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Klear cut

It came as a bit of a surprise several years back when singer Fred Shafer left Klear to concentrate on a solo career. After all, the band was one of the most successful regional acts of its time, having managed to break out of the immediate vicinity, tour extensively and perform as opening act with the likes of Kid Rock, the Goo Goo Dolls, Staind, Gov't Mule and others. Klear even placed several songs in high-profile spots on television and movie soundtracks.

Klear's blend of hard-rock classicism and modern alternative-rock sensibilities seemed like it couldn't miss, and Shafer was quite highly regarded by the band's sizable fan base. Though Klear continued with a new singer and a likable, mildly funky new direction, and Shafer did well as his own boss, it seemed like a no-brainer when word got around that the two camps would reunite.

An opening slot during a late-August Thursday at the Square gig proved that the band was far from finished, and a more recent set at the Music Is Art Albright-Knox soiree deepened that impression. By the time it took the stage at the annual Robby Takac-steered party, Klear had already begun writing and recording new material.

Now, Klear will play its first area headlining club date since reuniting, this very evening, inside the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Last Conservative and 28N will share the opening duties. Doors open at 7 p.m.; tickets are available through


Pinktober in the Falls

Each year, the Hard Rock International company -- owner of Hard Rock Cafes across the globe -- launches its monthlong Pinktober celebration, what the company's literature describes as an "initiative committed to raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research."

The Hard Rock people are known for their dedication to music communities in the areas surrounding their establishments and, toward that end, Pinktober events find national and international artists sharing stages with regional acts at various venues.

Tonight, the Hard Rock Cafe Niagara Falls (USA side) presents the Pinktober event "Western New York Women of Rock Music Showcase," featuring a bevy of our own best, among them Alison Pipitone, Dee Adams and the Housecats, Wendy Atemz and Busted Stuff. The event earmarks funds generated through tickets sales to benefit the Hope Chest, a Western New York organization that serves breast cancer survivors and helps raise awareness of treatment possibilities.

Admission at the door will be $10. Doors open at 6 p.m. tonight; the music starts at 7 p.m.


Gig picks

In the world of neo-classical rock guitar, only one man has outdone former Deep Purple/Rainbow picker Ritchie Blackmore. If you happened to be a budding guitarist in the '80s, with a taste for the hard rock of the previous decade, you know that man as Sweden's Yngwie Malmsteen. Malmsteen arrived to make every hard rock guitarist with a taste for Bach and leather trousers begin to doubt his/her career choice. The guy played minor scales at incredible speed, ripped his melodic sense straight from Bach and cavorted about the stage like an arrogant child of eminent privilege. It was at once stunning and hilarious to behold.

Tastes sure have changed since Malmsteen arrived Sateside from Sweden with a battered white Stratocaster and a few truckloads of bad attitude. But for Malmsteen, it's business as usual. He's got a brand new album, "Perpetual Flame," he's just been inducted into the Guitar Hollywood RockWalk, and he still rocks a serious swashbuckler's blouse on stage.

Malmsteen and band will doing their thing on Tuesday, when they arrive at Club Infinity (8166 Main St., Williamsville) for a 7 p.m. show.

Mirah and No Kids play Big Orbit's Soundlab (110 Pearl St.) at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The Beatles' first drummer, Pete Best, joins with the Fab Five inside Club Infinity at 7 p.m. Saturday.


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