Welcome to the music scene in Buffalo, NY, where live music thrives in every corner of the city. If you’re a music enthusiast looking for some upbeat entertainment, then you’re in for a treat. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of live music Buffalo NY, with a focus on some of the top hotspots, events, and performances that have rocked the city.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of the Buffalo music scene, gained valuable insights into the best venues, and discovered some new artists that you’ll fall in love with. Whether you’re a jazz lover, rock aficionado, or prefer something more traditional, we have got you covered.
Our team has spent countless hours researching and attending live music events across Buffalo NY to curate this guide. We’re confident that you’ll come out of this article with a newfound appreciation for Buffalo’s music scene, and perhaps, a new band or artist to follow on social media.
The History of Live Music in Buffalo NY
Buffalo, New York, is known for its rich musical history and its contributions to the American music scene. From jazz to rock and roll to punk, Buffalo has been a hub for live music for over a century. In this article, we’ll delve into the history of live music in Buffalo NY and explore the key moments and personalities that have shaped the city’s music scene.
The Early Days: 1900-1930
The live music scene in Buffalo first took shape in the early 1900s when ragtime and jazz music were gaining popularity. Arguably, the most famous venue of this era was The Colored Musicians Club, which opened its doors in 1917. The club was a gathering place for African American musicians and jazz enthusiasts and served as a launching pad for many legendary jazz musicians.
During the 1920s and 1930s, Buffalo was a regular stop on the touring circuit for many big band and jazz acts. The Hippodrome, located on Jefferson Avenue, was a particularly popular venue for these acts.
- The Colored Musicians Club was an important venue for African American musicians and jazz enthusiasts in the early 20th century.
- The Hippodrome was a popular venue in Buffalo for touring big band and jazz acts during the 1920s and 1930s.
The Rock and Roll Era: 1950-1970
The 1950s marked the rise of rock and roll, and Buffalo was no exception to the trend. Many local bands formed during this time, including The Twilights and The Invictas, who gained popularity across Western New York.
In the 1960s, Buffalo became a major stop on the touring circuit for national rock acts. The Memorial Auditorium, which opened in 1940, served as the city’s main venue for rock concerts during this era. Iconic acts like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin all played at the “Aud.”
Eventually, more venues opened up around the city, offering a diverse range of music to Buffalo residents. Club 747, located near the Buffalo airport, became a popular spot for soul and funk acts, while McVan’s on Main Street was known for hosting a variety of acts from blues to country.
- The 1950s saw many local bands form in Buffalo, including The Twilights and The Invictas.
- The Memorial Auditorium served as Buffalo’s main rock concert venue in the 1960s and hosted iconic acts like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin.
- Other notable venues during this era include Club 747 and McVan’s.
The Punk Scene: 1970-1990
In the 1970s, a new wave of music began to gain popularity in Buffalo: punk. Local bands like The Jumpers and The Pathogens formed during this time and became fixtures in the city’s growing punk scene.
One of the most important venues for punk music in Buffalo was The Continental, which opened in 1983. The venue’s stage hosted numerous punk acts, both local and national, including The Ramones, Sonic Youth, and Black Flag.
Other key venues during this era include Nietzsche’s on Allen Street, which became a hotspot for alternative and indie music, and Mohawk Place on Main Street, which hosted punk, rock, and indie acts for over two decades.
- The 1970s saw the rise of punk music in Buffalo, with local bands like The Jumpers and The Pathogens forming during this time.
- The Continental was a key venue for punk music in Buffalo, hosting numerous acts including The Ramones, Sonic Youth, and Black Flag.
- Other important venues during this era include Nietzsche’s and Mohawk Place.
The Modern Era: 2000-Present
The live music scene in Buffalo has continued to evolve and grow into the 21st century. New venues, like Town Ballroom on Main Street and Babeville on Delaware Avenue, have opened up and become staples of the music scene.
Additionally, the city has also seen the rise of many local acts in genres like indie rock and hip hop. Bands like Aqueous and The Tins have gained popularity across Western New York and beyond, while rappers like Benny the Butcher and Westside Gunn have put Buffalo’s hip hop scene on the map.
- New venues like Town Ballroom and Babeville have become staples of the live music scene in Buffalo in the 21st century.
