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.
June 10, First Niagara Center
This is quite likely to be the last major tour in the career of one of progressive rock’s most daring and enduring bands. It would be very much in keeping with the manner in which Rush has conducted itself over the past 40 years for the band to go out while still at the peak of its collective prowess. And what a way to say goodbye – two sets covering the whole of the band’s remarkable run, with more than a few rarities being performed in their entirety for the first time in what seems like forever. This will crush. You have my word.
Tickets: $46 - $126 (box office, Tickets.com).
June 11, Buffalo Iron Works
“Who?” you ask. Trust me. Before EDM was even a thing, this band was breaking down the barriers between techno and real-time rock music, trance and real tunes, advanced musicianship and indelible, danceable grooves. Don’t miss this. Ozric Tentacles is huge in Europe, and doesn’t make it to our neck of the woods all that often.
Tickets: $15 advance, $20 day of show (Ticketfly.com).
Tyler the Creator
June 14, Town Ballroom
This summer season is waaaaay too light on hip-hop. This show, from the founder of the Odd Future movement, helps. Tyler always puts on a thrill-ride of a show.
Tickets: $30 (Ticketfly.com)
June 16, Town Ballroom
It’s a tough one, only because Widespread Panic is performing at Artpark on the same evening, but my money’s on erstwhile Phish bassist Gordon and his band, which includes the wonderfully inventive Scott Murawski on guitar.
Tickets: $28 advance, $32 day of show (Ticketfly.com).
Blind Boys of Alabama
June 24, Tralf Music Hall
We don’t get too many gospel shows in these parts, but we are getting this one, from one of the preeminent gospel vocal groups in the world. Perhaps you’ve heard the Blind Boys of Alabama collaborating with Peter Gabriel or backing Ben Harper. Here’s your chance to hear the band work its transcendent magic all by itself.
Tickets: $24-$39 (box office, Ticketmaster).
June 29, Tralf
Perhaps in the future we will remember 2015 as the summer of indie rock, the season when the form made its jump from the underground to the mainstream. If that’s the case, bands like Real Estate might not be playing intimate venues like the Tralf any longer. I’d grab this opportunity while you can – the band’s 2014 album “Atlas” is one of the finest indie platters of the past few years.
Tickets: $20 advance, $23 day of show (box office, Ticketmaster).
Steve Earle & the Dukes
July 7, Buffalo Iron Works
The ensemble is touring behind the excellent “Terraplane” album. If you’ve caught any of Earle’s area shows over the past decade, from the Tralf Music Hall to the Bear’s Den, you know what you’re in for.
Tickets: $35 advance, $40 day of show (Ticketfly.com).
July 10, Rapids Theatre
This one lands on my birthday. I might not make it. But you should. Every summer needs a little Canadian alt-punk, right?
Tickets: $29.50 advance, $35 day of show (Ticketfly.com).
Tiger Chung Lee
July 25, Sportsmen’s Tavern,
Tiger Chung Lee is an absolute powerhouse of homegrown funk and raw, in-your-face soul. The band’s roster – singer Jeff Hypnarowski, guitarists Anthony Aversa and Matt Sirianni, bassist Chris Ousler, and horn-men Eric Crittenden, Jim Bohm, John O’Malley, Joe Malvestuto and Ryan Aderhold, and percussionist Rob Tweedie – reads like a who’s who list of the area’s top R&B, jazz and funk musicians. My prediction for the band’s Sportsmen’s Tavern debut? There will be a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.
Tickets: $7 (Sportsmen’s Tavern).
Father John Misty
Aug. 1, Town Ballroom
J. Tilman, aka Father John Misty, released one of the year’s finest albums in the form of “I Love You, Honeybear.” The former Fleet Foxes drummer-turned-indie icon and singer/songwriter makes despair sound like an awful lot of fun throughout “Honeybear.” Can’t wait to hear these songs live.
Tickets: $22 advance, $24 day of show (Ticketfly.com).
Story topics: Blind Boys of Alabama/ concert guide 2015/ concerts/ Father John Misty/ indoor summer concerts/ Jeff Miers/ Mike Gordon/ Ozric Tentacles/ real estate/ Rush/ Sportsmen's Tavern/ Steve Earle and the Dukes/ summer concerts/ The Headstones/ Tiger Chung Lee/ Tyler the Creator