Imagine Dragons with Metric in Pittsburgh, PA with Some Great Delivery from Pizza Milano!

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My “little guy”, the younger of my two boys, loves Imagine Dragons. They are his favorite band. This homeschool momma is a Metric fan and really likes Imagine Dragons, but not like this kid does! So when Metric announced on their Facebook page a few months ago that they would be opening for Imagine Dragons on their upcoming Smoke + Mirrors Tour, we decided then and there to finally visit our neighboring city of Pittsburgh. What better way to do it than with an amazing concert and a hotel stay nearby, right in the heart of the city, with delivery pizza, something my boys look forward to when we stay in urban areas because we can never get it in the rural areas we’ve always chosen to live in?

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Whoa! What a trip. We were in and out of the city in under 24 hours, but had the mini vacation of a lifetime. And that’s only because Metric was so awesome, Pizza Milano was incredible, Imagine Dragons absolutely blew our minds, and, as it turns out, Pittsburgh is a wonderful, fun and friendly little American city.

After months of avoiding it, but visiting all the small towns around Pittsburgh, we really feel like we owe it and its so very nice people an apology. All of Pennsylvania, for that matter. We just traveled the length of it on our recent New England trip and the whole state is nothing but gorgeous rural areas with small towns and Amish farms dotting the landscape. We’d been to Philadelphia, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre over the years, but never Pittsburgh. Those ink blots on the map of Pennsylvania just feel like “connect the dots” to us now, tying all the rural areas together. 

We were surprised to realize we would be traveling through a tunnel in the side of a mountain to enter Pittsburgh. I knew it was in the Alleghenies, but none of the pictures I’d seen of the city in my research had shown the hilly surrounds of the city. It was SO cool! We zoomed along on the interstate under old railroad bridges then dipped into a tunnel. As soon as we exited, we were on one of the famous yellow bridges that are in every aerial photo we’d seen of Pittsburgh.

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In a few seconds we were downtown and looking for the arena and our hotel across the street from it. Thanks to Tom Tom, who I’m convinced after numerous goofs is dyslexic, we took a tour of the outskirts of the city and had to backtrack, relying on Google to find our way. I had the ol’ paper road atlas open to the Pennsylvania page, Tom Tom, my iPhone, and my husband’s Android on my lap to guide us. Ridiculous, considering how small the downtown area is, but we made it. And with plenty of time to lounge around our hotel room and order pizza before the concert, since the nice Pittsburgh Marriot City Center folks let us check in an hour early, on top of giving us an amazing discount that made the trip super affordable. So grateful!

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I’ve mentioned several times in my posts over the past year that we have trouble finding really good red sauce since we moved, but I was feeling very hopeful after too many great pizzas on our New England trip, that a local Pittsburgh pizzeria wouldn’t disappoint. I was right! Pizza Milano’s pies and sauce, even the dough, was really very good. And they have pizzas up to 18″ in size, something I always look for, but rarely find. We ordered two medium, 14″, pizzas, a cheese and the “Ultimate Meat”, so we could fit our leftovers in the room’s mini fridge.

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The meat pizza was frivolously topped with mozzarella and provolone, pepperoni, sausage, ham, capicola, salami, bacon, and…drum roll…gyro meat. What?! It was so good! And we had plenty left for a midnight snack, just when we would need it, after bouncing around across the street at the Consol Energy Center all evening.

Halsey was the first act. She was very “Lorde”. We like Lorde so that was alright, but Metric’s “Breathing Underwater” was my get-by song through a personally difficult 2014, so I was really just there to hear that song. I’m so thankful for that. It was very touching to hear it sung by its creator ~ my favorite thing about concerts and why I have a serious live music “addiction”. I love to be absolutely buried under all that creativity.

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Waiting for the crews to break down the stage so Imagine Dragons could play was kind of agonizing. It’s easy to be a fan of the band because they are basically genre-less. It seems like every song they’ve produced sounds different than the next. But just knowing that in a matter of minutes we were going to hear Radioactive, such a powerfully explosive yet melodic song, played in front of us, in addition to all the other impactful songs in Imagine Dragon’s repertoire, had us wound up and feeling a little antsy.

My son was probably more excited than I’d ever seen him before. And for a highly intelligent and creative, empathic old soul of a boy, it was sweet to detect the extra sparkle in his eyes that night. And that little smirk. It just never went away. Adorable! But this will probably be the only time I will be allowed to post a picture of him on the blog. I had to get special permission.

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He’s like his momma who doesn’t like her pictures on the blog much, either. Okay, maybe just a goofy selfie of a selfie…

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Smoke + Mirrors…mirrors and smoke.

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It was a crazy ride, that concert, from a psychological standpoint. Deliberately hypnotizing. Intentionally mesmerizing. Surprisingly touching. I still don’t know how they made it a crazy, fun, exhilarating, sentimental roller coaster ride. I so want to get back in line and do it again!

Catch Imagine Dragons on their Smoke + Mirrors Tour, if you can. I just think everyone should experience Radioactive live. The big drum! And Smoke + Mirrors…and definitely Friction. Oh, and Demons…definitely Demons. 😉 They have upcoming U.S. shows scheduled until the beginning of August, when they head overseas.

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