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What a long, strange, pyro-heavy trip it's been. Kiss rolled into town with its greasepaint and electrified boogie in tow Wednesday for a KeyBank Center stop on its “End of the Road” tour, a lengthy sojourn that the band insists will be its last. And for so many rock fans spanning several generations, saying farewell to the glam/power-pop/hard rock quartet bears signifi…

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The Art of Jazz series is alive and kicking, albeit in a new venue, having left the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's Elmwood campus while it's closed for construction and resurfacing in Kleinhans Music Hall’s Mary Seaton Room. The first concert there was a showcase for the amazing pianist Christian Sands who, along with bassist Alex Claffy and drummer Rodney Green, took the …

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It was always going to work better as symbolism than as music. The pairing of international pop stars Shakira and Jennifer Lopez for the Super Bowl LIV halftime show at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami can be seen as a badly needed celebration of the diversity that is at the core of this country’s greatest collective accomplishments. The two Latina superstars – J-Lo grew up i…

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Saturday night’s concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra led off with a delightful cello concerto by Franz Joseph Haydn and featured, as the finale, one of the most remarkable pieces of music ever written. There’s more than one story about how and why Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart created a Requiem, but there should be no doubt that the result – no matter how the music …

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Marriage is often the key to a Shakespeare comedy. No matter how wild and complicated the play’s twists and turns might be, it always veers towards a happy wedding (or three). At Kleinhans Music Hall, we see another kind of marriage: a perfect matrimony of theater and music, as Irish Classical Theatre and the Buffalo Philharmonic jointly stage a magical “Midsummer Night…

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As we enter 2020, a group of concerned parents with students in the Buffalo Public Schools system is suing the district, believing the state mandate to provide music and arts courses to children is being violated. This story frames the decade’s end better than any other, for “violation” seems to be the watchword of our era. It seems troublingly fitting that a city br…

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Sometimes it's all about the packaging. Even the most familiar items become special at Christmastime when they are covered in colorful paper and tied with beautiful bows. And that doesn't apply only to gifts from the store. This year's annual John Morris Russell's Holiday Pops with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, which debuted in a Dec. 19 morning concert and repeat…

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Maestros tend to be pretty polished in the patter they share with the audience while the musicians catch their breath between musical numbers, but I can honestly believe JoAnn Falletta when she says the "Classical Christmas" is one of her favorite concerts of the year. As the final notes of the opening fanfare of "Joy to the World" rang out at Friday morning's Coffee Co…

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Fun, humor and thought provocation were all delivered with a blend of exuberance and polished artistry at Tuesday night’s Buffalo Chamber Music Society concert by the Ulysses Quartet. It was a well-chosen, albeit quirky, program that meshed masterpieces by Franz Joseph Haydn and Maurice Ravel, alongside a programming rarity (Pavel Haas’ second quartet) and a more recent…

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I will never forget the scene on stage at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on May 26, 2004, when Fantasia Barrino became the third American Idol, beating a particularly impressive roster that included future Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (and Williamsville native John Stevens). It was an incredible sight for television and for popular music. Barrino had made impressive l…

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Jubilant ladies were spotted posing in front of the beaming, larger-than-life likeness of country superstar Carrie Underwood emblazoned on the side of a semi a few blocks from KeyBank Center as thousands made their way to the country star's concert on Sunday night. The "Cry Pretty Tour 360" features Underwood and her band, and two female-fronted empowering opening acts: tr…

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It was the night of the drummer: rollicking rock and rolling, spitting-on-the-stage before a solo, testosterone-fueled drumming that was the magnificent surprise of the Chainsmokers' EDM show at KeyBank Center on Saturday night, a stop on their "World War Joy" tour. Among the night's circuslike surprises were flaming drumsticks during the four hours of premium dance and po…

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About halfway though his performance at KeyBank Center on Friday, Phil Collins pulled the chair he’d been sitting on throughout the show right to the edge of the drum riser at the rear of the stage. He bowed his head, placing it inches away from the bass drum, his foot keeping time with the hi-hat, his arms flailing in air-drummer ecstasy to the ride cymbal groove. Collins…

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"Festivals here, festivals there – all you need are four great bands," said Mike Ness, lead singer-songwriter and supreme guitarist for punk rock stalwarts Social Distortion. No one disagreed with that sentiment, uttered during the band's jam-packed Tuesday night Canalside Live concert. The show is the second-last of Canalside's outdoor season, which finishes on Aug. 30…

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When organizers finally succumbed to the series of unfortunate (and likely avoidable) events that led to the wheels coming off their planned Woodstock 50 festival, fans and music industry insiders let out a collective sigh-groan hybrid. Here in our town, we might not have heard it, so giddy were we in the wake of the announcement that, instead of performing at what woul…