Niagara Gazette

June 27, 2013

JENNINGS: It's a big weekend as Wallflowers, Counting Crows, Jackie Evancho, Jackson Browne among acts in town.

By Thom Jennings
Night & Day

Night & Day — The last weekend in June is upon us and there are some amazing music options including a reality TV show finalist, an alternative rock band from the ‘90s, a stellar double bill, and a legendary singer-songwriter from the 1970s.

Of all the weekend nights, Friday is the busiest and features a solid double bill with Counting Crows and The Wallflowers in Buffalo at the Outer Harbor. It’s almost hard to fathom these two acts not headlining on their own, but as concerts get more competitive, packages like this are springing up all over the place.

The Wallflowers feature lead vocalist Jakob Dylan, son of Bob Dylan. The band’s breakout album “Bringing Down the Horse” came out in 1996 and featured the hits “6th Avenue Heartache,” (which featured Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz on background vocals) “Three Marlenas” and “One Headlight.”

Since “Bringing Down the Horse,” The Wallflowers have released four studio albums, the last one being “Glad All Over” which was released in October.

The Counting Crows hit it big with their debut album, “August and Everything After,” you can read more about the band in my exclusive interview with lead singer Adam Duritz.

Another performer I had the opportunity to interview last week is also coming to town, “America’s Got Talent” runner-up Jackie Evancho will be at Artpark Friday night.

Over in Lockport, the Labatt Canal Concert Series gets under way with a headlining performance from Puddle of Mudd. The band’s 2001 major label debut, “Come Clean” sold over five million units on the strength of singles like “Blurry” and “She Hates Me.” The group played to a large crowd in Lockport a couple of years ago and put on a great show.

Another artist of note at the Lockport show is one of the openers, a 21-year-old female guitarist named Malia. I saw her open up for Steve Vai last year and she is the real deal. You will have to get there early to catch her set.

If you are willing to take a trip to Rochester on Friday there is an amazing show that is part of the Xerox International Jazz Festival. Imagine Peter Frampton, Robert Cray and former Eagle Don Felder all onstage together. That’s what you will get. You can show up early and catch some great artists performing free shows or get some great food. The organizers have been kind enough to provide me media credentials every year and the event gets bigger and better every year.

Finally, on Saturday at the Seneca Niagara Casino’s Ballroom, Jackson Browne will be in town for a rare performance in Western New York. Browne’s list of hits is endless and includes “The Pretender,” “Running on Empty” and “Doctor My Eyes.”

Browne is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and is well known for organizing protests against Nuclear power plants in the 1970’s, including the famous “No Nukes” concert.

Of course, he sings “Somebody’s Baby,” one of my all-time favorite songs from one of my favorite movies, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

I’m sure Mr. Hand would agree with me.

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