Matthew Chandler
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Matt Chandler

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In a month that has seen the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center host packed houses for the likes of Chicago, Nickelback, Foreigner and the Vans Warped Tour, a distinctly different vibe is planned to take over the 20,000-seat outdoor venue from July 26 to 29. The annual Christian music festival Kingdom Bound returns for its 31st year with more than 40 musical acts, speakers…

As the proverb goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” In the case of Christian Johnson, the necessity was having a son who was about to get his driver’s license. Like most parents, Johnson was terrified thinking of her teenager behind the wheel. She knew she couldn’t always be in the car with him, so the 40-year-old Buffalo native did the next best thing …

It’s a mild Sunday afternoon with a few wispy clouds overhead as Brittany Luongo takes a sip from her beverage on the patio at Providence Social. Luongo, a resident of the Elmwood Village, isn’t alone. Stretched out at her feet, a bowl of water by his side, is Dutch, her three-year-old Rottweiler/Shar Pei mix. Luongo’s self-described “baby,” Dutch is a regular at…

Just before 8:30 p.m., with the sun setting majestically over the historic Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, platinum-selling, two-time Grammy-winning singer LeAnn Rimes stepped onto the stage to put the cherry on top of the annual Starry Night in the Garden fundraiser. With thousands of fans camped out in lawn chairs, on blankets, and even across the street fr…

Take a place swarming with hundreds of kids wired on sugar with seemingly every video game imaginable at their fingertips. Mix in a similar number of adults - and adult beverages - and a sporting event for every taste on screens as far as the eye can see. On the idea spectrum, this arrangement sounds like it would come closer to nightmare than dream. But at Dave and …

What comes to mind when you hear the name Dan Hill? An astute music fan of some age may recall Hill as the voice behind the 1977 ballad, “Sometimes When We Touch.”  Others may remember his 1986 duet with Vonda Sheppard, “Can’t We Try.” Though it’s been more than two decades since Hill charted a song, he has remained active as a singer and songwriter with a …

"Where’s the best place to eat wings?” It’s a question commonly asked by visitors to Western New York. The answer is open to a fierce debate, with answers divided fairly evenly between The Anchor Bar (you can’t beat the original), a smattering of local watering holes (neighborhood bars over chains any day) and Duff’s. When it comes to determining the tastie…

As the elevator begins its ascent, a young man extends a hand. “Hey Thurman. Tough season, but we’ll get ‘em next year.” With a smile and a nod, Thurman Thomas offers the requisite kind words and exits the elevator en route to his office. It’s the kind of encounter that’s commonplace when you are a Hall of Fame running back who rushed for more than 12,000…

It’s a frigid Tuesday evening and inside an old stone church in the heart of the Elmwood Village, Garrett Martin gathers his sheet music and readies his baton. On this night he will lead an eclectic group of 70 men through a rigorous rehearsal. Martin, a transplant who arrived here from Tennessee by way of Austin, Texas in 2013, is the artistic director of the Buff…

Having spent a decade working in the city, I know plenty of folks I might describe, in good fun, as “bar snobs.” If there is one thing Buffalo knows, and knows well, it’s how to drink and eat. The Queen City is loaded with an amazing array of watering holes from hole-in-the-wall joints, to upscale martini bars. It’s for that reason, that my colleagues, the bar s…

Tucked between a cluster of chain hotels just off the 290 on Niagara Falls Boulevard is one of the area's better-kept secrets — especially if you like a tasty cut of red meat on game day. Buffalo Roadhouse Grill — the former chain turned independent eatery — draws a solid crowd when there’s a game on the big screen. It doesn’t hurt that it offers enticing game…

Brandy Dulak and her husband Drew first considered taking in a foster child five years ago. The Grand Island couple has one biological child and, after adding another child through private adoption, the Dulaks felt they had more love to give. “We are a Christian family, and we believe, as part of our faith, that we are called to take care of children who need homes,…

There are 1,000 ways to describe the all-encompassing experience that is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, so let's dispense with the one thing it is not: The TSO ain’t your grandma’s Christmas music. That is, unless grandma liked to deck the halls with a flamethrower, smoke machine and some good ol’ fashioned indoor fireworks. It wouldn’t be December in Buffalo wit…

To watch Misa Kuranaga and Daniel Ulbricht together on stage is a true thing of beauty. Kuranaga, principal dance with Boston Ballet, and Ulbricht, principal dancer with New York City Ballet, reunite for what has become a holiday tradition, reprising their roles in the timeless holiday classic, “The Nutcracker” for three performances at the University at Buffalo Center…

In the latter half of the 1980s, Iron Mike Tyson became the self-proclaimed “baddest man on the planet.” From his domination in the boxing ring to his personal pitfalls outside of it, watching Tyson exist was, in many respects, the original reality show. Unscripted and unpredictable, with more twists, turns and turmoil than one man should rightfully endure in a life…