Niagara Gazette

November 7, 2013

JENNINGS: This weekend's lineup is a laughing matter

By Thom Jennings
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — This weekend you will get a break from the local elections and have a few laughs with some major comedians, or take in some great music to forget about politics.

We’ll get started with Friday night in Buffalo at Shea’s, who will be hosting comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Of course, Seinfeld is the star of one of the most enduring sitcoms, aptly named “Seinfeld.” The show ran from 1989 to 1998, and the only factoid I can present that people probably don’t know is that a former co-worker of mine in my teaching days used the “Seinfeld” scripts to teach high school English.

Since the show ended, Jerry Seinfeld has made many guest appearances on other shows, including “Saturday Night Live” where in 2010 he appeared in the recurring “Really?” segment on “Weekend Update” with Seth Meyers.

Speaking of Seth Meyers, while Seinfeld is doing his act in Buffalo, Meyers will be at Seneca Niagara Casino headlining his show. Really? Yes it’s true, the future replacement for Jimmy Fallon, host of “Weekend Update” and head writer for “Saturday Night Live” is coming to town.

Seinfeld’s show is sold out and at press time Meyers was close to a sellout, tickets start at $46.50 and are available through Ticketmaster.

If you want some music, Styx will be starting what has become a mini annual residence at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ont. The three-night stand from the band that was the first rock group I saw perform live in 1979, starts tonight and runs through Saturday. The current lineup features James “J.Y” Young, Tommy Shaw, Lawrence Gowan, Ricky Philips, Todd Sucherman and Chuck Panozzo. I saw this lineup perform “The Grand Illusion” and “Pieces of Eight” and they are smoking!

After I saw them in 1979 I went out and bought all of their albums and plastered my wall with Styx posters. One of my prized possessions is an autographed copy of the “Pieces of Eight” songbook, signed by all of the members of the classic lineup, including the late John Panozzo, the twin brother of current bassist and founding member Chuck Panozzo.

Speaking of Chuck, his autobiography “The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and My Life With Styx,” is one of my favorite rock biographies. I had the honor of interviewing him shortly after the book came out and he is an amazing person.

Tickets for the shows start at $45 Canadian and are available through Ticketmaster. If I had the money I would be there three nights in a row! I will be there opening night.

On Sunday and Monday, Bette Midler will be at Fallsview for an intimate interview about her career. I can only imagine how incredible that will be considering the legendary career she has had. Those tickets start at $90 Canadian.

Back to Friday, at First Niagara Center where Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will be performing. The duo is best known for the massive hit “Thrift Shop.” I am not a huge fan of hip-hop, but Macklemore is quite a success story and he does a lot of things right. Tickets for the show are all reasonable and run from $32.50 to $45 and available through

On Sunday, the Tralf will be hosting a special blues show with Golden State Lonestar Revue featuring Mark Hummel, Little Charlie Baty and Anson Funderburgh along with Joe Beard a guest of Steve Grills and the Roadmasters. The show is billed as “ A Concert to Honor American Veterans.” Tickets are $23 in advance $26 day of show and free to Veterans. Call The Tralf at 852-2860 for details on how to get your tickets.

Looking ahead to Tuesday, the woman known to my family as “cousin Sinead” (my grandmother was an O’Connor) will be coming to the Riviera Theatre. I emailed, I called, and I emailed again for an interview with the iconic singer Sinead O’Connor, but was unable to secure an interview (or even a response or return call!) Tickets to see the Grammy Award winning possible cousin of Thom Jennings start at $41.50 and are available at

Finally, our show on a tank of gas is the Dixie Chicks in Hamilton, Ont., on Saturday. The 13-time Grammy Award winning multi-platinum selling trio will be at Copps Coliseum and tickets start at $52 Canadian and available through Ticketmaster. It’s great to see them back together.

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