The Garth Brooks weekend has arrived. Starting tonight, Brooks and his wife, Trisha Yearwood, will begin a mini-residency of seven shows over four days. It is his first official visit to Buffalo in 17 years, and in spite of the long layoff from the concert circuit, Brooks remains one of the most popular live performers of all time.
Based on the set-lists from Garth’s Detroit run, Brooks comes out first and then Trisha Yearwood performs a few songs in the middle of the set. Most shows feature around 28 songs from the couple, there are some parts of the set that are consistent, but Brooks does seem to be mixing up the encores.
Brooks is not the only country performer in the area this weekend. At Seneca Niagara on Saturday, Wynonna will be in town for a special acoustic performance. The country singer’s career started in 1983 when she performed along with her mother, Naomi Judd, in the country duo known as The Judds.
From 1983 until they split in 1991, The Judds racked up 14 number one singles, five Grammy nominations and nine Country Music Association Awards and were commercially the most successful duo in country music in the 1980s.
Wynonna dropped the Judd surname when she began her solo career. While she has not had the same level of commercial success she enjoyed during her tenure in The Judds, Wynonna has been recognized for her philanthropic efforts, and even had a short stint on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2013.
The show at Seneca Niagara’s Events Center is billed as a “special acoustic performance.” Tickets start at $25 and are available through Ticketmaster.
On Friday, the Seneca Niagara’s Bear’s Den will host an intimate performance with Rare Earth. The group is known for being one of the first successful all-white acts on the Motown record label. Their biggest hit, “I Just Want to Celebrate” has appeared in numerous television commercials and movies, most recently in an ad for Nicoderm and the movie “The Expendables 2.”
The current lineup features founding member Gil Bridges, who started with the group in 1960 under the moniker The Sunliners — they began using the name Rare Earth in 1968.
Tickets for the show start at $25 and are available through Ticketmaster.
Also, the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda will host ZOSO- The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience. On Friday, the group performs the first four Led Zeppelin albums, and the following night they finish the weekend with “Houses of the Holy,” “Physical Graffiti” and “Presence.”
Led Zeppelin has experienced a resurgence recently thanks to the repackaging of their original catalog into deluxe releases featuring outtakes and alternate recordings.
While I have never seen ZOSO live, their promotional video gives a good sense of what one can expect. The group not only sounds like Led Zep, they actually bear a strong resemblance to the band as they looked in the 1970’s.
The show is another installment of the Riviera Theatre’s “Tribute to the Aud” series, which presents tribute bands of groups that appeared at the Buffalo Aud.
Tickets for the shows start at $30. Call 692-2413 for ticket information or go to www.rivieratheatre.org.