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Jeff Miers picks his 10 don’t-miss outdoor concerts

Here are 10 outdoor shows you should not miss this summer. It’s to the credit of the 2015 summer concert season that I had difficulty whittling it down to 10.

Widespread Panic

June 16, Artpark

After last summer’s Artpark show was cut short due to the arrival, mid-set, of a severe summer storm, Widespread Panic is back to finish what it started. One name should seal the deal for you, if you’re sitting on the fence – Jimmy Herring. The man is simply incredible – inventive, soulful and an improviser of considerable prowess. Your only excuse for missing this one? The fact that Mike Gordon is playing at the Town Ballroom on the same date.

Tickets: $12 general admission, $17 week of show (box office,


June 25, Canalside

This one has been a long time coming. We’ve never hosted the band that many have quite reasonably argued is one of the most important indie rock acts of the past 15 years on one of our outdoor summer stages. Many might attend this show having little knowledge of Spoon’s history or significance. It’s my contention that they will leave as fans.


Rolling Stones

July 11, Ralph Wilson Stadium

They’re old, they’re ugly and they’re overcharging. But they’re the Rolling Stones. See you there. Note that up-and-coming soul-rock ensemble St. Paul & the Broken Bones have been added as opener for the Buffalo show. That makes this even cooler.

Tickets: $77.50-$403 (Ticketmaster).

Deep Purple

July 14, Artpark

Sure, go to this one simply to hear the band crank out “Smoke on the Water” and “Woman From Tokyo.” But even if you haven’t been paying attention over the past 20 years, the fact remains – Deep Purple has been riding the wave of a late-career creative renaissance, and has released several albums that rank among the finest of its career. Guitarist Steve Morse may be Ritchie Blackmore’s “replacement,” but the Dixie Dregs founder has been playing with Purple for 21 years now, making him the band’s longest-serving six-stringer. This is no oldies show.

Tickets: $12 general admission, $17 week of show (box office,

My Morning Jacket

July 22, Artpark

My Morning Jacket will spend the summer touring the uber-fine new release “The Waterfall.” A killer studio album, to be sure, but as any MMJ fan will surely attest, this band really brings the material to life on the concert stage.

Tickets: $12 general admission, $17 week of show (box office,


July 26, Canalside

After a very successful maiden voyage last summer, Alternative Buffalo 107.7 FM will reprise its Kerfuffle Festival this year, with an even stronger lineup headlined by Cake, and including the Airborne Toxic Event, Civil Twilight, Cold War Kids, the Gaslight Anthem, In the Valley Below, the Mowgli’s, New Politics and Saint Motel.

Tickets: $30 general admission (

Iron & Wine

July 30, Canalside

Will Sam Beam and company’s ornate indie-folk prove to be too introspective for the Canalside crowd? I’d like to think not – Beam has a way of drawing the listener in to his delicate and ornate world, and based on Iron & Wine’s appearance at the Town Ballroom several years back, commanding a large crowd is certainly a tool in Beam’s kit.


Tedeschi-Trucks Band with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

Aug. 4, Artpark

This is bound to be one of the most soul-drenched shows of the summer season. The TTB has evolved into an ensemble that captures the essence of legendary outfits like Delaney & Bonnie and Derek & the Dominoes, and offering a healthy dose of contemporary Southern soul. In Derek Trucks, we have one of the most extraordinary guitarists working in any genre; In his wife, Susan Tedeschi, we have a bluesy powerhouse; and in opener Jones & the Dap Kings, we have a direct conduit to the heart of the current funk/soul revival.

Tickets: $12 general admission, $17 week of show (box office,

Warren Haynes with Railroad Earth

Aug. 7, Niagara River Rocks, Gratwick Park, North Tonawanda

The busiest guitarist on the planet will stop by North Tonawanda for a free show. This time around, Haynes will be fronting his Warren Haynes Band for a full set, following a full opening set from the mighty Railroad Earth. To conclude the evening, Haynes will join Railroad Earth for a third set. Too cool.


Van Halen

Aug. 25, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center

Yeah, it’s true – David Lee Roth is not the singer he once was, and he tends to pay more attention to his high kicks than to the high notes these days. However, I’ve heard the guitarist in this band is … How should I put this? Oh yeah – one of the greatest to ever touch the instrument. Eddie Van Halen is still at the top of his game.

Tickets: $33-$136 (, Ticketmaster).


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