Buffalo is Alive with Music

Buffalo has its scene – but it also has a sound.

 

It’s the gritty guitar chords of a city always grinding, with fledgling musicians flicking strings through punk sets or intricate progressions in the corners of dive bars and dance halls. It’s the drum thump of an ethnically diverse population, packed together in rock clubs once host to jazz greats, alt rock gods and every performer in between. It’s the amplified exuberance of a region still rising from the ashes of its Rust Belt past, but now blooming from the artistic fervor that’s always kept it pulsating.

 

Buffalo’s music is its heartbeat, and every night, it’s unleashed to illuminate this once-heralded City of Light.

 

Popular Music Venues

 

Step into Asbury Hall @ Babeville and find downtown’s most angelic venue, set inside a converted 19th century Gothic Revival-style church. Catch a touring show inside the lower bowl of the historic Town Ballroom, then shuffle across the street to the Tralf for blues, jazz or the spirit of Prince—who famously played a surprise set in the place in 2002. Pack into Mohawk Place for genuine rock club grit, or find the city’s answer to Austin, Texas within the alt-country, honky tonk confines of Sportsmen’s Tavern. Walk up to a collaborative evening within the Colored Musicians Club; stroll in and get situated within the jazz-infused ambiance of Pausa Art House; or head to bohemian cool of Nietzsche’s, whose exterior artwork states its position quite clearly: Without music, life would be a mistake.

 

Rick James found his funk on these streets. The Goo Goo Dolls went from sweat-drenched local club shows to eventual pop radio stardom. Snapcase’s homegrown snarl influenced every fledgling hardcore act for decades—including fellow Buffalonians Every Time I Die, who tore up local spots before rising to a now flagship act of its genre. Ani DiFranco, Willie Nile and Weezer’s Patrick Wilson grew up here; and before its swirling jams moved summer festivals, Aqueous, Moe. and Soulive were born on these blocks.

 

But the venues and lineage are only part of the sound. The rest lies in the region’s ongoing need for that beat, and how it reverberates from musician to resident across all corners of Western New York.

 

Tireless local artists. Visiting Canadian quartets. Hip-hop poets and purveyors of glittering synth pop. Their rhythms roll through venues small and large, suburban or city. In the winter, it echoes between frost-covered windows of neighborhood taverns and intimate enclaves. In the summer, it moves into every park, headlines every waterfront festival, and entertains thousands, seven nights a week.

 

Finding Buffalo’s Nightlife

 

Regardless of season, it’s always a working-class communal experience, shared by locals who’ve lived it, and visitors who want to check the pulse of this city. And with every song or sold-out show, that vibrancy is here—and it’s the sound of Buffalo.

 

With many watering holes waiting until 4 a.m. for last call, you could say Buffalo knows a thing or two about nightlife. From old-school taverns and hopping bars to craft beers, casinos and live music, the Nickel City parties from dusk to near dawn.

 

You’ll find nightspots all over town, from Allen Street, Elmwood Avenue, University Heights and Hertel Avenue  to the Chippewa Entertainment District in the heart of downtown. Chow down on innovative food at Local Kitchen & Bar and SoHo, soak in the city on Skybar’s rooftop terrace and dance the night away at 67 West. The drop-down menus on the listings below will help you hone in on the nightlife and locations that fit your mood. Spend and evening in some of Buffalo’s classic taverns. Or fellas: plan a guy’s night out with these suggestions!

 

Ready to hear it? Scroll down to see our list of venues, or explore our events calendar for upcoming music events.

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Pausa Art House

The perfect place for your next night out.

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Listen Local. Drink Local.

The abundance of opportunities to combine live music and craft beer for an enhanced experience within Buffalo’s footprint makes WNY a first-class region for live entertainment. This series is presented by 42 North Brewing Company.

Unexpected BUFFALO’S PLAYLIST

Featured Event

Food Truck Tuesdays

06/04 – 08/27

Larkin Square

Free

Food Truck Tuesday returns to Larkin Square on Tuesday June 4th and runs through August 27th, 5 PM – 8…

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Featured Event

First Fridays at the AKG

09/01 – 12/06

Buffalo AKG Art Museum

M&T First Fridays at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum are set to begin again on September 1st, from 10 am…

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Signature Stars and Stripes

05/24 – 05/25

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Stuart Chafetz, conductor Our Memorial Day weekend tradition pays a musical tribute to the men and women of the armed…

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Terminal B Concert Series: Chappell Roan

05/24

Terminal B Event Center

Funtime Presents:Chappell Roan – The Midwest Princess TourMay 24, 2024Terminal B at the Outer HarborDoors at 7 PM

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Gary Clark Jr.

