Niagara Gazette

July 3, 2014

JENNINGS: Celebrate the sounds of America this holiday

By Thom Jennings
Night & Day

Night & Day — The United States will be celebrating its birthday this weekend and there are some great American music acts in the region over the next few days, including John Mellencamp, Hank Williams Jr. and Lady Gaga.

We will start at the Seneca Niagara Casino where they will be hosting John Mellencamp tonight. The 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee originally recorded under the moniker John Cougar, and scored hits like “Hurts So Good” and “Jack and Diane” in the early days of MTV.

Mellencamp is also one of the founding members of Farm Aid. He has also starred in a few movies including “After Image” released in 2001, a movie that was filmed in Rochester.

Tickets for the show start at $95 and are available through Ticketmaster.

Down in nearby Varysburg, they will be hosting the 21st Jam in the Valley, a three-day country music festival that runs today through Saturday this year. As has been the case for many years, the lineup features an impressive list of artists, this year’s headliners include Dustin Lynch, Hank Williams Jr. and Brantley Gilbert.

Ticket information can be found at

There is another festival in the area on Friday and Saturday over in Franklinville. The Camp Easy Wind Music and Arts Festival features some iconic artists including the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Little Feat’s Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett and Max Creek.

The New Riders of the Purple Sage are perhaps best known musically for the song “Panama Red,” but their greatest claim to fame is the close association with members of another famous band, The Grateful Dead.

Festival passes start at $55 for a single day pass. Ticket information can be found at

On Monday over at Artpark they will be hosting the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra. Miller died in a plane crash in 1944, but his band continues to carry his name and musical tradition. In the 1940s, big bands dominated the live music scene, and few were bigger than Miller’s, whose hits included “In the Mood” “Moonlight Serenade” and “Tuxedo Junction.”

Tickets for the show start at just $25. Check out for ticket info.

Also on Monday at First Niagara Center, they will be hosting Lady Gaga, one of two major shows in the same week, Justin Timberlake will be there on Wednesday. Love her or hate her, there is no denying she is an incredible entertainer and the show should be a spectacle.

Tickets for Lady Gaga start at $35 and are available through Tickets for Justin Timberlake’s Wednesday show start at $47.50 and are also available through Timberlake’s show was originally scheduled for Feb. 22.

Finally, on Wednesday over at Artpark, they will be hosting the return of Sublime with Rome. The band played Artpark July 10, 2012, and it was a memorable evening. That show was sold out, and this one is as well.

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