The Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor series kicks off next Friday with a strong double bill pairing Canada's Sam Roberts Band with Vermont's Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. The show starts at 6 p.m. at the Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf.

Roberts and his band of merry power-pop/indie-rock pranksters are in the midst of the summer leg of the lengthy tour promoting last year's excellent "Collider" record. Though the band still has not quite broken the American market in the manner that all of us who fell in love with it fully expected, Roberts and Co. appear undaunted; its major success all across the lovely country to our immediate north surely acting as a salve to any real or imagined wound. In Buffalo, we know what this band is all about, from sweaty, immensely enjoyable performances on stages from Thursday at the Square to Artpark and back. In concert, these guys bring it, big time and every time.

Potter & the Nocturnals tore it up at the Square last season, in one of the summer's most visceral, steaming and sexy shows. With the excellent new "The Lion the Beast the Beat" just released, and its collective star rapidly on the rise, we should expect no less at the harbor next Friday.

Tickets are $10 in advance, and $20 on the day of the show (Buffalo Place box office, and at Thursday at the Harbor). For information, visit

-- Jeff Miers