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By Jeff MiersNews Pop Music CriticKid Rock presided over a party for the blue-collar working man and woman at Darien Lake on Friday evening.The whole gig felt like a massive backyard barbecue, with the evening’s entertainment doing his best to divert the attention of those in attendance away from the gritty realism of their paycheck-to-paycheck daily lives and toward a tem…

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The Dave Matthews Band concert Wednesday at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center was a perfect convergence of a raucous national holiday, an upbeat touring band and an open-air concert venue. In other words, it was a summertime rock ’n’ roll triumph.Fronted by raspy-voiced, cherubic Dave Matthews (“In his skinny jeans!” exclaimed an audience member who’d driven from Dallas, …

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Since its creation in 1994, the Vans Warped Tour has proven to be one of the most consistently successful annual traveling festivals in all of rock.As much as Warped has acted as a showcase for up-and-coming bands and a home-away-from-home for aging, fully tenured punk-rock icons, it has also offered fans considerable bang for their considerably dwindling entertainment buc…

RockSigur RosKveikur[XL]ΩΩΩIceland’s Sigur Ros has amassed a worldwide cult following based on some of the most hauntingly esoteric music to be released beneath the rock heading over the past decade-plus. The band’s songs are delivered via an imaginary, invented language that is based loosely on Icelandic dialects, and its songs come across more often than not as the music…

Music

Yes, Vancouver, B.C.’s Theory of A Deadman was the first band to sign to the indie imprint founded by Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. But you shouldn’t hold it against them. (Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.)The connection to Nickelback ends with the imprint deal, however, for Theory of A Deadman – guitarist/vocalist Tyler Connolly, bassist Dean Back and guitarist …

Music

When the hard and gritty blues make the jump from sweaty, dingy nightclubs to hockey arenas and major festival stages, questions of authenticity inevitably arise. Most of the time, these can be filed under the “sour grapes” heading, the uninvited input of the supposed gatekeepers of roots music. These are folks who believe that anything that becomes too popular can’t possi…

For the 22nd year, the town of Sherman will be given over to one of the most eagerly anticipated music festivals of the summer for the weekend following the Fourth of July.The Great Blue Heron Music Festival, running from Friday through Sunday, began life as a largely acoustic music celebration, evolved into the broader world of roots music and is today a festival that off…

Mikaela Davis. 8 p.m. July 25. Tralf, 622 Main St. 852-2860. www.tralfmusichall.com. $8 advance, $10 day of show (box office, Ticketmaster).John Mulaney. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Aug. 2 and 3. Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. 853-1211. www.heliumcomedy.com. $25 (www.seatengine.com/event/2737).Volto! 7 p.m. Aug. 6. Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave. www.waitingroombuffalo.com. $…

The coolers are cooling. The lawn chairs are gathering. The saxophones are warming up. Duke Ellington is in the air. It can mean only one thing: The Buffalo-News sponsored Jazz at the Albright-Knox, 2013 edition, is about to begin.The first concert takes place Sunday and features singer Cindy Miller. Miller, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, has proven herself a p…

Art

A tactile art installation featuring work by Tonawanda painter Larry Allen opens Friday in Allentown’s Pausa Art House (19 Wadsworth St.) during the neighborhood’s First Fridays Gallery Walk. Friday’s opening, which runs from 8 to 10 p.m., will feature music from local duo Dos Tipos, who will perform an evening of Puerto Rican and Cuban folk tunes called “Songs from El Bar…

Music

Kid Rock has made a career out of rummaging through rock and pop’s back pages. He is a rather brilliant collage artist whose unabashed fandom of everyone from Bob Seger to Lynyrd Skynyrd to Run-DMC has provided him with the raw materials to craft major hits of his own.In addition to his craftsman’s eye for the reconfiguration of the raw materials of others, Rock has also c…

We love lists. We love horse races, especially the ones without horses .Put a list or a race result – even the most tentative one – in our sightlines and our eyes light up. Never mind how meaningless they can be. Take the current issue of Entertainment Weekly. Please, as that immortal Borscht Belt tail gunner Henny Youngman used to say. Or the current weekend box office to…

The following are edited excerpts from an online chat Friday with News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers.Joe from DC: Are you as excited as I am to see the Flaming Lips and Tame Impala later this summer? Big fun in store. Who else is on your must-see list for the summer?Jeff Miers: That’s my top must-see of the summer!!! Looking forward to the Black Keys, Furthur, Americanarama,…

The weather was warm and the evening, thankfully, rain free. But Saturday night at Canalside is still best described as a quiet storm.That’s because the Detroit-based R&B singer Kem graced us with his presence for the first time since summer 2011. Not much has changed for Kem since then. He’s still riding the thunder of his 2010 album “Intimacy: Album III,” his most seamle…

Lifestyles

SoulOtis Redding, “The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection” (Shout! Factory, three discs, released in July but available now from the label’s website). Seventy tracks – every original 45 rpm single by the greatest figure in soul music of his time whose name wasn’t Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder. It includes many appearing for the first time on disc in their original mono m…