Niagara Gazette

April 24, 2014

JENNINGS: Lou Gramm teaming up with BPO for show

By Thom Jennings ngedit@niagara-gazette.com
Night & Day

Night & Day — We are just days away from Artpark announcing the rest of their summer lineup, but in the meantime organizers of the three-day Latitude 43 Music Festival rolled out their lineup for their music festival at Artpark. Latitude 43 runs from June 13-15, and each day is themed, the 13th features blues artists, the 14th rock and the 15th country.

As for the lineup, there is a stellar mix of regional and national talent including Kelley Hunt, Maria Aurigema, Strictly Hip, The Machine, Lyndsey Highlander and Eric Paslay. The price is ridiculously cheap, $15 for an advance weekend pass, $7 for a single day advance ticket. They have VIP boxes and front of stage tickets as well.

Check out L34musicfest.com for more details and ticket information.

The icing on the cake is that the event raises money for the Variety Kids Telethon, a 78-year-old charity that benefits sick, handicapped and underprivileged children in Western New York. In short, great price, great music and a great cause. (I am also happy The Machine will grace the Artpark stage again this summer!)

As for this weekend, on Friday Lou Gramm, the voice of Foreigner’s greatest hits, will be performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Gramm is a Rochester native, and Rochester Music Hall of Fame inductee. Gramm and Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame last year.

If you have not been to a BPO show and are a fan of Foreigner you will undoubtedly have a great time. There have been a number of rock and pop singers that have done orchestra shows in the past few years, and they are always unique and wonderful special performances.

Tickets for the show at Kleinhans Music Hall start at $42 and are available at BPO.org or by calling (716) 885-5000

Over at the Fallsview Casino on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, they will be hosting Sugar Ray for a two-night stand beginning Friday. The band is fronted by Mark McGrath, who has appeared on a number of television shows including “Extra” and “The Celebrity Apprentice.” The band is also featured prominently in the Robin Williams and Billy Crystal movie “Father’s Day.”

Sugar Ray’s bestselling album is “14:59” which achieved triple platinum sales status. Released in 1999, the title was inspired by a critic writing the band off as a one-hit wonder shortly after “Fly” became a hit. And that they were getting their “fifteen minutes of fame.” The album contained Sugar Ray’s most recognizable hits including “Every Morning” and “Someday.”

Tickets for Sugar Ray start at $30 Canadian and are available through Ticketmaster.

One more on Friday for you, Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee and the voice of some of Blue Rodeo’s biggest hits including “Til I Am Myself Again,” Jim Cuddy will be at the Bear’s Den for an up close and personal performance.

Tickets start at $30 and are available through Ticketmaster.

Finally, our show on a tank of gas, on Friday at Toby Keith’s Bar and Grill in Syracuse, they will be hosting Frankie Ballard, best known for the current country hit “Helluva Life.” I had the honor of interviewing Frankie last year when he was in town opening up for Rodney Atkins and he is a great guy and extremely talented. The gas may be expensive but the show is only $5, and I think Ballard will be a country mega-star within the next few years.

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