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First Ward, 9 p.m. Feb. 9, Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.), $7. Formally of indie act Son of the Sun and occasionally of alt-rock cover band Kurt & the Loders, Western New York stalwart Zak Ward will bring his most recent project, the hard-driving outfit First Ward, back to the Nietzsche's stage. The group's debut EP "Live at the Raven" dropped back in the fall of 2016.…

Attractions

We're getting to that time of year again. The time of year when Buffalo starts looking less like a beautiful snow globe and more like a salt-smudged wasteland. Those pretty, cheery Christmas lights are gone. Hawaii and Florida are looking pretty good. Or a Caribbean cruise -- or a Gulf coast getaway, or --- or --- But what if you can't get away? You'll have to enj…

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Back before Elmwood Avenue was an ebullient stretch to find double IPAs, spicy tuna rolls and soy lattes, it boasted gritty joints like Merlin’s, tall and tattered in the locale now occupied by the soon-to-be-deceased Blue Monk. Full of leather-clad bikers, Long Island ice tea inhalers and wild cards of various predilections, the place was unpredictable — which made it a …

Music

Bassist Stu Hamm - whose resume includes names like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Michael Schenker, Alan Holdsworth, Joan Baez and Mick Jagger, among many others - will perform June 8 in the Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.) as part of his "Solo Bass Songs & Stories 2016" tour. Fans of serious rock, jazz and fusion music, take note - Hamm, who last performed in Buffalo …

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SzelestFest, an all-star musical tribute to Buffalo Music Hall of Famer Stan Szelest, will return for year two at 3 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.). The event will benefit the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation. Before his passing in 1991, Szelest established himself as an influential member of the Western New York blues community, playing key…

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For many, Super Bowl Sunday is becoming the sports version of New Year’s Eve: Even if you don’t really want to take part in all the partying, you feel like it somehow would be wrong not to, lest you end up on the wrong end of this conversation: “What are you doing for the game?” “Nothing. I’ll probably stay home and watch some of it.” “Really? So, how long have you been…

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With today’s dearth of traditional record sales, it’s become increasingly critical for bands’ live product to be part sales pitch, part performance and part party. Binghamton folk band Driftwood is no different, as should be evident when the quartet makes its latest visit to Buffalo for a show at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 8 in the Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.). Driftwood sell…

Music

Girls, Guns & Glory frontman Ward Hayden’s voice has been compared to everyone from Dwight Yoakam to Chris Isaak to Lyle Lovett. But whatever better known names his amplified syllables evoke, there’s no denying that the man and his award-winning Boston band are a formidable force by their own credentials, something that will become clear once they plug in at Sportsmen’s Ta…

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Fresh from their induction into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, Class of 2015, the surviving members of seminal early ’70s prog-folk-rock outfit Flash will reunite for their only area show on the stage of the Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.) at 5 p.m. Sunday.Original members James Ralston, Phil Dillon, Richie Pidanick and Dean Mooney will be joined by bassist John Caru…

Music

“I really like Peter Case. He is a great songwriter and a magnetic performer.” That’s John Prine right there. And when a songwriter like John Prine has something to say about another songwriter, you’d best listen. The guy knows what he’s talking about.It’s no surprise, really, that a songwriter given to turning an economy of words into incisive lyric poetry and marrying w…

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If a festival is initiated to celebrate the invention of an item, shouldn’t the facts surrounding this creation be indisputable? In most cases, yes. In the case of Hamburg’s Burger Fest and the hamburger, why let conflicting details spoil a good party? The word “hamburger” didn’t appear in the Oxford English Dictionary until 1889, but Frank and Charles Menches claimed deb…

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Music fans mingling aside parked cars. Summer couples dancing in the street. Notes of live performance echoing across a corner of Western New York. Yes, the Rolling Stones will be rocking the Ralph on Saturday, but they’re not the only slick action in town. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for Buffalo’s 46th annual Grease Pole Festival. The three-day Hispanic affair outsi…

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If you grew up in Hamburg—and hit your legal drinking age over the past two decades—chances are you’ve found a round or three inside Clark Street’s favorite Irish enclave, J.P. Fitzgerald’s. What started out as a quaint little village tavern inside the first floor of a vinyl-sided house is now one of the Southtowns’ most beloved watering holes, there with pitchers of Guin…

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Greece is not short on notable figures claiming the country’s ethnicity. Plato. Socrates. Pete Sampras. They’re all formidable gentlemen, albeit with one boasting more Wimbledon titles (seven) than the others. And these are just three names to celebrate at Buffalo’s 37th annual Greek Fest, due to kick off at 11 a.m. Friday outside Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church (146 W…

Music

There are plenty of outdoor shows to keep you covered in sunscreen this summer, but once in a while, it’s good to get out of the elements and into the dark, where live concert presentations can take on a touch of the cinematic and the sound quality is, generally speaking, superior. Here are 10 shows worth risking your tan for.RushJune 10, First Niagara CenterThis is quite …