Every year, Buffalo’s spring isn’t signaled with a firm date on a calendar. It’s ushered in when a string of steel pontoons—linked together, stretched from Buffalo to Canada shorelines and designed to protect the Niagara Power Project from floating chunks of ice—is dragged in via boat down the Buffalo River and stowed for the winter behind the First Ward’s Mutual Riverfront Park.
Unfortunately, according to this seasonal requirement, our spring has yet to begin. The Boom’s still out there—but that’s not stopping city socialites from celebrating its eventual removal.
On April 18, Buffalo’s annual “Boom Days” bash will go on as scheduled inside the grain elevator courtyard of Silo City (92 Childs St., off Ohio). From 1:30 to 10 p.m., visitors can enjoy food truck fare from Black Market and Betty Crockski, cultural tours, fireworks and live music from the likes of the Canal Street String Band, Mary Ramsey and Allison Pipitone. And though the event’s celebrant will remain waterlogged, there’s no reason that interested parties can’t get down to the riverfront, listen to some tunes and toast its eventual (and, hopefully, soon) removal.
But if you’re the superstitious type - one who thinks prematurely celebrating Boom removal is the easiest way to get cursed with an April snow surprise - there are an abundance of options to satisfy your live performance fix. Names like Modest Mouse, Yellowcard and the Tragically Hip are merely the tip of the ice sheath. A panaceatic songwriter set to release new material. New England pickers expanding their genre reach. Buffalo groove sharks varying their set list and a Rochester collective fueled by two emcees. They’re all in town to lower their own boom, and they’re all part of this week’s Farrell Four.
Savannah and The Kings, 6 p.m. April 17 in Studio @ Waiting Room (334 Delaware Ave.)
When Buffalo native and SUNY Fredonia State grad Savannah King opened for Emmylou Harris last September in Kleinhans, she gave locals a taste of what she could do with just a stool, microphone and an acoustic guitar. Varied tempos on emotive originals. Vocals reminiscent of nearby Canadian songstresses like Basia Bulat, and the courage and skill to pull off a moving cover of the Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen A Face” inside a beautiful concert hall.
Now with a full band to back her already seasoned live presence—and the new album “Bold and Unsteady”—the crimson-locked singer/songwriter is ready to take her next sonic steps, as well as unveil her latest work with Friday’s CD release bash inside Waiting Room’s intimate second floor confines.
Before you go, listen to: “Houdini”
Venue and show info: waitingroombuffalo.com
Girls, Guns and Glory, 7:30 p.m. April 17 in Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.)
Since releasing “Pretty Little Wrecking Ball” in 2007, Boston’s three G’s have carved out a name for themselves not only inside noted Massachusetts haunts like the Paradise Rock Club and Brighton Music Hall, but with Americana devotees across the U.S. Their Ward Hayden-led blend of plaintive country rock in the vein of Chris Isaak and Justin Townes Earle has earned the band notice from music publications like Rolling Stone, but has also developed past simple genre designations, now veering into amalgamation of rockabilly, hillbilly boogie or hard-charging, Eddie Cochran-style rock 'n' roll.
On Saturday night, they travel to Rochester for a show devoted strictly to tracks off their latest album, “A Tribute To Hank Williams Live!” On Friday, they’ll stash the Williams covers for merely Williams-influenced originals when they fill Amherst Street’s finest honky tonk.
Before you go, listen to: “All The Way Up To Heaven”
Venue and show info: sportsmensbuffalo.com
Aqueous, 9 p.m. April 18 in Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.)
Mike Gantzer, Dave Loss, Evan McPhaden and Ryan Nogle are a formidable foursome when simply serving up their own material. They’re the same Nickel City groove ambassadors that have delivered rolling albums like “Live Nugs”; have earned set times alongside Widespread Panic and Moe. at annual outdoor ragers like Illinois’s Summer Camp; and will headline June’s jamtastic Buffalove Music Festival.
But since the band’s Cobblestone District gig is scheduled against the Tragically Hip’s front-to-back performance of “Fully Completely” inside nearby First Niagara Center, teaming their planned set of originals with an entire set of Cake covers—hopefully featuring takes on the Sacramento band’s danceable oddities off albums like “Comfort Eagle”—might not be a bad idea. Find Illinois Street to bask in the quartet’s balancing act, or simply pop in after your time with Gord and Co. at the hundredth meridian.
Before you go, listen to: Cake’s “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”
Venue and show info: buffaloironworks.com
Subsoil, 10 p.m. April 18 in Dinosaur BBQ (301 Franklin St.)
Barbeque—whether inside Buffalo eateries or elsewhere—typically teams best with blues. Summer festivals are built around it, and Dino’s schedule of past and future live performers confirms this, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a few exotic sides. The latest example: Rochester’s Subsoil, whose hip-hop fusion may not be the typical genre served on Franklin Street, but whose beats, lightning-quick lyricism and reggae leanings should fit in just fine with the bar’s Saturday night fare.
The eight-piece collective has earned their popular live reputation (molded by emcees Mooney Faugh and Laz Green) inside clubs and festivals across the Flour City. This weekend, they’ll serve their rhymes and pre-summertime grooves aside the pulled pork and pints of Buffalo’s finest BBQ pit.
Before you go, listen to: “Infectious”
Venue and show info: dinosaurbarbque.com/bbq-buffalo