From funk to rock to all-out-dance pop, performers headlining the Rock the River concert series in Aspinwall are better than ever, organizers said.
Allegheny RiverTrail Park founder Susan Crookston revealed the summer lineup, saying summer at the shoreline is sure to be hot.
Concerts are free and are scheduled one evening each month from May through August. The series is underwritten by the Short family.
It kicks off Memorial Day weekend with Beauty Slap, an electronic funk band that delivers “an irresistible urge to dance,” Crookston said.
The show hits the stage at 7 p.m.
Crookston said the band features horns, keyboards and other electronics to deliver its self-described genre of future-brass-thunderfunk.
Kayak rentals will be available that evening, as Three Rivers Outdoor Company celebrates its grand opening at ARP.
Two special commemorations fall on June 19 – Father’s Day and Juneteenth. To mark both occasions, ARP is hosting the Earth, Wind & Fire tribute band, Let’s Groove Tonight at 6 p.m.
With elaborate instrumentals, the band performs uptempo, R&B covers of the original band’s best-known hits, including “September” and “Boogie Wonderland.”
Drummer Sal Richetti founded the band five years ago, and it has grown into the nation’s top Earth, Wind & Fire tribute band, he said.
The 11-member group travels the country, with frequent gigs along the East Coast. They are a favorite at Bloomfield’s annual Little Italy Days celebration.
“We love celebrating their music and replicating how their concerts are with the choreography and the outfits,” Richetti said.
ARP volunteer Kristin Fox said, “They are such a fun band. They really get people out of their seats.”
Grushecky is a longtime Pittsburgh rock and blues staple who has collaborated with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt.
For the finale, three members of The Clarks – Scott Blasey, Rob James and Greg Joseph – will play songs from some of the band’s 15 albums produced over the last three decades.
“The Clarks are the quintessential Pittsburgh rock band,” said Aspinwall resident Sarah Tuthill. “I’m really looking forward to this one.”
Refreshments will be sold at the concerts, which are performed on Octave Hill at the park. Concert-goers can bring blankets, chairs, a picnic and wine to enjoy with friends.
“Our goal is to create a place that is welcoming to all, where families can make some of their best memories,” Crookston said.
ARP includes 16 acres, walking trails, native gardens and a public fishing pier.