Pittsburgh is sort of a crossroads between regions in eastern continental US, and has been a stop for many touring acts for years. It’s also been lacking a mid sized venue for nationally touring acts to call home for years, creating somewhat of a glass ceiling in some facets of the cities music scene. Roxian Live, Pittsburgh’s newest production company, will be joining a community of local artists, promoters, and producers that have catalyzed the budding of Pittsburgh’s music scene into its current bustling incarnation.
This spring, Roxian Live will be introducing music fans in the region to two new venues: the Roxian Theater in Mckees Rocks, and a freshly renovated Thunderbird Café & Music Hall located in Lawrenceville. The two new venues will offer a diverse palate of music ranging from reggae, funk, rock, jam, electronic, and more. Not only will the two venues cater to different genres, but they will, each in their own right, appeal to different levels of touring acts. The Roxian will be home to bands that regularly fill 800-1500 capacity rooms, and that previously would have passed through Pittsburgh on their way to other cities with more suitable venues. Meanwhile, the Thunderbird will create a space for smaller touring acts, as well as local musicians, to grow a fanbase in Pittsburgh. Moreover, the production company behind the opening of these two venues, Roxian Live, plans to work closely with local promotion and production companies, such as Grey Area Productions to bring fans a seamless experience.
Roxian Live has announced an eclectic schedule of spring tour dates for both venues. The first announced shows at the Roxian Theater include a free open-house show, featuring British funk outfit, The New Mastersounds, with support from Lamar Williams Jr., as well as local favorites, The Funky Fly Project, and Steel Town Horns. Shortly following the May 10 open house, will be a performance from Iration, a California-based reggae group, Iration. To complete the grand opening series of events at the Roxian Theater, the new venue will host internationally renowned jazz fusion ensemble, Snarky Puppy, as they tour the United States in support of their highly anticipated upcoming album, Immigrance.
While Pittsburgh natives, and music fans from all over the region become acquainted with the Roxian Theater, the reopening of the Thunderbird Café and Music Hall is just as vital to the flourishing music scene. When the Thunderbird closed its doors for remodeling in 2016, it left a void in the Pittsburgh music scene that hasn’t quite been filled since. With the advent of its reopening, the Thunderbird is scheduled to bring a wide array of local and regional talent to the city. Up and coming jamtronica act, Sunsquabi are slated to get things started on April 6th, with a diverse lineup of shows to follow, including Ohio-based jam pioneers, The Werks, jam-funk band, LITZ, local space funk quintet, Starship Mantis, and more. The Thunderbird Café & Music Hall will feature an expanded capacity, multiple bars, upgraded sound systems, load in/out areas for bands, and more.
All in all, Roxian Live is a welcome sight in a city that has fought tooth and nail to build a music and art scene from the ground up.