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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…

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“Scream for me, Buffalo!” No, that was never going to be a problem for us, Bruce. We’d been waiting for this for a long time. Iron Maiden vocalist and frontman extraordinaire Bruce Dickinson exhorted the faithful packing KeyBank Center on Tuesday evening to make their pleasure known with full force throughout the band’s show. But Dickinson and his fellow Maiden men h…

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More urban than Nashville is how the pre-concert playlist flowed on Monday night in Gusto Grandstand at the Erie County Fair. This was a sign that the show about to be underway was not a usual country music concert. The sold-out crowd with track-side and way-up-in-the-grandstand seats was there to see rising country-western star Kane Brown, and they were singing enthusi…

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The legendary Bryan Adams and Billy Idol, both masters of the heartfelt lyric and manly rock poses throughout their long careers, played Darien Lake Amphitheater Friday, a rainy night that left ardent fans watching from the lawn a little soggy. Despite being diplomatically billed as co-headliners, the main event was Adams' "Shine a Light Tour" in honor of the Canadian a…

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Sarah McLachlan, the Canada-born singer-songwriter and pop music foundress (she birthed women-focused, traveling Lilith Fair of yore), played Artpark Mainstage on Wednesday night. The sold-out show featured "My amazing big band," as she called them, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. She is calling this her "Summer Symphony Tour," as she performs with various U.S. and Can…

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Since Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed coined the phrase “rock 'n’ roll” in 1951, decades of performers have become legends under the genre banner. And whether with their sound, specific songs or onstage theatrics, some of these icons have made an indelible impression on the generations of musicians. With this noted, it is understandable that some bands intentionally or…

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I walked into Canalside on Thursday expecting an enjoyable nostalgia trip co-headlined by a pair of the finest English bands of the 1980s/early '90s alternative rock era. I left having had what felt an awful lot like a religious experience. That religious experience was delivered by james, the often daring, deeply melodic Manchester-born band best known to American audi…

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It was an often deeply moving cultural mashup, structured around themes of connectivity, compassion, mutual respect and inclusivity. On Saturday, the inaugural Strawberry Moon Festival took place at Artpark. Not just a music festival, Strawberry Moon celebrated the fact the sky does not acknowledge borders, as different cultural factions from Western New York and Canada…

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Kerfuffle, the annual daylong music event held at Canalside, no longer feels like a buzzy, new event. Now six solid years in, Kerfuffle has become a reliable early-summer staple promising big-name artists, sweet sounds and rocking rhythms to Buffalo’s alt-rock fans. On the first official day of summer, “the music event of the summer” (as dubbed by presenting radio stati…

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The 2019 Taste of Country packed ‘em in at Sahlen Field on Friday, with a multi-act mini-festival that simultaneously celebrated modern country music’s strengths while highlighting some of the quandaries the form faces. Mostly, though, it was nothing but a big ol’ party, with five country artists providing the soundtrack, Budweiser providing the liquid courage, and Sahl…

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You know you’re at a Twenty One Pilots show when the line for band name-emblazoned merchandise is longer than the beer line. That was the case on Saturday, June 1, as TOP brought its “Bandito Tour” to an uber-packed (mostly with teenaged fans) KeyBank Center, reaffirming the near-obsessive love affair between the beloved emo-indie duo and a fan base that got on board wi…

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Indie synth-rock heartthrobs The 1975 had a wooing Darien Lake crowd all up in their feels on Wednesday evening. Sensual but disconnected, confident but anxious, hot and cold or perhaps somewhere between—much like this show's 60-ish degree late-May night—the Manchester-bred six-piece makes synthed-out, angst-accented pop music for an eternally conflicted and disaffecte…

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I saw the Who with the Clash at Shea Stadium in 1982, on what was supposed to be the band’s farewell tour. (Sorry, mom and dad, I wasn’t really “sleeping over at Trevor’s house” that night. I hope the statute of limitations on this teenage infraction has expired!) I saw the band again at the Glens Falls Civic Center doing “Tommy” in full, on what also was said to be the ba…