Tough Picks this week


Call the boss, take some time off work, you won’t want to limit yourself to one or two shows this week. Let’s see what’s coming:

Tuesday: Artpark - Derek Trucks/Susan Tedeschi, Matt Schofield
Wednesday: Gateway Harbor - The Soul Barons, The Diva Show
Wednesday: Artpark - Matthew Good, Rob Falgiano Band
Thursday: Lafayette Square - Umphree's McGee, Tea Leaf Green
Friday: Buffalo Harbor - Crowded House, Lawerence Arabia
Friday: Lockport Canal Concert - Three Dog Night,  Leroy Townes,
            Rob Falgiano
Saturday: Buffalo Harbor - Eileen Ivers, Cherish The Ladies
Saturday: Hard Rock NF - BPO Plays Pink Floyd, Scott Celani
Saturday: Artpark - Great Big Sea (mainstage)

Several of these events have changed since first announced, 
possibly due to touring schedule conflicts. This is as up-to-date as 
I can find out.

Let’s look at this weeks shows…

If you are into the blues, Tuesday at Artpark will be your can’t-miss event. Matt Schofield is the perfect opener for the Derek Trucks/Susan Tedeschi show. All are full-fledged blues stars in their own right. Trucks and Tedeschi have finally teamed up as an act (they are married) after several seasons of playing together with their own bands. No strangers to the WNY scene, having played here many times, they are still an act to see.

Artpark on Wednesday has Matthew Good & His Band. I’m told not to confuse that with the Matthew Good Band. Okay, I’m confused. He’s solo, playing with a new band, or something like that. More exciting to me is the opener, my friend and long-time Buffalo musician Rob Falgiano. Go to see him play.

In Tonawanda, you can see local acts the Soul Barons and The Diva Show play for free at the Tonawanda stage of the Gateway Harbor series. Now this is entertainment. Neither band is anything but a cover group, but they make no apologies for it and do it with style. If you like Rock and Roll and RNB with a lot of coreography and costumes, The Diva Show is for you. Last weeks Canal Concert opener Amanda Nagurney is an alumna of this ensemble. The Barons are an award-winning local group of musicians that cover a wide range of musical styles.

At the Square this week is a great duo of acts. Umphrey’s McGee and Tea Leaf Green. Both bands are Bonnaroo Festival favorites and previous TATS and Buffalo Harbor performers. Their Jam music will have the vibes flowing this Thursday for sure and the tapers will be out in force…

On Friday, Buffalo Place has Crowded House at the “Rocks the Harbor” venue. Not a free event, it’s nonetheless cheap if you want to see the Austrialian band and their opener Lawrence Arabia

The Lockport Canal Concerts continue with Three Dog Night. You all know what to expect there. These guys were at the top of their game when I was in High School. I’m not sure how much of the original band is still there, or if it matters, it’s another “Oldies Tour” act that the canal concerts seem to think we want. Maybe “we” do. As long as it sells beer.

The openers, Leroy Townes and Rob Falgiano (see Wednesday above) are more to my interests. Featured at WBFO’s “Live in Allen Hall” show and at the Sportsmen’s Tavern, Townes is well-known to the local music scene for his country-rock sound. If you didn’t hear Rob Falgiano at Artpark, you get a second chance this week.

If you like Irish music, as I do, Saturday has a lot to offer. Buffalo Place brings fiddle superstar Eileen Ivers to the Harbor concert series with Cherish The Ladies as an opener. I’ve seen both these groups multiple times and they will blow you away with their Celtic-influenced, yet totally modern styles.

Cherish The Ladies is a six-member Celtic super-group of a band that features traditional instruments with tight harmonies. You can’t hear them without getting chills.

Eivers and her band Immigrant Soul blends high-powered, energetic fiddle playing with word-influenced music. Her choice of a wide array of musical influences soft-plays the celtic side of it until her powerful fiddle playing sneaks up on you and grabs you. Not a free concert, either, but cheap to see two great groups that will have you dancing along.

If that’s not enough Celtic music for you, Artpark has Great Big Sea on their Mainstage. GBS is a legend of celtic-rock music from Newfoundland. They’ve played Buffalo before, both the “Rocks the Harbor” and Thursday at the Square venues and have a Huge ™ following locally. You might have trouble getting tickets at this late date. I just mention it to show the competition the other shows have for attention.

The Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls continues to add to the local free concerts this Saturday by bringing the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to play the music of Pink Floyd. An interesting idea that’s a bit different from the usual fare. Opening is local Scott Celani, an many-talented muscian who, I’m sure will warm up the stage for the BPO competently.

And my pick:

Limiting my choices to free shows only, the clear winner is Tuesday’s Artpark show with the Derek Trucks/Susan Tedeschi and Matt Schofield. This will be an awesome blues show.

Close second, based mostly on the openers is the Friday Canal Concert show of Three Dog Night/Leroy Townes/Rob Falgiano. Come early see the openers and feel free to leave early and pop a Three Dog Night CD into your player, if the crowd gets too much. You’ll hear the same thing.

Celtic lovers won’t go wrong with the Eileen Ivers/CTL show, although technically not a free show, it’s outdoors and cheap enough. The diehard Celtic fans will probably want to be at the GBS show, so the show at the Harbor might be lightly attended.

That’s my picks fo this week. Several of you have commented that you enjoy my opinions of the weekly offerings. Thanks for that and feel free to recommend these reviews to others. I’ll continue writing them through the summer concert season. They’re only my opinion, so if you disagree, please feel free to go see any show you enjoy. Any of them are better than sitting home and watching TV and supporting local music, especially the local opening acts is very important. Be sure to support the venues as well, by buying food or refreshments there. Do your part!

Posted in Free Concerts, Music, Picks, Rants, Raves, WNY

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