Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

April 18, 2013

JENNINGS: Local concert scene is starting to heat up

Night & Day — The summer concert season is almost upon us; Artpark’s first concert of the season featuring the Avett Brothers is on May 24, a little more than a month away. Inside tickets sold out a long time ago, but lawn seats for the event are still available.

Two shows at the Buffalo Outer Harbor have been announced, the Tragically Hip with special guests Grace Potter and the Nocturnals on July 19, and Flogging Molly with Lowest of the Low on August 2. At this point in her career, I cannot figure out why Grace Potter is opening up for anyone.

Over the next couple of weeks, the major concert series should be officially releasing their lineups, and we should be hearing about Seneca Niagara Casino’s Summer Rush season soon.

There are websites that try to leak official lineups in advance, but a lot can happen in the world of music, so until the contracts are signed and the shows are official, I won’t try and speculate too much who will be coming to the area.

If you are willing to travel to Rochester for free music shows, the Lilac Festival (which runs from May 10 through 19) features Eddie Money, the English Beat, Marshall Tucker Band, The Smithereens and Rusted Root.

In the meantime, two classic rock bands visit the region this weekend, Ambrosia and Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes both appear at Seneca Niagara’s intimate venue, The Bear’s Den this weekend.

Ambrosia gets the weekend started with a Friday evening performance. The band still features three of their four founding members, guitarist/vocalist Joe Puerta, drummer Burleigh Drummond, and keyboardist Christopher North. The lineup is rounded out with guitarist Doug Jackson and guitarist Rick Cowling.

The band had a relatively short shelf life; they recorded five studio albums from 1975-1982 and during the same period they had five Top 40 singles, including “How Much I Feel” and “Biggest Part of Me,” both of which cracked the Top 10. During the era, they toured with the Doobie Brothers and Fleetwood Mac, and garnered three Grammy Nominations.

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