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

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn

04/03

Babeville

$59

With one eye on using the banjo to showcase America’s rich heritage and the other pulling the noble instrument from…

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Beyond the Planets

04/05 – 04/06

Kleinhans Music Hall

The highly anticipated total solar eclipse on Buffalo’s horizon illuminates the program selection of two contemporary composers to complement Holst’s…

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Pavlo

04/07

Babeville

$40

Pavlo, a true World Music Artist returns from filming his 4th PBS TV Concert Special & Live in Santorini, Greece.…

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2024 EAclipse at Knox Farm State Park

04/08

Knox Farm State Park

$15

The Friends of Knox Farm State Park are very excited to announce that a team of NASA/JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)…

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Eclipse Bash Brewing Party and Beer Release

04/08

Resurgence at the Cooperage

Did you know that a total solar eclipse occurs in the same location once every 375 years?  This year, it’s…

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Eclipse Beer Release + Eclipse Bash Event

04/08

Resurgence Brewing Company

Resurgence Brewing Co. to partner with the Simons Foundation for their ‘In the Path of Totality’ initiative through a limited-edition…

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Buffalo Chamber Players at the AKG – April

04/11

Buffalo AKG Art Museum

$40

Experience creative music programs performed by our region’s finest performers in a unique and inspiring setting.  The Buffalo Chamber Players…

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Art of Jazz: Rodney Whitaker – “Oasis: The Music of Greg Hill”

04/12

Buffalo AKG Art Museum

$40

For more than two decades, the Art of Jazz series has been recognized as one of the premier jazz events…

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Cirque de la Symphonie

04/12 – 04/13

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Ron Spigelman, conductor International aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, and more provide jaw-dropping entertainment on, and high above, the Kleinhans…

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A Tribute to Burt Bacharach

04/13

PAUSA Art House

The newest of jazz singers to hit the Buffalo scene, Dr. M has been described as a mid-mod jazz chanteuse.…

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Classic Rock by the River 2024

04/13

Buffalo RiverWorks

5 great classic rock tribute acts are coming together for what should be an incredible evening of live music @…

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Luke Combs in Concert

04/19 – 04/20

Highmark Stadium

Luke Combs is bringing the Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old Tour.Friday WSG – The Avett Brothers, Charles Wesley Godwin, Haley…

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Beethoven’s Emperor

04/20 – 04/21

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Cross-border collaboration comes to Kleinhans when Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear returns to perform Beethoven’s heroic “Emperor” Piano Concerto No. 5…

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Matt Maeson – A Solo Experience: That’s My Cue Tour

04/20

Electric City

Come join us on St. Patrick’s Day for Celtic Tenors on March 17th 2024!Doors: 3:30 pmShow: 4:30 pm   For…

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Jesus Christ Superstar

04/26 – 04/28

Shea’s Performing Arts Center

With music and lyrics by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winners Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR…

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Landslide: A Tribute to the Music of Fleetwood Mac

04/26

Kleinhans Music Hall

Paying homage to one of the greatest and most popular bands in music history, LANDSLIDE recreates the hits from yesteryear,…

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Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – Film in Concert

04/27

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

The Empire prepares to crush the Rebellion as our heroes, having escaped Jabba the Hut, are joined by some unlikely…

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Spyro Gyra 50th Anniversary

04/28

Buffalo State Performing Arts Center

$40

The Performing Arts Center welcomes Sypro Gyra on Sunday, April 28, at 7:00 p.m., when the band members return to…

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The Struts

04/29

Electric City

$32-$165

The Struts perform, with Lo Spirit at Electric city.

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Chooi Brothers and Bach

05/03 – 05/04

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Bach’s Double Violin Concerto is a family affair featuring BPO concertmaster Nikki Chooi and his equally virtuosic brother, Timothy Chooi,…

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Tim McGraw

05/04

KeyBank Center

Three-time Grammy® Award winning superstar Tim McGraw’s highly anticipated headline 2024 Standing Room Only Tour is about to get even…

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Alan Doyle – Welcome Home Tour

05/11

Buffalo State Performing Arts Center

Alan Doyle actor, producer, best-selling author, and best-known as lead singer for Newfoundland’s beloved Great Big Sea these past 20+…

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Beethoven’s Ninth

05/11 – 05/12

Kleinhans Music Hall

The BPO and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus join the international observance of the 200th anniversary of Beethoven’s powerful masterwork that…

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Rodrigo y Gabriela

05/12

Babeville

Grammy Award winning duo Rodrigo y Gabriela grew up on an eclectic mix of classic rock, heavy metal and flamenco,…

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