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Jeff Miers picks his top 10 summer concerts

My cup overfloweth, and my iPhone calendar is stuffed to the point of bursting. We’re in for a busy few months, folks. Great shows fill the roster, from the Waterfront to Lewiston to Darien Lake and back. I had a terrible time whittling it all down to a mere 10, which has not always been the case in years past. What follows is a list of gigs I’m most psyched for. I’m happy to say that the list could have been at least twice as long.  Here’s to a great summer.

The Flaming Lips and the Claypool Lennon Delirium, with Particle Kid
July 27 at Artpark
Why? Because your heart deserves a holiday. Two of the finest ensembles currently making psychedelic rock music, both of whom happen to be supporting fantastic new albums, team for a summer show that I’m predicting will be the high-point of the summer.

Beck and Cage the Elephant
Aug. 13 at the Darien Lake Amphitheatre
Why, Because Beck is completely awesome, and the new Cage the Elephant album, “Social Cues,” is, too.

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic with Galactic, Fishbone, and Miss Velvet & the Blue Wolf
June 11 at Artpark
Why? Because a summer without funk isn’t really a summer at all.

George Clinton. (Getty Images)

James and the Psychedelic Furs
July 18 at Canalside
Why? Because James is one of the great, largely unsung bands of the great alternative rock era of the 1980s and early '90s, and the band has not played a major summer stage in the city of Buffalo. The Psychedelic Furs always deliver the goods, too.

Cobblestone Live!
Aug. 2-3 in the Cobblestone District
Why? The lineup for the third annual Cobblestone Live! fest, is stellar and ably blends national and local talent of the topper-most tier.

Iron Maiden
Aug. 13 at KeyBank Center
Why? Iron Maiden remains the greatest heavy metal band in the world. And the band’s visits to Buffalo have become increasingly rare over the years.

Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson. (Getty Images)

Rockin’ at the Knox with Death Cab for Cutie, Tank and the Bangas, Phosphorescent
June 16 outside the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Why? This consistently wonderful annual event is a must-see, and this year’s lineup is one of its finest.

The Struts and Glorious Sons
July 25 at Canalside
Why? They keep telling us that rock 'n' roll is dead, and we need to gather in numbers to prove how wrong they are. Two awesomely raunchy young rock bands make this one a summer requirement.

Borderland Music & Arts Festival
Sept. 22-23 at Knox Farm State Park
Why? The setting is beautiful, and the lineup (including Gov’t Mule, Greensky Bluegrass, Shakey Graves and Mavis Staples) is sublime.

Mavis Staples will perform as part of this year's Borderland Festival. (Getty Images)

 

Top summer club shows

Kenny Garrett
May 25,  Tralf Music Hall; Sleep, June 6, Town Ballroom; Marbin, June 12, Buffalo Iron Works; Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul, July 12, Town Ballroom;  Eric Gales, July 14, Tralf Music Hall;  The Aristocrats, July 26, Tralf Music Hall; Kurt Vile & the Violators, July 31, Town Ballroom;  Interpol, Aug. 6, Town Ballroom.

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