Don’t panic, music lovers. Just because summer is ending, you needn’t fear a paucity of concert activity as the leaves begin to fall and you contemplate stowing the patio furniture in the shed and breaking out a sweater or two. Yes, this is Buffalo, where 12 months of concert activity are crammed into roughly 90 days each summer, but things have changed around here over the past few years. No longer does the music scene close up shop as the days grow shorter. In fact, this year, it’s almost as if the action is being ramped up for the last few months of the year.
Starting now, the action moves from the outdoor stages into the clubs, the arenas and the theaters. Should you desire to be, you can remain as busy attending shows as you’ve been all summer.
The clubs, which can sometimes be overlooked amid all the outdoor summer concert action, are crammed with must-see shows in the coming weeks. This is an incredibly healthy sign in terms of our music scene, which for my money, is stronger than it’s been in more than a decade.
On Sept. 10, you can catch the rather awesome post-rock duo El Ten Eleven in Nietzsche’s. On Sept. 13, the Tralf Music Hall welcomes Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth’s new band, the beautifully named Chelsea Light Moving. Fans of metal and stoner rock, rejoice – a double-bill featuring Clutch and the Sword will bring the lovely sludge to the Town Ballroom on Sept. 25.
Twin nights of moe. never hurt anyone, did they? Of course not. Buffalo’s reigning jam-band kings come home for shows Sept. 27 and 28 in the Town Ballroom.
Things don’t let up in October. Jam-band fans will have to make a tough choice on Oct. 10, as Dopapod plays the Waiting Room and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad brings the skank to the Tralf Music Hall. Perhaps the fastest rapper in history, the always mercurial Tech N9ne, brings his forward-looking hip-hop to the Town Ballroom on Oct. 19. Umphrey’s McGee performs its oft-imitated, never-duplicated prog/funk/jam hybrid to the same room on Oct. 26.
A dream come true for fans of alt-country and indie-rock arrives in the form of back-to-back nights at the Town Ballroom with the Drive-By Truckers on Nov. 2 and 3.
Fans of mainstream pop have plenty to look forward to as well. First Niagara Center has some biggies booked, among them affable crooner Michael Bublé on Sept. 24; singer Selena Gomez on Oct. 15; teen soap star-turned-rapper Drake on Oct. 16; and YouTube sensations Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, with guests Talib Kweli and Big K.R.I.T., on Nov. 9.
The bigger rooms have stacked their rosters rather enticingly, too. Kleinhans Music Hall offers the face-meltingly virtuosic Zappa Plays Zappa ensemble on Oct. 17. UB’s Center for the Arts continues to impress, packing in shows from the iconic jazzman Herbie Hancock on Oct. 9, a shred-tastic double bill with Joe Satriani and the Steve Morse Band on Oct. 1, and a bucket-list show for yours truly on Nov. 5, when Soundgarden vocalist/guitarist and the man with the coolest hair in the world, Chris Cornell, plays the Center for the Arts.
All of this and Pearl Jam, too! Yes, the most enduring band to have emerged from the Seattle grunge scene returns after a several-year absence to the First Niagara Center, with new album “Lightning Bolt” in tow, on Oct. 12.
If you love music and you live in Western New York, you’re going to have to make a real effort to find something to complain about.