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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A Music Lover’s Guide to Buffalo

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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

2024 Grease Pole Festival

07/19 – 07/21

Pucho Olivencia Community Center

THE AGUSTIN “PUCHO” OLIVENCIA COMMUNITY CENTER IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE:53RD GREASE POLE FESTIVAL “EL PALO ENCEBAO”   PRESENTED BY: UNITED…

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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 back! From 10am to 8pm, bring your friends and family…

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Big Kahuna Evening Tiki Cruise

05/11 – 09/30

Buffalo Boat Tours

Get your island feel on aboard Big Kahuna, the coolest tiki boat in town!  Sip on a refreshing Tiki cocktail…

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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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Canal Fest 2024

07/14 – 07/21

Niawanda Park

Free

Canal Fest of the Tonawanda’s is the largest outdoor festival of its kind!  Encompassing 2-square miles along the banks the…

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Groovin’ in the Grove

06/05 – 09/11

Banchetti by Rizzo’s Banquet Facility & Grove

$5/cover

The Summer is finally here – Groovin’ in the Grove at Banchetti by Rizzo’s is BACK for the 2024 Season!! …

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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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Music Wednesday’s Under the Breezeway

05/29 – 08/28

Jazzboline Restaurant & Bar

Kick-off to summer.  Cocktail specials and live music

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Soundwaves Concert Series

05/31 – 09/28

Buffalo Boat Tours

Set sail into a world of rhythm and melody every Saturday aboard the Harbor Queen with our captivating Soundwaves Concert…

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Terminal B Concert Series: moe.

07/17

Terminal B Event Center

Appearing at Terminal B at the Outer Harbor, with Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country.

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Boys Of Fall with Special Guests

07/18

Rec Room Buffalo

$18

After Dark Presents: Boys Of Fall with special guests Shallow Pools, Odd Sweetheart, We Were Blank, and Wild Once.

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DeeAnn DiMeo Quartet

07/18

PAUSA Art House

This new quartet collaboration is the perfect fit between musicianship, style and energy making their performances a truly enjoyable musical…

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Music on Main 2024

06/06 – 08/29

Numerous Locations along Main St. in Williamsville

Stroll up and down Main St. in the Village of Williamsville and enjoy the sounds of live music outdoors!

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SQWERV & Chirp

07/18

Buffalo Iron Works

$12 – $15

SQWERV:Denver’s electrifying Indie-Jam Band, Sqwerv is a nationally touring quartet that brings elements of classic rock, psychedelic music, funk, and…

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Terminal B Concert Series: Brett Young

07/18

Terminal B Event Center

Doors: 6PMShow: 7PM

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Thursday and Main

06/06 – 08/01

Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza

Buffalo Place will produce the 8th Anniversary season of the free outdoor summer series, Thursday & Main, weekly from June…

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Buffalo RiverWorks Summer Concert Series

05/24 – 09/01

Buffalo RiverWorks

The Buffalo RiverWorks Summer Concert Series lineup is here! Enjoy live, local musicians every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on The…

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Danae Olano Cuban Trio

07/19

PAUSA Art House

Havana-born pianist and composer Dánae Olano is known across North America and internationally as a founding member of the all-female…

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Friday Night Concerts on Old Falls Street

06/28 – 08/30

Old Falls Street, USA

Free

Live music returns to Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls! Enjoy food trucks and live music every Friday night this…

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Honeycrush

07/19

Babeville – 9th Ward

Honeycrush is the solo and 4-piece band project of New York singer-songwriter and poet Alexandra Antonopoulos.  Though a classically-trained vocalist,…

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Party on the Portico! 2024

06/21 – 08/16

Buffalo History Museum

$15 GA, $10 for Members

Spend a beautiful summer evening enjoying live music on Buffalo’s favorite back porch! Our summer concert series, Party on the…

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Sunset at the Stables – Concert Series

07/05 – 07/26

Knox Farm State Park

$25

Knox Farm State Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Western, New York.  And this summer, some of…

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