Sounds of the City/
Down by the Lazy
BY RON EHMKE
Friday, September 1
Diana Ross Seneca Niagara
Events Center: No exaggeration—there
would be no Beyoncé without Miss Ross
blazing the diva trail in the mid-sixties.
Her first run of hits with the Supremes
made it the only American group to
rival the chart success of the Beatles,
and as a solo act she continued to dominate the culture throughout the seventies and eighties. As a result, any set list
she could possibly perform is bound to
be packed with more Number Ones than
just about anybody else around.
Saturday, September 2
Big Bang Artpark: In what could
be seen as a throwback to the venue’s
glory days as an international center for
experimental art and performance, Artpark says farewell to the summer with a
pair of larger-than-life spectacles. Instrument inventor William Close has presented his “Earth Harp”—a playable
harp whose two to three dozen strings
sail as much as a thousand feet over
the heads of audience members—
everywhere from Burning Man to America’s
Got Talent, while French street theater ensemble Plasticiens Volants incorporates enormous inflatable puppets in
its hour-long wordless celebration of the
origins of the universe.
TailorMade Music Festival @
Canalside: The premise behind this
experiment in programming is that fans
have determined what acts (beyond
headliners Travis Scott and 2 Chainz)
will play, as culled from a roster of artists at fanbassador.com.
Thursday, September 7
Raekwon Waiting Room: A core
member of the Wu-Tang Clan, the rap-
per born Corey Woods has a reputation
for sonically adventurous solo projects.
Friday, September 8
Bleachers Artpark: Jack Antonoff
of fun. (the band name that strikes fear
and loathing in the hearts of proofreaders around the world) pays tribute to the
kind of angsty New Wave-ish pop songs
that accompanied John Hughes movies in the eighties with this side project.
Toronto’s July Talk opens.
Saturday, September 9
Roger Waters KeyBank Center:
The architect of Pink Floyd’s biggest
albums presents his latest live sound-and-image spectacular, dubbed “Us +
Them.” Both the concert and his first
solo studio album in twenty-five years,
Is This the Life We Really Want?, take
aim at the current POTUS—a character straight out of The Wall, after all. As
an added bonus, the identically clad duo
of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig from the
indie rock group Lucius (whose Babeville show last year was stellar) are touring as part of Waters’s band.
Music Is Art Riverworks: After
several happy, if sometimes rainy, years
in Delaware Park, the long-running annual celebration of (mostly) local music
and art shakes up its formula again by
relocating to the now-thriving indoor-outdoor venue on the Buffalo River.
Elevator Music Silo City: The
folks at Explore Buffalo, who already
offer more than seventy different ways
to engage with the Queen City’s history, architecture, and culture, join forces
with Gowanda, New York-born, Denver-based composer, artist, and performer Nathan Hall and an ensemble of live
musicians from around the country to
present a guided walking tour of the grain
elevators. This intimate, one-day-only
event will be presented five times over
the course of the afternoon and evening.
Thursday, September 14
Conor Oberst Asbury Hall: The
Artist Occasionally Known as Bright
Eyes pays another visit to our fair city
with his latest batch of generation-defin-ing songs.
Waiting Room: Dire times tend
to bring out the best in these punctua-tion-happy dance/pop punks, and their
seventh album, Shake the Shudder,
written and recorded in the wake of last
year’s election, has been attracting some
of the most positive reviews of their
Friday and Saturday, September 15
Response Performance Festival (Part
Saturday, September 16
Two) the Adam Mickiewicz Dra-
matic Circle: Torn Space unveils the
second half of its 2017 festival of exper-
imental theater, centered around two
performances of The Fever, an audience-
participatory piece by the NYC-based
ensemble 600 Highwaymen, plus talks
by visiting scholars and artists.
Americana Fest River Fest Park:
Sportsmen’s Americana Foundation presents its third annual outdoor festival/fun-draiser, now moved to promising-looking
new digs in South Buffalo, accessible at
249 Ohio Street. Seven acts, including
Ten Cent Howl, Uncle Ben’s Remedy,
Skiffle Minstrels, and Rear View Ramblers, perform from 2 to 10 p.m.
Katy Perry KeyBank Center: Roger Waters (see Sept. 9 above) recently
noted that if audiences didn’t appreciate
the political commentary in his show,
they could always see Katy Perry instead.
And here she is, in the same venue a
week later! But, surprise—she’s been
amping up the politics, too, amidst the
Sunday, September 17
X Town Ballroom: Legends of the
LA punk scene of the seventies, John Doe
and Exene Cervenka are such extraordinary songwriters, with such broad-rang-ing musical taste, that it now seems
limiting to refer to them as “punks” at
all. If you’ve never seen them in concert,
don’t miss this opportunity.
Monday, September 18
Gogol Bordello the Rapids: These
NYC-based rockers, led by Ukrainian-born singer Eugene Hütz, play roots
music of a sort—but the roots in question reach back to the wedding bands and
underground clubs of Eastern Europe.
Bringing punk intensity and vodka-fueled
fun to instruments like the accordion and
fiddle, the dozen or so band members put
on a hell of a live show.
Tuesday, September 19
The Blasters the Tralf: What are
the odds? A mere forty-eight hours after
Big Bang Artpark