February, March and April are the three biggest months of the year for summer concert announcements. The news that nationally recognized bands are coming to Buffalo whets the palates for music fans who crave warm weather and the chance to dance outside the confines of a crowded indoor venue.
Here are six shows that have been announced in the last week:
311 with the Dirty Heads
Who: Last Sunday was 311 Day - March 11 (3/11) - and the Nebraska alt-rock band released its third documentary, available for one night only in theaters. While the group's last release was 2017's "Mosaic," it's chosen Darien as a stop on its U.S. tour and its support is quite strong, as Dirty Heads - the California-based reggae rock stars - tag along.
Event details: 6 p.m. July 20 in Darien Lake Amphitheatre (9993 Allegheny Road, Darien). Support from Dreamers and Bikini.
[Related: See photos of 311 onstage at Artpark in 2017]
Earth, Wind and Fire
Who: EWF hasn't been the same since the death of Maurice White three years ago, but the all-time greats continue to chug along with Verdine White, Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson all still involved.
Their accomplishments are absurd - a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, 23 studio albums and induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame - and they've still got the chops, as News reviewer Bruce Andriatch witnessed in 2017.
Event details: 6:30 p.m. July 16 at Artpark Amphiteater (450 S. 4th St., Lewiston).
Three Days Grace
Who: Hard-rock, metal heavyweights Three Days Grace played KeyBank Center with Disturbed just two weeks ago, and now they've been added to Breaking Benjamin's August show in Darien. Despite the abrupt departure of lead singer Adam Gontier in 2013, the band - with Matt Walst as its lead singer - hasn't skipped a beat.
The News' Jeff Miers doesn't think highly of Canadian group's originality, as evidenced by this 2015 concert review, but that seems to have had little impact on its overall following.
Event details: 5:30 p.m. Aug. 4, with already announced Breaking Benjamin, at Darien Lake Amphitheatre (9993 Allegheny Road, Darien).
Who: Manhattan pop stars Adam, Jack and Ryan (AJR) Met have come a long way since their days as buskers. The trio's third release, "Neotheater," is expected to come out at the end of April, and the brothers have collaborated with vastly different musicians (Steve Aoki, Lil Yachty, Rivers Cuomo) in the past, so fans should be intrigued by the guests on the forthcoming disc.
Event details: 8 p.m. Nov. 19 in Shea's Buffalo Theatre (646 Main St.).
Tickets: On sale at 10 a.m. March 22 at LiveNation.com or the Shea's box office. No cost has been announced.
Who: The Hallmark "Countdown to Christmas" star is more than an actor; Witt has released four studio albums, including one with producer Ben Folds. Toni Ruberto's announcement notes Witt has played piano since she was 7, which explains why her talents mesh nicely with Folds. And, for what it's worth, Witt modeled the world's most expensive hat, back in 2015.
Event details: 8 p.m. May 3 in Rec Room (79 W. Chippewa St.).
Tickets: Cost is $20 in advance at AfterDarkPresents.com, by phone at 893-2900 or at After Dark’s office at 630 Elmwood Ave. Available now. Price rises to $25 at the door; VIP passes are available for $45.
Who: The four-piece metalcore band from north Texas does its best to represent the unrepresented and deliver sociopolitical messages - even if they're unpopular - through lyrics. Prepare for a little moshing and an energetic live show in Sugar City.
Event details: Doors at 7 p.m., show at 7:30 on May 9 at Sugar City (1239 Niagara St.). Support from Left Behind and Vatican.
Tickets: Cost is $15 in advance at AfterDarkPresents.com or by calling 893-2900. They went on sale March 8.