05/25

Artpark – Mainstage Theater

Gary Clark Jr. achieved global impact following his first Grammy Award® in 2014, winning Best Traditional R&B Performance for the track…

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Totally Buffalo Festival 2024

05/25 – 05/26

Buffalo RiverWorks

Celebrate Buffalo and the start of summer!The ORIGINAL shop-local large scale event is back and bigger than ever!Totally Buffalo Festival…

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Tugboat Annie

05/25

Electric City

Tugboat Annie appearing with Aircraft, Muler, Roger Bryan & The Orphans.

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Blue Monday

08/30 – 12/15

Tacoma Performing Arts Center

Free

Chicago Jack and the Heptones play with weekly Special Guests. Join us in the Grand Room in the lower level…

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Rockin’ at the Buffalo AKG – Khruangbin – SOLD OUT!

05/28

Buffalo AKG Art Museum

The Buffalo AKG Art Museum announced the return of Rockin’ at the Buffalo AKG with Khruangbin and special guest John…

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Buffalo Riverfest Park Wednesday Night Concert Series

05/29 – 09/04

Buffalo River Fest Park

Free

This summer concert series is a perfect way to enjoy the waterfront with family and friends. The Old First Ward…

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Margaret Glaspy: Unplugged

05/30

Babeville – 9th Ward

For the first time, Margaret Glaspy is presenting a solo acoustic show filled with songs from her past and present.…

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Los Lonely Boys in Concert

05/31

Artpark

Just announced: Los Lonely Boys are coming to the Amphitheater on May 31 with Thee Sinseers & The Altons!Family has…

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Love Cats in a Tutu

05/31

Buffalo Iron Works

The Glam Vamps are a queer Buffalo-based burlesque troupe formed in 2018. They are constantly evolving as a troupe and…

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Mahler’s Resurrection

06/01 – 06/02

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

The colossal season closer features Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 2, celebrating a fallen hero, his meandering retrospect on life, and…

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Springville Art Crawl

06/01

Main & Mechanic Streets

Free

For one day out of the year, Main Street, Springville becomes an art gallery, with artwork in every business, music…

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Swing Street

06/01

PAUSA Art House

Swing Street will present a vocal and instrumental collection of songs which capture the essence of this music, while highlighting…

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The Clapton Tribute Band

06/01

West Falls Center for the Arts

Join us as we welcome back “The Clapton Band” featuring:Doug Yeomans, Pete Holguin, Steve Sadoff and Jim Beishline, playing the…

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Buffalo Pride Festival

06/02

Canalside Buffalo

This is the main event!  No other event in WNY touches such a varied and large demographic cross-section of residents…

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Buffalo Pride Parade

06/02

Elmwood Avenue & Forest Ave.

The Pride Parade is back! So, grab your most fabulous attire and get ready for a celebration unlike any other.…

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First Monday Jazz Jam

02/05 – 12/02

The Gypsy Parlor

Monthly on every first Monday, join Becky Davis for our monthly jazz jam. Bring your instruments or vocals and jam…

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An Acoustic Evening with John Hiatt

06/04

Kleinhans Music Hall – Mary Seton Room

A master lyricist and satirical storyteller, John Hiatt delivers songs filled with tales of redemption, relationships and surrendering on his…

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Live at Larkin Music Series

06/05 – 08/28

Larkin Square

Free

KeyBank Live at Larkin Wednesday evening concerts are the signature night for music in Larkinville  This season brings a fun…

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Andrew Nixon, Ed Croft, Joe Goretti: Outside Agitators

06/06

PAUSA Art House

In winter 2021, seemingly out of nowhere, pianist and composer Andrew Nixon brought a ray of sunlight to those fortunate…

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Mr. Big

06/06

Electric City

Playing the “Lean Into It” album in its entirety, and much more!

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