Buffalo's thriving live music scene

I've been hooked on live music since my very first concert (Bush. 1997. At the then brand new Marine Midland Arena. Veruca Salt opened. I was thirteen.) There's something about the reciprocal sharing of energy between a musician/band and their fans at a show that lets the audience feel the music in a way they can't from just listening to it at home.

Growing up, the live music scene here in Buffalo wasn't all that great. We'd get the occasional appearance from the latest top 40 acts at the arenas and stadiums. Maybe I just wasn't looking in the right places back then, but it felt like the great shows were few and far between.

Things have changed in the Queen City. Lately it seems as if all of my favorite bands are making stops in Buffalo! I'm amazed with each new concert announcement. Sure I blow most of my money on concert tickets, but when I'm on my death bed I'd rather remember some great experiences than the extra cash in my checking account.

I got to see The Black Keys - who Spin magazine named artist of the year in 2010 - perform at ArtPark last week. It was incredible! Minus the Bear just announced that their ten year anniversary tour will make a stop in Buffalo too - at the greatest venue ever - The Town Ballroom. And I was really excited to learn that the Stone Temple Pilots are coming to town. (My 90s grunge fantasies about Scott Weiland can finally come true.) We're really lucky that these and so many other great bands want to play in Buffalo. Lots of love goes out to all of the venues and promoters who are making that happen.

And I can't forget about the incredible FREE concert series that are going on too!

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals ROCKED OUT
at the final TATS show in Lafayette Square.

The biggest and probably most popular of the free concert series in and around Buffalo has got to be Buffalo Place's Thursday at the Square series. Now in its 25th year, the TATS concerts bring in bigger acts every year. The shows have grown so popular that they had to be moved this summer from Lafayette Square to the waterfront to accommodate the huge crowds. The lineup includes a broad range of music genres, so there's something for everyone! So far this summer I attended two shows at the old location: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I haven't been to a Thursday show at the new location yet, but I am very much looking forward to seeing The Tragically Hip perform at the wharf this weekend as part of the (not free) Buffalo Rocks the Harbor series - also from Buffalo Place.

Though it's probably the most popular, Thursday at the Square isn't the only free summer concert series in the area. In fact, there are is a seemingly endless number of concert series that bring major acts to the Buffalo area - FOR FREE! The HardRock Cafe in Niagara Falls has a Saturdays at the Falls series that runs through August 13. ArtPark's Tuesday in the Park shows bring in some really big names and run through the end of August. My favorite summer events in Buffalo are still the Tuesday night Bidwell concerts. Just last weekend I attended my first Molson Canal Concert Series show - and was blown away by an incredible performance by the John Butler Trio. On our way to the show, my friend asked me "Do you think other cities have as many awesome free concerts as we do?" I highly doubt it!

John Butler performed at the Molson Canal Concert Series

(Of course one can't overlook the wonderful LOCAL music scene in Buffalo. But that's a topic for another day.)
For the latest news about live music in Buffalo, be sure to bookmark BuffaBlog!
And if there's a good show coming up that isn't already on my calendar, please let me know!