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Canalside Thursday concert series announced

Indie rock. Alt pop. Classic rock. Ska punk. You name the genre, Canalside will have you covered this summer.

The Thursday Concert Series for summer 2015 is out and includes a number of first-time bookings, as well as a few returning favorites. Two dates have been added, bringing the total number of Thursday shows to 12. With the exception of a limited number of VIP tickets that will be made available for each Thursday performance, all of the shows will be free.

The lineup seeks to cater to the tastes of a broad range of music-lovers, from the hardcore music junkie to the casual fan who would likely be inclined to check out just about anything with a free admission tag. It’s a daunting task, but this year, considerable diversity is evident.

According to a Canalside spokesperson, local bands will be added as opening acts on many of the shows, and the Battle of the Bands series that began last season – during which area bands and artists compete for opening slots – will be continue this year.

No ticketed weekend shows at Canalside are part of this year’s season. Start time for all of the Thursday events is 6 p.m.

June 4: Matt & Kim, with Made Violent and Bearstronaut

The season kicks off with a treat for fans of modern indie-pop, as Brooklyn-born duo Matt & Kim – multi-instrumentalists Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino – bring the tour behind their freshly released fifth album, “New Glow,” to Canalside. Buffalo punk/indie trio Made Violent, and Boston synth-pop quartet Bearstronaut will share opening duties.

June 11: Arkells, with Robert Delong and Milo Greene

Loved by Buffalo audiences since opening for the Tragically Hip’s 2011 appearance at Canalside, Canadian quintet Arkells return to headline the same stage with several years of near-constant touring under their collective belt. The band has been hailed for its ability to bring an indie ethic to hook-heavy pop-rock. Electronic Dance Music wunderkind Robert Delong – last seen by Buffalo audience’s as part of last year’s “Kerfuffle Before Christmas” multi-act bill at First Niagara Center, will share opening duties with the harmony-heavy indie-folk outfit Milo Greene.

June 18: Everclear & Fuel, with American Hi-Fi

Led by songwriter/vocalist Art Alexakis, Portland, Ore.’s Everclear brought an alternative rock/power-pop edge to the “Grunge” era, and has continued to be a big draw among Gen X-ers who are old enough to have mortgage payments, but young enough to still want to kick out the jams on occasion. Though the only founding member left in the ranks is singer Brett Scallions, post-grunge outfit Fuel will spend the summer supporting its well-received most recent album, “Puppet Strings,” and will being playing a hits-heavy set in its co-headlining appearance with Everclear. Boston punk-pop outfit American Hi-Fi will open.

June 25: Spoon, with July Talk

The most surprising booking of the Canalside season finds Austin, Texas-born, Britt Daniel-fronted indie-rock powerhouse Spoon gracing a major Buffalo stage for the first time in its 20-year career. This is major – Spoon is one of the most universally revered indie-rock bands. Its most recent effort, “They Want My Soul,” was hailed upon release as the strongest of its storied career, and fans in our area have long clamored for a headlining appearance from the band. This could well be the crown jewel of the 2015 Canalside season, and the inclusion of Torontonian alt/indie/swamp-rockers July Talk strengthens the bill.

July 2: The Sheepdogs & Yonder Mountain String Band

Lovers of heavy boogie and guitar-fired freak outs, rejoice! This one’s for you. The multiple Juno-winning band has been called its generation’s version of classic guitar-based rock and Southern rock artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Allman Brothers Band. No strangers to Buffalo audiences in general, and the Canalside stage in particular, Colorado progressive bluegrass collective Yonder Mountain String Band will share the bill.

July 9: Mighty Mighty Bosstones

An oldie but goodie. The Bostonian kings of ska-punk will spend the first half of the summer on a headlining tour, leading up to their slot opening for the Foo Fighters at Fenway Park on July 18. Most recent effort “The Magic of Youth” will share setlist space with Bosstones classics. Be prepared to dance. Plaid jacket optional.

July 16: The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra with Buffalo’s All-Star Tribute to Stevie Wonder

In a format similar to last year’s Michael Jackson celebration, the BPO will join with a group of virtuosos to honor the music of an icon. This year, the icon in question is, beyond argument, one of the towering figures in the history of American music, Stevie Wonder.

July 23: Badfish – A Tribute to Sublime, with Reel Big Fish

Badfish has been offering old and new fans alike the opportunity to celebrate the late Bradley Nowell and Sublime’s music since 2001, and in the process, has evolved into one of the most highly esteemed tribute acts going. Californian ska-punk aggregate Reel Big Fish will share the bill.

July 30: Iron & Wine, with Ben Bridwell

A killer double-bill, featuring indie-folk icon Sam Beam and Iron & Wine joined by erstwhile Band of Horses vocalist/guitarist Ben Bridwell.

Aug. 6: Umphrey’s McGee and Aqueous

Chicago’s Umphrey’s McGee shares a bill with its Buffalonian prog-jam-groove rock counterpart, Aqueous.

Aug. 13: Get the Led Out – The American Led Zeppelin Tribute

For the classic rock fans, a tribute to the mightiest of the mighty.

Aug. 20: En Vogue

The season winds down with the elegant, soulful harmonies of contemporary R&B legends En Vogue.

Additional information on concerts as the season goes forward, as well as VIP ticket info, is available through CanalsideBuffalo.com

email: jmiers@buffnews.com