The sweltering festivals will soon be over. Draft beer hues will shift from light to dark. Tank-tops will be shelved for stylish flannel; and bands that have spent summer on open-air stages aside rivers and ravines will soon seek shelter inside Buffalo’s lounges, bars and rock clubs.
And that’s just fine—because there are plenty of good shows headed under cover.
Fall brings its own armful of must-see tours to the area, set for both cozy and cavernous spaces. For the bar and club creatures, there's the electric stomp of Wolf Parade (Oct. 14, Town Ballroom), the elegant snarl of pop-punk veterans Smoking Popes (Oct. 20, Mohawk Place) and amplified folk of The Wood Brothers (Nov. 10, Town Ballroom).
For the arena and theater loyalists, there's the "24K Magic" of Bruno Mars (Sept. 27, KeyBank Center), the classic rock masterclass of Steely Dan (Oct. 17, Shea's), the country-crooning romance of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw (Oct. 26, KeyBank Center) and the laser-lit new age spectacle of Imagine Dragons (Nov. 1, KeyBank Center).
But if you can’t catch any of these, here are six others to consider for your calendar:
Pixies (7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at UB Center for the Arts, 103 Center for the Arts, Amherst)
Though still working with only three-fourths of its original lineup (sans bassist Kim Deal), the still-relevant sound of one of grunge's most formidable precursors remains jarringly gorgeous.
But it's one thing to hear Black Francis and Co.'s runaway guitars on "Wave of Mutilation" or "Debaser" in a sweaty club or festival tent. How will the material move those confined to UB's Speaker Series space? Might need to fold up the seats for this one.
Craig Finn & The Uptown Controllers (7 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Leopard Lounge at Town Ballroom, 681 S. Main St.)
Revered for his beat-poet vocal delivery at the front of live stalwarts The Hold Steady, the bespectacled Finn has been touring off his critically acclaimed “We All Want the Same Things” since its release last year.
In October, he’ll bring that effort’s combination of melodic inflection and achingly emotional material to Leopard’s intimate setting.
Flogging Molly (8 p.m. Oct. 31 at Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St., Niagara Falls)
St. Patrick’s Day on Halloween? The holidays’ colors may clash, but with the Los Angeles-based Celtic collective storming the Falls with its brand of The Pogues-meet-The Clash, the night may feel a lot more Hibernian than haunting.
Now rolling off June release, “Life is Good,” the Dave King-led outfit may not don costumes, but they’ll certainly deliver a wildly entertaining party for those who do.
Janet Jackson (8 p.m. Nov. 4 at KeyBank Center)
Unquestionable pop royalty doesn’t always choose to make a Buffalo tour stop. But with the current iteration of Ms. Jackson back on the road with her “State of the World” show, such will arrive in the Queen City in early November.
And judging from set lists on earlier tour stops, she’s revisiting everything from “Control” to “Rhythm Nation” to 2015’s “Unbreakable”—and all the dance moves in between.
Waxahatchee (8 p.m. Nov. 7 at Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St.)
Cherished by the NPR set and awash in the indie echoes of such female-fronted artists as Sleater Kinney, Rilo Kiley and Throwing Muses, the Katie Crutchfield-fronted act is making an impression.
Started as a solo project for Crutchfield—and now far more with the July release of “Out in the Storm”—the show should be resplendent with the discovery vibe palpable at the best Tralf shows.
The Strumbellas (7 p.m. Nov. 14 at Town Ballroom, 681 S. Main St.)
Maybe you’ve seen them at a Canalside-hosted festival. Maybe you’ve cranked single “Spirits” inside your ramshackle hatchback en route to a show across the Canadian border.
Either way, if you’ve heard of the grizzly, Juno Award-winning sextet from Toronto, you’re likely down with the doses of self-professed “folk popgrass” it’s selling. If not, you will be after two hours of fall exposure inside Buffalo’s Ballroom.
Dopapod (8 p.m. Nov. 1, Buffalo Iron Works, 49 Illinois St.)
For those who like to layer their spacey jams and galactic beats against the panorama of transforming foliage, there’s the percussive party that is Dopapod.
The Boston-born quartet is no stranger to the festival grounds of Gathering of the Vibes and Camp Bisco, and they’re no anomaly to fans of Buffalo’s own Aqueous. They’re on the schedule, so prepare to be funkdafied before Thanksgiving.
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