, there were a few revelers that just didn’t give a shit and bully their way so that there is absolutely no room to move let alone enjoy the show. Jerks. More photos here.

I do like the Rex. Since Ben’s put in a new lighting grid what’s not to like, right? Getting some easy, awesome shots has become a breeze, no, a joy to shoot there. But considering the GA floor without any space between audience and stage, that makes getting up close work. What kind of work you ask? Well, you either be patient and stand for two hours at the lip of the dusty stage (no disrespect but every stage in this town is dirty) and claim your spot or, as I have found out a couple of times this past week, wait until the opener is about to come on and drunkenly elbow your way through with any disregard to anyone or anything in your way. Not being a Prima donna or anything, it’s just not worth it to me anymore. Guess who has two thumbs and will only shoot soundcheck from now on? This dude.

The bands were cool, sure. My photos are bangin’ as usual, I’m not shy. It’s just that getting beer spilled on your pants, and worse, your lens kinda sucks. You think I sound bitter now, wait until my Deer Tick review, UGGGGH…You can check out some Jesca Hoop fawning here. More photos here.

Talk about a fantastic show. I had my skepticism concerning an old R&B guy suddenly becoming popular with the indie hipsters and all (kind of still do) but man did he deliver the goods. The show precariously bordered on shtick at times which is O.K., the set was still fun as hell. For an extra added bonus, Little Barrie absolutely tore it up as openers with their fiery guitar blues/rock that didn’t let up from note one. Such a surprisingly great night of music.

Ms. Edwards will always hold a special spot on this here blog. Her last album was my favorite of the year back in 2008. She also holds the distinction of being the very first (and second) live review when I started this thing nearly four years ago. Of course I was going to hit her show when she eventually swung through town again promoting her latest release. Thing is, she was good but could never reach the high mark from the last album. Still I am glad I went for sure. It’s been a long time I was on the Southside after 10 p.m. and I have to tell you it’s gross. Here’s another review (with an incredible photo, I might add). More photos here. Opener Hannah Georgas, who also sang back up in Kathleen’s band, was the long lost twin of Pittsburgh very own Brooke Annibale, even down to the way she held her guitar. Freaky

Columbus group hand-picked to open Donora’s CD release gig. It’s nice to have friends in bands from other cities. The support they have for each other is somewhat immeasurable.

The band just released their excellent new EP last week. The guys were cool enough to give me a rare physical copy complete with ‘Rubber Soul-esque’ cover art. You can get your digital copy here. Their next show is Oct 14 at Brillobox and as the poster warns, put on your fab gear, it should be a swingin’ time.

Donora’s second CD is officially released today! If you haven’t done so yet, grab it here. They celebrated with a local gig a couple weeks and ago and as always they put on such a fun show.

Shooting for WYEP, I really hadn’t heard that much from this band beforehand. It was kind of shocking that when I arrived there was a line of people to get in snaking from the door around the block! I was stunned so many were seeing this band I hardly heard of on a Wednesday night. Steve was obviously taken aback as he told the crowd, “Are The Steelers here or something?” If only I could write a tune and get it on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. Not to say they weren’t good. Mellow (it was “An Acoustic Evening With…”) for sure but still good.More photos here.

Sloan are a Canadian indie rock band formed in 1991. They have just released their tenth full length album, The Double Cross, and are stopping by in Pittsburgh this week to promote it. As always, courtesy of my friends at Drusky Entertainment, I have two passes to give away to this all ages show. To enter, email me at with the subject line ‘Sloan’ and the name of the person in the message body who will bring I.D. to the show which will be good for two passes. This week’s contest runs until Wednesday, June 22 when the winner will be randomly chosen and contacted. Next Saturday a new contest will be announced. Good luck!

I had absolutely zero expectations going into this show for the simple fact that I never heard a note from them ever. I was very shocked how much I enjoyed it. I had the impression that they were granola eatin’ folkies as they very might still be (Sarah is Arlo’s kid) but they were literally ‘electric’ for their show. It’s no surprise to find out later that Vetiver’s Andy Cabic co-produced the new album. Very cool. Listen to a more mellow acoustic WYEP studio session from earlier in the day here. More photos here.

Bill is a true blue-collar troubadour. He wears his roots on his sleeve and even though his acoustic and harmonica setup was cool, I would really like to see him rock out with a full electric band. Soon enough I’m sure.

Opening up for Liz Phair, these local guys brought the RAWK. Now, I am not the avid hard rock listener but they surprised me how much I did like their set. The guys can wail on those guitars for sure.

From the years 1985 and 1995, there is a black hole in my musical appreciation. I was too busy at the time following the Grateful Dead and racking up 30 shows in those years to appreciate any current bands releasing what would become seminal albums in rock history. Among them was Liz’ 1993 album Exile in Guyville. I never realized how badass she was until later and even then didn’t give her much notice. That being said, last Monday was a revelation of sorts. She was charming, easy to look at (we are both the same age) and rocking. A very enjoyable introduction to her and her music. The packed audience at the Rex obviously weren’t listening the Dead during those years as they were loving every second of the show.

It’s been several years since I saw the band play. I was surprised how much they have grown musically in that time. They reminded me of the “Gram Parsons” era Stones, which is great thing. They reside in State College, PA so I should have ample opportunity to catch them again.

Happy New Year Pittsburgh! 2010 was such an incredible year for me. I sincerely want to thank the countless people who have supported me over the last twelve months. It means a lot. I am hoping that 2011 will be even better and to kick things off, I am giving away two tickets to this highly anticipated show, courtesy of the great people at Drusky Entertainment.

All you need to do to enter is email me at with the subject line ‘Liz Phair’. In the message, supply the full name you want for the folks at will call the night of the show which will be good for two tickets. Bring I.D. and remember this is a 21+ event. One entry per person.

This contest will run until Saturday January 8, when the winner will be randomly chosen and contacted.

I recently made a mix made up of all Pittsburgh bands for a friend of mine to ‘turn’ him on to the incredible music scene we are lucky enough to have here. Out of about 18 tunes, he said to me that he was really digging the disc but that one song by the ‘Harlans’ was just killer. He loved how it just exploded mid-song. Yep, that’s pretty much what hooked me to.

The band is opening for Vetiver this Friday, which I guarantee will turn out to be great night. The next night, there will be the debut of The Harlan Duo, James and Carrie acoustic, for a benefit show, which IMO sounds just as awesome. They were both cool enough to participate in this edition of First/Last.

Thanks a lot guys. FWIW-my first concert was The Eagles as well and I like to think I still have my cred. And to have Sir Paul as your first is definitively worth bragging about.

For the next few days I am focusing on shows that I have been lucky enough to be shooting for WYEP. More than likely, I would not be attending these concerts but have the opportunity to discover and enjoy the artist after my three song shooting limit is over. Case in point, Ryan Bingham. I didn’t know much about him except for the fact that he won the Oscar this year for best song. Man was he great. There is nothing better to hear a song for the very first time in a live setting and immediately enjoy it. That was pretty much what happened for every song throughout the night. A very nice surprise. It also struck me that right across the street, The New Pornographers were holding court at Diesel and from what I heard were kind of a letdown due to sound problems and the usual congestion woes that come with the venue. The Rex is my favorite place in the city to see a show. Never too crowded, the sound is always perfect and now they have a killer new lighting setup that makes taking photos a breeze. More pics here.

Thanks to Joy for sending me this photo of yours truly in action.