- Local acts like Aqueous, The Tins, and Benny the Butcher have gained popularity across Western New York and beyond.
|The live music scene in Buffalo has a rich and diverse history that spans over a century.||The city has been a hub for numerous genres of music, from jazz to rock and roll to punk.||Like many cities, Buffalo’s live music scene has been impacted by economic and social changes over the decades.||Compared to other cities of its size, Buffalo’s live music scene has remained strong and vibrant throughout the years.|
In conclusion, the history of live music in Buffalo NY is a testament to the city’s vibrant and diverse cultural scene. From jazz to rock to punk to hip hop, Buffalo has a rich history of musical innovation and creativity. As the city continues to grow and evolve, we can be sure that its live music scene will remain a cherished part of its cultural fabric.
Best Live Music Venues in Buffalo NY
Buffalo, NY is known for its rich culture, diverse population, and musical scene. It is a city that features a variety of live music venues that cater to different genres, from rock to jazz to classical music. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, Buffalo’s live music venues offer something for everyone. Here are the top live music venues in Buffalo.
The Town Ballroom
The Town Ballroom is one of the most popular live music venues in Buffalo. Located in the heart of downtown, this venue has been hosting local and international acts for years. With its state-of-the-art sound system and lighting effects, the Town Ballroom is a great place to watch a live performance. Some interesting facts about the Town Ballroom include:
- The venue has a capacity of 1,000 people, making it one of the largest venues in Buffalo.
- It was originally built in 1940 as a Polish social club.
- The Town Ballroom has hosted many popular acts, including The Killers, The Black Keys, and Lady Gaga.
If you’re planning to visit the Town Ballroom, make sure to check their schedule as they have a variety of events from concerts to dance parties.
Babeville is a unique live music venue located in a converted 19th-century church. The venue was founded by musician Ani DiFranco, who wanted to create a space for artists to perform in Buffalo. With its high ceilings, stained glass windows, and intimate feel, Babeville is a great place to enjoy a live performance. Here are some interesting facts about Babeville:
- The venue has a capacity of 1,200 people and hosts a variety of events, including concerts, comedy shows, and theater productions.
- It has multiple performance spaces, including an intimate 150-seat theater, a large performance hall, and a lounge.
- Babeville has hosted a variety of well-known artists, including Patti Smith, Bruce Cockburn, and Judy Collins.
If you’re a fan of indie, folk, or alternative music, Babeville is the perfect place to catch your favorite artists.
The Tralf Music Hall
The Tralf Music Hall is a historic live music venue located in downtown Buffalo. Established in 1971, this venue has a rich history of hosting local and international acts. The Tralf is known for its intimate atmosphere and stellar acoustics, making it a favorite among both artists and fans. Here are some interesting facts about the Tralf Music Hall:
- The venue has a capacity of 625 people and features a balcony and dance floor for fans to enjoy.
- The Tralf has hosted a variety of well-known artists, including Dave Brubeck, Joe Jackson, and the Goo Goo Dolls.
- It has been voted “Best Live Music Venue” by local publications multiple times.
If you’re looking for a more intimate experience with your favorite artists, the Tralf Music Hall is the perfect venue to visit.
To better understand the differences between the three live music venues, check out this table:
|Town Ballroom||1,000 people||Lively and energetic||State-of-the-art sound system|
|Babeville||1,200 people||Intimate and unique||Excellent acoustics|
|Tralf Music Hall||625 people||Intimate and cozy||Excellent acoustics|
No matter what type of live music you’re into, there’s a venue in Buffalo that’s perfect for you. From the lively atmosphere of the Town Ballroom to the intimate and unique experience of Babeville and the excellent acoustics of the Tralf Music Hall, you’re sure to find a venue that meets your needs. So why not check out some live music in Buffalo today?
Getting there: Transportation Options to Live Music Venues in Buffalo NY
Buffalo NY is home to many live music venues scattered around the city. From the historic Tralf Music Hall to sports stadiums like KeyBank Center and New Era Field. When it comes to attending live music shows in Buffalo NY, transportation is key. Here are some tips for getting to live music venues in Buffalo NY:
1. Public Transportation
Buffalo NY offers various modes of public transportation that can help attendees of live music events get to the venue in a timely and safe manner. Here are some options:
- Metro Rail: The rail runs underground on Main Street in Downtown Buffalo and above-ground in University Heights, and is an affordable option for those not looking to drive.
- Bus: Buffalo NY has a well-structured public bus system that offers routes to and from many live music venues.
