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Spotlight spectaculars; Western New Yorkers savored a succession of stars in 2011

Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News

Sharp-dressed men: The bearded frontmen of the rock band ZZ Top, guitarist Billy Gibbons, left, and bassist Dusty Hill, were one of the summer's main attractions when they played the free Tuesday at the Park series at Artpark in Lewiston on Aug. 2.

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Bill Wippert/Buffalo News

Saturday night lights: Country singer Brad Paisley thrilled the front-row fans in the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center at a weekend show Saturday, July 23.

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John Hickey/Buffalo News

Sharper image: A giant projection screen image towered over the stage as country superstar Keith Urban played the first concert in the newly renamed First Niagara Center on Thursday, Sept. 8.

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Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News

Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News

Shades of intensity: Singer Taylor Swift, above, displayed plenty of energy on her "Speak Now" tour, which played in the former HSBC Arena on Tuesday, June 21. Ted Nugent, right, belted out his hard-rock favorites in a free concert in the Tuesday at the Park series at Artpark on Aug. 16.

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Bill Wippert/Buffalo News

Grand arrival, grand exit: Lady Gaga, above, made a dramatic entrance from an on-stage subway car to start her show in the former HSBC Arena on Friday, March 4. Tim Sweeney of Glenwood screamed his approval as Fitz and the Tantrums opened the final Thursday at the Square concert in Lafayette Square on June 23. Subsequent Thursday shows moved to Erie Canal Harbor for the rest of the summer.