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Did he still have the banshee howl?It’s been a long time since Axl Rose was the undisputed king of the underground Los Angeles rock scene. Back then, his band, Guns N’ Roses, was the ‘it’ band, the group that had been able to navigate the terrain between punk, metal and glam rock. It has been 20 years since Guns N’ Roses played Buffalo, the last time being a headlining slo…

The Modigliani Quartet did us all a favor in Tuesday’s Buffalo Chamber Music Society concert when they opted to conclude with the unfamiliar Dohnanyi 1926 Quartet No. 3.The music is so attractive that it’s hard to believe this performance was its Buffalo premiere. The early music of Dohnanyi (1877-1960) was clearly flavored by Brahms and Hungarian folk influences, but this…

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"Jazz needs a wake-up call." That's renowned jazz keyboardist Robert Glasper's take on the art form he has spent his already-storied career exploring. With his own piano-led trio, Glasper, a 34-year-old native of Houston and graduate of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, made it plain to the world that he has the chops, the vocabulary an…

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Much has changed over the two years since Roger Waters last presented his masterpiece "The Wall" in Buffalo. And yet, nothing has really changed. And Pink Floyd's "The Wall" remains one of the most stirring 20th-century exegeses on the alienation engendered by the above. In Buffalo, our love for Waters, Pink Floyd, and "The Wall" remains undiminished. Just like last …

Gusto

"If you're here, and we're here, then they're here." With this simple sentence, Bruce Springsteen turned Friday night's sold-out show at the First Niagara Center into that rarest of rare arena-rock experiences -- a concert that offered transcendence to those looking for it, a musical experience that moved beyond the music itself and toward a sense of shared community. …

For a musical artist who thrives on spontaneity and "the moment," there's no better platform than the live show. The same goes for an artist who has leaked countless mixtapes -- compilations of original material interspersed with tracks sampling instantly recognizable work by other artists -- to the ether of the Internet. Rapper Lil Wayne (Dwayne Carter on his tax re…

Sitting through five hours of diverse music during UB's Fallfest was akin to absorbing a multi-idiomatic spring to life before your eyes and ears. The music was quite literally all over the place, emblematic of the instant access to virtually all forms of music, past and present, that defines pop culture currently. That's the way it was on Wednesday evening, as a young,…

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On Dec. 8, 1980, an unknown band from Ireland played its first Buffalo show, in front of roughly 20 people inside the long-gone Stage One nightclub. Twenty-five years and a day later, the same band played to nearly 20,000 people inside a sold-to-capacity HSBC Arena. Remarkably, though the world around the band has changed radically, in concert U2 remains the same; th…

Singer-songwriter Nellie McKay is a prodigy. She's outspoken. She's quirky. She's got an amazing voice. And she's only 19! During an interview with McKay for a Sept. 10 Gusto article to preview her concert at the University at Buffalo, News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers asked her, "How the heck did you figure all of this stuff out by age 19?" In response, Miers wrote, "Mc…

Packed. Folks from all walks of life. No pungent smell in the air. Plenty of leather, but of the fashionable sort, not the biker or "hard rock guy on a weekend bender" sort.Last evening's Billy Joel and Elton John "Face to Face" performance smacked of the sort of politeness that, according to many of rock's finest critics, signified the death of rock 'n' roll in the mid to…

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The sorry state of rock 'n' roll was on display last week during the Video Music Awards on MTV. The formerly cutting-edge network handed out honors to acts that included Madonna, Aerosmith, the Beastie Boys and Will Smith. Welcome to the '80s. The rock industry and record companies don't seem to realize that unless they let go of the music of the past, they're doomed…

The sound begins as a muffled trickle, coming from a ceiling speaker in the corridor outside E.B. Greene's restaurant. "Tell me Quando, Quando, Quando. . . . Look at that, bartender! Doesn't he look like Christopher Reeve? . . . Where are you from, sir? San Diego? I left my heart in San Diego . . . " Turn a corner, and you get it full blast. Jackie Jocko is at the…

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REVIEW Queen of Soul: The Atlantic Recordings By Aretha Franklin Rating: 4 1/2 stars (out of five) Rhino R2-71063 "It's the real thing, baby." – Aretha Franklin. "When Aretha arrived at Atlantic, she was not innocent. She was a 25-year-old woman with soul, feelings and the life experiences of someone much older." – Jerry Wexler "Of course, there is already a…

Gusto

Popcorn, nachos and plastic cups dotted the skies. Breasts had been bared as the roaming camera panned the crowds looking for a woman who would oblige 43,000 voyeuristic fans in Rich stadium wanting to sneak a peek. And, when Axl Rose finally burst on to the monstrous stage Saturday night -- almost two hours after Metallica had finished -- his 5 o'clock shadow had grown…