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10 concerts that will make early 2016 epic for local music lovers

Now that’s you have had some time to recover from New Year’s Eve, put the coffee pot on and grab your date book: When it comes to local concerts, 2016 will waste no time becoming awesome.

This year will be a big one here. I can feel it in my bones. Here are 10 shows that have already been announced for early 2016 that I’m particularly pumped to see and hear.

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, First Niagara Center, Feb. 25

They’re going to play “The River,” front to back, and then a host of who knows what. I assume you already have your ticket. (Sold out)

El Ten Eleven, Mohawk Place, Feb. 26

This duo crafts fascinating music that bridges the gap between indie rock and the avant garde, the rootsy and the ethereal. A perfect venue for what will likely be a mesmerizing show. ($12/$15,

Fiesta Mexico-Americana: Los Lobos with Ballet Folklorico Mexican, UB Center for the Arts Mainstage Theatre, March 3

We’ve heard an awful lot of nonsense being tossed around by politicians running for office of late suggesting the opposite, but we know that Mexican-Americans have contributed vastly to our culture, and what better band to prove as much than the mighty Los Lobos? This unique show – “A celebration in song, dance, music and film highlighting the many notable achievements and contributions of Mexican-Americans throughout U.S. history” – will find Los Lobos joined by dancers from the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano. ($47, $37, $27 students,

Glenn Hughes, Buffalo Iron Works, March 14

He was in Trapeze. He was in Deep Purple. He was, briefly, in Black Sabbath. He was in Black Country Communion. And he is both one of the funkiest bassists in hard rock history and one of the most technically gifted and soulful singers in any genre. (Stevie Wonder once called him his favorite singer.) This one will be special. ($20-$40,

Mac Sabbath, The Tralf Music Hall, March 27

This band covers Black Sabbath tunes while dressed as evil doppelgangers of McDonald’s characters. Questions? I didn’t think so. ($15,

AC/DC, First Niagara Center, March 29

If you’ve never seen them, you need to – unless, of course, you hate good old rock ’n’ roll, in which case you should stay home and save your money for this summer’s Justin Bieber concert. If you have seen them, but your kids haven’t, and they’re old enough, take them. Neither of you will ever forget it. (Remaining seats $99,

Puscifer, UB Center for the Arts, April 5

If you caught the band on its last tour, behind the “Conditions Of My Parole” album – a jaunt that included a stop at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda – then you already know what Maynard James Keenan and Co. are capable of getting up to on the concert stage. If you didn’t, check out the band’s new “Money Shot,” and go buy a ticket for this round. (59.50, $45,

The Bad Plus Joshua Redman, Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center, Buffalo State College, April 22

If you care about jazz as something more than pleasant background music, you should join me at this show, where one of the most visceral and interesting collectives in recent jazz history is joined by one of the leading saxophonists of his generation. To be clear – this is not a double bill, but rather, a new ensemble formed between members of the Bad Plus and Joshua Redman. ($35-$40,

Reverend Horton Heat with Nashville Pussy, Tralf Music Hall, April 29

Whoa, now! Some punkabilly, some fiery rock ’n’ roll, and a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on. ($25/$28,

Kendrick Scott Oracle, UB Center for the Arts Drama Theatre, May 12

One of the most exciting young jazz drummers also happens to be an excellent composer and a first-rate bandleader. Scott has played with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Terence Blanchard, and his releases with the Kendrick Scott Jazz Oracle have been consistently thrilling and forward-looking. ($26.50/$19.50 students,


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