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The Weekend in WNY: Weighing in on Justin Timberlake

Buffalonians tend to hold grudges in some areas - the New England Patriots, ranch dressing on wings and Shaggy - yet are more forgiving in others. We'll see how the city responds to pop superstar Justin Timberlake when he performs in KeyBank Center after postponing twice late last year and a third just five years ago.

In 2015, WYRK's Rob Banks teased a Justin Timberlake date at Ralph Wilson Stadium - which fooled many easily excited fans on the dreaded April 1.

A consummate entertainer, talented musician and electric dancer, the former 'N Sync star will likely be forgiven quickly by the fans who turn out. But how many will?

Justin Timberlake, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at KeyBank Center. Tickets are $49.50 to $225.

The "Man of the Woods" megastar did have a legitimate excuse the last two times he postponed (October and December 2018): fans wouldn't have gotten their money's worth if Timberlake had persevered through bruised vocal cords, but that's tough to grapple with in light of fan expectation. There's often little sympathy in postponement.

The Indy Star reviewed JT's midweek show, leaving less-than-thrilled with the performance, albeit with high initial expectations. For that gig in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Timberlake kicked off with four dance-heavy tracks and was thankful for the fans' resilience.

[Look back: When Buffalo concertgoers had their hearts broken]


Thawfest 4, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, April 5 at Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Tickets are $45 general admission, with special admission information here.

With temperatures reaching the 50s this weekend, spring is actually starting to feel imminent. Thawfest, which trumpets ciders, wines, beers and spirits from more than 50 local businesses inside spacious RiverWorks, returns for its fourth year. Live music will be performed by ManBearPig.

A cool feature for VIP purchasers is a tour of the microbrewery inside the giant Labatt Blue six-pack visible from the 190.

You should go if: You're enthused by Buffalo's recent prowess in alcohol creation.

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Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, doors at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 5 at University at Buffalo Center for the Arts (103 CFA, Amherst). Tickets range from $34-$54.

Most people have a friend who thinks their jokes are really funny, and their playful banter connects on a deeper level than other friends. That's how I picture the rapport between Mochrie and Sherwood, two veteran comedians who've honed their give-and-take an almost frightening amount.

The two comedians from "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" are so good they don't even need a script, which is the crux of their Scared Scriptless Tour. Read The News' Tim O'Shei's feature on improv comedy, in which he highlights this event.


Buffalo Wine Festival, two sessions: 1 to 4 p.m., 6 to 9 on Saturday, April 6 at Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Cost is $35 for general admission, $45 for VIP entrance and hour early. Find all ticket details here.

Erie Promotions, which presents food-and-drink festivals across the Northeast, brings the Buffalo Wine Festival back for another year. Thirty local wineries will post up in the convention center, with eager samplers seeking pinot noir, chardonnay, rosé and a wealth of other varieties.

Food, beauty and more vendors will have a presence, too, in case you need a short respite from fermented grapes.


Route 62: Photography Pop-Up, 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, April 5 at Macky's Shamrock Room (1634 Bailey Ave.). No cost listed to attend.

The excitement over Friday's event is twofold, with Buffalo Obscura - a joint effort of three photographers: Chris Hawley, Molly Jarboe and Christina Laing - selling unframed prints of their shots of Route 62, the thoroughfare that connects Niagara Falls to El Paso, Texas. You'll know 62 as Bailey and South Park avenues, which wind through several neighborhoods in the east and southern parts of Buffalo.

Two other artists, videographer Jim Cielencki and photographer Mark von Kohler, will also present their work at the event.

The second reason to check this out is to visit Macky's Shamrock Room, the event space fashioned by Essex Street Pub owner Macky Moberly in the former Pristach's, a classic East Side corner bar founded in 1934. Moberly's fish fry and drinks from Community Beer Works will be available for purchase, and live music will be from Meet the Bacons.

An old photo of Pristach's, a classic East Side corner tavern that opened in 1934, submitted by the Pristach family.


Arts x Beats for Beau Fleuve, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 5 in Imagine Event Center (71 Military Road). General admission is $10, while reserved seating is $15; details here.

Friday's Arts x Beats is fully devoted to female performers, featuring Beyonce's drummer Venzella Joy, a Lockport native and Canisius College graduate, plus Lindsay Niccs, a standout from last year's Beau Fleuve Music & Arts Festival.

The News' Jeff Miers praised the mix of genres woven into the Buffalo music scene, in relation to this event, in his Soundbites column, and also delved into the background of the Arts x Beats series not long ago.


The Tins and The Leones, 9 p.m. Friday, April 5 at Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.). Cost is $8 at the door.

End your work week with a night of local psych-pop from three Buffalo bands and one visitor, Rochester's The Demos, who visit fairly regularly. The Tins, the show's headliner, unveiled a new single, "Boulder Soul," last month.

The three-piece has been a steady presence in the Buffalo music scene for the better part of a decade, while the Leones will debut a few faster songs to balance out its typically slower horror-pop.


Barrel-aged Krupnik release at Buffalo Distilling Co., noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 6 in Buffalo Distilling Co. (860 Seneca St.). No cost is listed.

Every April, Buffalo is reminded of krupnik, the honey-flavored liqueur that's become a Dyngus Day staple and a key specialty product of Buffalo Distilling Co. in Larkinville. (There's was mild panic when The News' Samantha Christmann announced a krupnik shortage in 2016).

Polka band Special Delivery will entertain at 3 p.m., while Randal & The Late-Night Scandals takes over at 7:30, and authentic food will be available, too.


Superhero Day at Herschell Carrousel Museum, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda. Cost is $6 per person.

Superheroes continue their lengthy run in the spotlight, with both Marvel and DC Comics rolling out film after film. Saturday is a perfect time for kids and their families to take part, with a superhero training course, Hulk-inspired wall smashing arts and crafts and more on the agenda for North Tonawanda.

[Read: Local female fans excited for big-screen debut of "Captain Marvel"]


Hype Fest 2.0, 10 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at VENU (75 W. Chippewa St.). Tickets range from $15-$18.

A electronic dance music mini-festival will rage through the night in VENU, introducing fans to a range of styles and producers more in the breakout category than established. Stevie G, the Lit Lords, Moonboy, Rico Act and Scafetta are among those touted on the Facebook event page, with some local talent joining the fray as well.


BONUS: Art Walks

First Friday Allentown Gallery Walk, 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 5 at Allentown art galleries. Free to attend.

M&T First Fridays in the Albright-Knox, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, April 5 at 1285 Elmwood Ave. Many of the activities, as well as admission to the gallery, are free, with some exceptions.


Continuing: Local Restaurant Week, runs through April 7 at more than 200 local restaurants. Costs range from $20.19 to $40.19. Understand the layout and then see our 10 suggestions for deals to try.


Sold-out: Tea Party in Town Ballroom, both Friday and Saturday.


5 events to look forward to next week

Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour
Chocolates, Candies and Confections at Trocaire
Tyler Perry at Shea's Buffalo Theatre
Refugee Film Festival screening at Journey's End
VOICE Buffalo Awards in Buffalo Niagara Convention Center


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