- UBER/LYFT: ride sharing services offer a convenient and safe option for those who might want to avoid driving or public transit.
2. Driving and Parking
For those looking to drive to live music venues in Buffalo NY, there are plenty of parking options available. While they might require a fee, it’s important to know you can park securely and arrive on time. Here are some parking options:
|On-street parking||Free after 5 PM and on weekends.||Competitive to get a spot, limited to 2 hours.|
|Parking Lots||Secure and affordable.||Farther from venues, could require walking or shuttle rides.|
|Parking Ramps||Covered and convenient.||Can be expensive and competitive to find space.|
3. Biking and Walking
Buffalo NY is a bike-friendly city with miles of bike lanes and trails throughout. It also has sidewalks that are well-lit and safe for walkers. When the weather is nice, and the distance is short, walking and biking are great options for attending live music shows. Here are some pros and cons of biking and walking to live music events:
- Good exercise
- Absorb the city as you move through it
- Not easy to bike in the winter
- Requires a bike, helmet, and experience riding in traffic
- Parking will require finding a nearby bike rack or leaving your bike on the street
- Good exercise
- Avoid traffic and parking issues
- Can take longer
- Not ideal during winter months
- Safety concerns, particularly after dark
In conclusion, when it comes to attending live music shows in Buffalo NY, transportation is key. By planning ahead and considering the options available, attendees can arrive at the show on time and have a great time. Whether you choose to take public transportation, drive, bike, or walk, there are pros and cons to each option that must be weighed before making a decision.
Top Local Bands in Buffalo NY
Buffalo, New York, is known for its live music scene, with venues spread throughout the city offering a diverse range of musical styles. The city’s proximity to Canada also makes it a popular destination for touring bands from both the United States and Canada. Here is a list of the top local bands in Buffalo NY.
1. The Strictly Hip
The Strictly Hip is a tribute band that exclusively plays the music of The Tragically Hip, a Canadian band that was popular during the 90s. The band, which formed in 1997, has performed over 1,000 shows since then and is considered by many to be the best Tragically Hip tribute band around.
- The band has performed at festivals all over the world, including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival.
- They have also played with members of The Tragically Hip, including the late Gord Downie.
- Their shows are known for being faithful recreations of The Tragically Hip’s live performances.
|Ability to recreate the live performances of The Tragically Hip||May appeal only to fans of The Tragically Hip|
|High-energy shows that are great for dancing||Not as diverse in their musical style|
Gravy is a funk and soul band that has been playing in Buffalo for over 20 years. Their high-energy shows feature a mix of original music and covers, and are perfect for dancing.
- The band has released four studio albums and has been featured on various compilations.
- They have opened for acts such as George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic and Tower of Power.
- Their shows often include a horn section and backup vocalists.
|High-energy shows that are great for dancing||May not appeal to fans of other musical genres|
|Experienced musicians who have been playing together for over 20 years||Focus primarily on funk and soul music|
Aqueous is a four-piece rock band that has been making waves in the Buffalo music scene in recent years. Their music is a blend of rock, funk, and jam music, and their shows often feature extended improvisational sections.
- The band has released several studio albums and live recordings.
- They have performed at major music festivals including Summer Camp and The Peach Music Festival.
- Their live shows are known for being unpredictable and full of surprises.
|Unique blend of musical styles that keeps shows interesting||May not appeal to fans of traditional rock music|
|Highly skilled musicians who are known for their improvisational abilities||Can sometimes be unpredictable, which may not appeal to all fans|
4. Sonny Baker Band
The Sonny Baker Band is a blues and rock band that has been performing in Buffalo since the mid-2000s. Led by Sonny Baker, a talented guitarist and vocalist, the band’s music draws influences from classic rock, blues, and country.
- The band has released several studio albums and has been featured on various compilations.
- They have opened for acts such as Buddy Guy and Robert Randolph and the Family Band.
- They have a dedicated local following and are known for their high-energy shows.
