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.
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.
Bryan Adams: So Happy it Hurts Tour
Famed musician and singer-songwriter Bryan Adams announced his 2023 So Happy It Hurts Tour with iconic group Joan Jett and…Details
Young the Giant with Milky Chance
Young The Giant was established in 2004 and is comprised of Sameer Gadhia (vocals), Jacob Tilley (guitar), Eric Cannata (guitar),…Details
Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band returns to the Darien Lake Amphitheater for their 2018 Summer Tour. Each ticket purchase includes complimentary same…Details
Food Truck Wednesdays in the Garden
06/14 – 08/30
Food & Drink
Food Truck Wednesday’s in the Garden at Samuel’s Grande Manor is back! We’re so excited to host this event, so…Details
Buffalo Chamber Players: Acis and Galatea
6:30pm Doors, 7:30pm ShowThe Buffalo Chamber Players perform George Frideric Handel’s Acis and Galatea. PARKING IS FREE IN THE ASBURY HALL…Details
Ben Folds: What Matters Most Tour
Widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation, Folds’ masterful new collection, What Matters Most, isn’t…Details
Funtime PresentsBig WreckAges 12+, minors under 16 must be accompanied by a parentGovernment Issued ID RequiredDetails
John Mellencamp Live and in Person 2023
Born October 7, 1951 in Seymour, Indiana, John Mellencamp fell in love with music at an early age and was…Details
Luke Bryan: Country on Tour 2023
Country music super star Luke Bryan will be in concert at the Darien Lake Amphitheater. Country on Tour 2023!Details
Juneteenth 2023 Parade and Festival
06/17 – 06/18
The Juneteenth Festival (a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States) of Buffalo began in 1976 as a culturally-relevant…Details
Strawberry Moon Festival
The Strawberry Moon Festival is a truly immersive experience for everyone to celebrate the diverse indigenous cultures of North America…Details
Bidwell Parkway Summer Concert Series
06/20 – 08/15
The 25th annual Picnic in the Parkway Summer Concert Series is heading our way. Starting on June 20, 2023, and…Details
Dear Evan Hansen
06/20 – 06/25
Winner of 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, DEAR EVAN…Details
Michael Franti and Spearhead
About Michael Franti:Michael Franti is a globally recognized musician, activist, hotel owner (Soulshine Bali) and award-winning filmmaker revered for his…Details
Summer Solstice Sound Bath
This is the second annual Solstice Sound Bath at Graycliff and your opportunity to experience the pure magic of this…Details
Taste of Country
The concert event of the summer is back with Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Big & Rich, Michael Ray and Dan…Details
Eric Gales is a blues firebrand. Over 30 years and 18 albums, his passion for the music and his boundless…Details
My Morning Jacket
My Morning Jacket has released nine studio albums. In 2021, My Morning Jacket released their self-titled album that reaffirmed the…Details
Jimmie Vaughan + The Tilt-A-Whirl Band
In true Texas fashion, four-time Grammy-winner Jimmie Vaughan has helped breathe new life into the music that has been his lifeline…Details
The Australian Pink Floyd Show: Darkside 50 Tour
The Darkside 50 Tour will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s eighth studio album, and bring to the stage…Details
Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers
Named Entertainers of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in 2019, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers…Details
Five facts about black midi:”We’d end up in a groove in the rehearsal room for 10 minutes, or an hour.…Details
Dave Matthews Tribute Band
“Their name says it all: The Dave Matthews Tribute Band. For nearly 20 years, the band has been performing sold…Details
Thomas Rhett: Home Team Tour
Multi-Platinum entertainer Thomas Rhett will join the Home Teams of 40 cities next summer, today revealing US tour dates for…Details