By Michael Farrell

Special to The News

So floor seat prices for Saturday’s Rod Stewart and Santana show at First Niagara Center were too wild for your wallet. The bad news: You’re about to miss out on a face-melting version of “Soul Sacrifice” and, possibly, the sensual strut of Hot Rod’s “Infatuation,” which may very well start a cougar-led riot at the stage’s barriers.

The good news: From reggae-flavored local bills to tribute bands to a Buffalo-born blues king, there are plenty of affordable options to get your three-day helping of live music.

So breathe easy and get ready for your weekend. This is the Farrell Four:

Funktional Flow, Whiskey Reverb and Mosaic Foundation in Nietzsche’s (248 Allen St.), 9 p.m. May 30.

Sure, the weather, calendar and Todd Santos have indicated summer is indeed here. But are you looking for the sounds of summer? Look no further than eclectic Allentown institution Nietzsche’s, who’ll host a local melting pot of reggae (Rochester’s Mosaic Foundation), hazy jams (Funktional Flow) and bass-happy percussive beats (Whiskey Reverb) inside its environs. Forecast calls for sunny grooves from three of the most laid-back acts off New York’s I-90.

Bar and show information at

Strictly Hip in The Lodge (79 W. Chippewa St.), 10 p.m. May 30.

The Tragically Hip will not be on the Chip Strip this weekend. Paul Langlois won’t be gently gliding you into “Grace, Too.” Johnny Fay won’t be keeping time on “Poets,” and Gord Downie certainly won’t be touching South Buffalo twentysomethings with an overly emotional rendition of “Bobcaygeon.” But amid the bubble hockey tables and taxidermy of the Lodge will be the next best thing: Buffalo’s foremost Hip tribute act, grinding through decades of Canadian symphonies and barroom anthems for your listening pleasure.

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An Evening of Dylan and the Dead with Robert Zimmerman Philharmonic and Workingman’s Dead in The Tralf (3690 Main St.), 8 p.m. May 31.

The weekend’s second tribute entry brings us to the Theatre District, where local outfits Workingman’s Dead and the Robert Zimmerman Philharmonic pay homage to not only two of the most iconic names in music history, but also to the collaborators on 1989’s “Dylan & the Dead” live album. Whether the night’s musicians will join for “Slow Train” or “Queen Jane Approximately” is unknown, but both should be counted on to deliver crowd-pleasing jams from their heirs’ extensive catalogues.

Show and ticket information at

Jony James Band in the Tudor Lounge (335 Franklin St.), 4 p.m. June 1 .

How can you color your blues a shade darker? A shade grittier? Classify it as “survival blues,” which is how Buffalo Music Hall of Famer and local blues hero James terms his brand of Gibson-geared expression. In his weekly Sunday Tudor spot, the guitarist colors a sleepy corner of Franklin and West Tupper with strokes reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn and B.B. King, all while twirling through originals that have earned his band Artpark appearances with ZZ Top.

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