The Sonny Baker Band is a talented group of musicians with a wide range of influences, making their shows appealing to fans of multiple genres. They are dedicated to classic blues and rock music, and their raw energy and talent are unmatched in the area. Here are some pros of the band:
- Led by a talented guitarist and vocalist in Sonny Baker
- Wide range of influences, making their shows appealing to fans of multiple genres
- High-energy shows that are perfect for dancing
- Strong local following in Buffalo and the surrounding area
While the Sonny Baker Band has a lot of pros, there are also some cons to consider. Some people might not enjoy their style of music, and their shows can sometimes be a bit rough around the edges. Here are some cons of the band:
- Their music may not appeal to fans of genres outside of blues and rock
- Some people might find their shows to be too raw or unpolished
- The band isn’t as well-known outside of Buffalo, which limits their opportunities for touring and exposure
|Wide range of influences, making their shows appealing to fans of multiple genres||Some people might not enjoy their style of music|
|High-energy shows that are perfect for dancing||Some people might find their shows to be too raw or unpolished|
|Strong local following in Buffalo and the surrounding area||The band isn’t as well-known outside of Buffalo, which limits their opportunities for touring and exposure|
Buffalo’s live music scene is thriving, thanks to the talented musicians who call the city home. From blues to funk to rock, there is something for everyone in Buffalo’s music scene. The Strictly Hip, Gravy, Aqueous, and the Sonny Baker Band are just a few of the talented bands that call Buffalo home, and who are sure to provide a great night out for any music lover.
Where to Find Free Live Music in Buffalo NY
Buffalo is a city that celebrates live music, and the best part is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy great performances. In this article, we have curated the best places to find free live music in Buffalo NY. From street performers to outdoor concerts, we have got you covered.
1. Elmwood Village
Elmwood Village is a neighborhood in Buffalo that is known for its trendy shops, cafes, and restaurants. But it’s also a hub for live music, especially during the summer. Here, you’ll find outdoor concerts, pop-up performances, and street performers. Some of the popular spots where you can catch live music include:
– Bidwell Farmers Market: This market takes place every Saturday during the summer and features local musicians.
– Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts: This festival takes place in August and brings together artists and musicians from around the region.
– Pano’s Restaurant: This restaurant hosts live music every Saturday night, from jazz to blues to rock.
Interesting Fact: The Elmwood Village Association has been actively promoting live music in the neighborhood since 1994 through their annual Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts.
Canalside is a popular waterfront destination in Buffalo that offers free concerts and events during the summer. From reggae to rock to country, you’ll find a variety of music genres at Canalside. Some of the events worth checking out include:
– Thursday and Saturday Concerts: These weekly concerts feature local and national musicians and are free of charge.
– Canalside Live: This is a ticketed concert series that features popular musicians from different genres.
Table: Pros and Cons of Canalside live concerts
| Pros | Cons |
| A variety of popular musicians and genres | Ticketed events and limited seating |
| High-quality sound and production | Crowded and noisy environment |
| Great atmosphere and views of the waterfront | Long lines for food and drinks |
Interesting Fact: Canalside is a popular destination not just for locals but also for tourists, attracting over 1.5 million visitors per year.
3. Larkin Square
Larkin Square is a popular outdoor venue that hosts free live music performances during the summer. The atmosphere is lively, with food trucks and vendors adding to the festivities. Some of the events worth attending include:
– Larkinville Concert Series: This event takes place every Wednesday during the summer and features local musicians.
– Live at Larkin: This is a weekly event that brings together musicians, food, and drinks.
Bullet Points: Reasons why Larkin Square is a great place to find live music
– Wide variety of genres
– Outdoor venue with a vibrant atmosphere
– Plenty of food and drink options
– Free admission
Interesting Fact: Larkin Square was once a neglected industrial site that was transformed into a vibrant public space after a group of entrepreneurs came together to revitalize the area.
Nietzsche’s is a popular spot for live music in Buffalo. The venue is known for its intimate setting and eclectic music lineup. While most of the shows are ticketed, there are free performances on certain nights of the week. Some of the events worth checking out include:
– Vinyl Night: This event takes place every Thursday and features local DJs spinning vinyl records.
– Bluegrass Jam: This event takes place every Sunday and is a casual gathering of musicians playing bluegrass and other acoustic music genres.
Paragraph: The history of Nietzsche’s
Nietzsche’s opened its doors in 1983 and quickly became a hub for the local music scene in Buffalo. The venue has hosted performances from famous musicians such as Ani DiFranco, Dave Matthews Band, and Beck. Over the years, Nietzsche’s has remained committed to supporting local artists and providing a space for new and emerging talent.
