Niagara Gazette

September 19, 2013

Gypsy Kings highlight local concert scene

By Thom Jennings
Night & Day

Night & Day — It’s getting colder outside and this weekend while I will be running my first marathon in Rochester, you can stay warm with either some comedy, flamenco music or check out a local band that was recommended to me this weekend.

We will start with the Seneca Niagara Casino on Friday, who will be hosting The Gipsy Kings, formerly known as Los Reyes. The band has an interesting history to say the least, they hail from France, they are related to an ethnic group known as “gitanos,” Spanish Roman people who fled Spain in the 1930’s during the Spanish Civil War.

One description I read of their music coined it as “Spanish flamenco and Romani rhapsody meet salsa funk”. Basically speaking, the band has a heavy flamenco influence that is combined with pop sensibility.

One of their more popular numbers is a flamenco version of The Eagles classic, “Hotel California.” It can be heard in “The Big Lebowski,” and HBO’s “Entourage.” A Spanish version of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” in “Toy Story 3.”

They have released 13 studio albums and one live album.

The show starts at 8 p.m. in the Seneca Niagara Events Center. Tickets start at $40 and are available via Ticketmaster and at the Seneca Niagara Casino box office.

Margaret Cho will be at Helium Comedy Club in Buffalo on Friday and Saturday for four shows.

Cho is currently featured in the Lifetime series “Drop Dead Diva,” and she is an accomplished actress, musician, activist and author. While her career has been diverse, I love her comedy. It’s cutting and relevant. Like all the great comedians, she has an imitable, self-deprecating style.

Tickets for her show are available at the Helium Comedy Club website and start at $27.

Since there aren’t a ton of national acts coming to the area I am going to recommend a couple of local cover bands you may want to check out this weekend. While some people may write off bands that perform covers, it really takes a great band to build up a following playing covers.

The first band I will recommend is UltraViolet, who will be at Lock 34 in Lockport on Friday and Dwyer’s Irish Pub in North Tonawanda on Saturday.

Before I talk up the band, I want to talk about the bars. I spent almost every Friday this summer at Lock 34 eating a fish sandwich before the Lockport canal concerts. I love the staff and the bar, and I have seen UltraViolet there twice and had a great time.

As for Dwyer’s, it’s one of my favorite stops in North Tonawanda when I am in town for a show. It’s a cool atmosphere and they have a nice staff and great food.

UltraViolet is a hard working band and they really know how to get a crowd going. I spent many years working in bars that hosted cover bands and they rank right up there with the best of them.

The other local cover band that was recommended to me was The Teasers, who will be at Scruples Bar in Newfane on Saturday. I’ll be honest, I have never seen them perform nor do I know the bar, but over the weekend more than a few people told me they are a band I should check out. I’ll wait for a weekend I am not running a marathon.

Finally, for our show on a tank of gas, you can drive to Ithaca on Saturday and check out Laurie Anderson at The State Theatre. Anderson is a world renowned electronic music pioneer and the wife of musician Lou Reed.




Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.