Niagara Gazette

August 8, 2013

JENNINGS: Local concerts come with a little edge this week

By Thom Jennings
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — It’s a great weekend for hard rock and metal fans with bands like Gwar, Hinder, Alice in Chains, Buckcherry, Janes Addiction and Halestorm all coming to town over the next few days. There is also a reality television show champion, famous comedian and a country music superstar in the area if you don’t feel like grabbing the foam ear plugs.

Tonight there are plenty of options starting with Buffalo’s Thursday at Canalside free show featuring Halestorm and Highly Suspect. Halestorm “hails” from Red Lion Pennsylvania and is fronted by siblings Arejay and Lizzy Hale. They released their first album in 2009 and in just a few short years they have amassed a sizeable following and have already won a Grammy for their song “Love Bites (So Do I).”

Also tonight, country fans can catch Sawyer Brown at the Erie County Fair in Hamburg. It’s one of the fair’s better free shows, the other one is on Saturday when Three Dog Night will be performing a free show there. Three Dog Night features Buffalo native Cory Wells, who the last time I interviewed him he still lived in the Buffalo area for part of the year.

The Town Ballroom will be hosting Gwar tonight. The band’s stage shows are legendary and highly theatrical, and always controversial. Just to give you a sense of what Gwar is all about, consider the album title “Scumdogs of the Universe and This Toilet Earth.” Tickets are $21 in advance and $24 day of show and available at

Country Music Hall of Famer and former Pure Prairie League member Vince Gill is at the Fallsview Casino tonight. Gill has sold over 20 million albums and has been nominated for 40 Grammy Awards (he won 20). He is married to Christian singer Amy Grant. Tickets start at $35 and are available through Ticketmaster.

Friday night in Lockport, Country singer and “Dancing With the Stars” champ Kellie Pickler will be headlining a free show in Lockport. I interviewed Kellie last week and told her that I had seen her live three times and was impressed with her stage presence. I’m not sure if she was impressed by my interviewing skills, but it will surely be a great show.

On Saturday, comedian Tracy Morgan comes to the Seneca Niagara Casino. Morgan is a former "Saturday Night Live" cast member and appeared in the popular television show “30 Rock.” The casino’s showroom is a great place to see comedians, it has great sound and a nice high stage. Tickets for the show start at $25 and are available through Ticketmaster.

On Sunday at Darien Lake, the annual Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival makes its annual pilgrimage to the area. This year’s headliners include Alice in Chains, Janes Addiction and Coheed and Cambria. There were $12 lawn seats when I checked Live Nation this week, and that included fees!

On Monday night, Buckcherry is coming to Braun’s Concert Cove in Akron. The band played a free show in North Tonawanda last year and played at The Rapids Theatre in January, a show that I attended. I love these guys live, they have a ton of energy and Josh Todd is one of rock music’s great front men. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show through

On Tuesday, if you aren’t going to see Lynyrd Skynyrd, you can see the man that inspired some of Taylor Swift’s best breakup songs, John Mayer at Darien Lake. My son tells me Mayer is an incredible live performer, and I do love his music but I still never quite got over his stupid comments in Playboy a few years back. I’m busy at Artpark that night anyway but of you want to see Mayer tickets range from $55 to $75.

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