5. Sportsmen’s Tavern
Sportsmen’s Tavern is a family-owned bar that has been a staple of the local music scene in Buffalo for over 30 years. The venue attracts musicians from all over the country and has a reputation for hosting high-quality performances. While most of the shows at Sportsmen’s Tavern require a cover charge, there are some free events worth attending. Some of the events worth checking out include:
– Tuesday Night Ramble: This event takes place every Tuesday and features a rotating lineup of musicians playing blues and folk music.
– Sunday Live: This event takes place every Sunday and is a celebration of local music, featuring up-and-coming artists.
Bullet Points: Why Sportsmen’s Tavern is a beloved music venue in Buffalo
– Intimate and cozy atmosphere
– Wide variety of music genres
– Support for local artists
– High-quality sound system and production
Interesting Fact: Sportsmen’s Tavern was named one of the top 20 dive bars in America by Esquire magazine.
FAQs: Live Music Buffalo NY
What are some popular places for live music in Buffalo NY?
Live music is very popular in Buffalo NY, and there are many venues that host live music events. Some of the popular places for live music include Tralf Music Hall, Sportsmen’s Tavern, and Iron Works. These venues host concerts by talented musicians, ranging from Jazz, Blues, and Rock to Country music.
What is the music scene like in Buffalo NY?
The music scene in Buffalo NY is vibrant and thriving. The city has a rich history of music and is home to several music festivals throughout the year. The city attracts many musicians from different genres, and you can find live music events happening almost every night in bars, clubs, and music halls across the city.
What types of music can I expect to hear in Buffalo NY?
You can expect to hear a wide range of music genres in Buffalo, with a particular focus on Jazz, Blues, Rock and Roll, and Country music. Other genres such as hip hop, pop, and electronic music are also popular, and many local bands and artists often perform covers of popular songs along with their original music.
What are some upcoming concerts in Buffalo NY?
There are many upcoming concerts in Buffalo NY, and you can check online for the latest listings. Some popular upcoming concerts include Justin Bieber, The Lumineers, and the Zac Brown Band. You can also check out local bands and artists performing at smaller venues such as The Gypsy Parlor, The 9th Ward, and Mohawk Place.
How do I find tickets for live music events in Buffalo NY?
You can find tickets for live music events in Buffalo NY online, at box offices, and through various ticketing websites. Some of the popular ticketing websites include Ticketmaster, StubHub, Ticketfly, and Eventbrite. It’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance, as many popular concerts and events often sell out quickly.
Are there any free live music events in Buffalo NY?
Yes, there are many free live music events in Buffalo NY. You can check out outdoor concerts, music festivals, and performances at various parks and public spaces. Some popular free events include Buffalo Porchfest, Music is Art festival, and the Dyngus Day parade and festival.
Can I bring my children to live music events in Buffalo NY?
Most live music events in Buffalo NY are open to all ages, but it’s always a good idea to check with the venue first. Some venues may have age restrictions or may require children to be accompanied by an adult. Family-friendly events are also available, and you can check online for events specifically designed for children.
What should I wear to live music events in Buffalo NY?
There is no specific dress code for live music events in Buffalo NY, but it’s always a good idea to dress comfortably and appropriately for the event. Most events are casual, but you may want to dress up for special occasions such as concerts or festivals.
Are there any hotels near popular live music venues in Buffalo NY?
Yes, there are many hotels near popular live music venues in Buffalo NY. Some of the popular hotels near venues such as Tralf Music Hall and the Sportsmen’s Tavern include the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, Hotel at the Lafayette, and the Courtyard Buffalo Downtown.
Can I book private events at live music venues in Buffalo NY?
Yes, most live music venues in Buffalo NY offer private event booking options. You can contact the venue directly to discuss your event requirements, such as event size, catering, and entertainment options. Some popular venues offering private event booking options include the Tralf Music Hall, Babeville, and Iron Works.
Buffalo NY has a vibrant and thriving live music scene, with many popular and upcoming concerts and festivals. Visitors can expect to hear a wide range of music genres, including jazz, rock, country, and electronic music. There are many venues that offer live music events and private event booking options, and you can find tickets for concerts through various ticketing websites. Visitors can also check out free events such as Buffalo Porchfest and the Dyngus Day parade and festival. So, pack your bags and get ready to enjoy great live music in Buffalo NY. Goodbye! Don’t forget to check out other interesting articles.