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

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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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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Mr. Big

06/06

Electric City

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

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HARDY: Quit!! Tour

06/08

Darien Lake Amphitheater

Hardy comes to the outdoor Darien Lake Amphitheater with their Quit!! Tour.  Also appearing, Kip Moore and Travis Denning.

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Symphony of Illusions with Michael Grandinetti

06/08

Kleinhans Music Hall

Master illusionist Michael Grandinetti performs jaw-dropping feats of prestidigitation to magical symphonic selections, including favorite works by John Williams, Berlioz,…

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The Market at Bassett Park

06/09 – 09/08

Bassett Park

Welcome to the Market at Bassett Park! A once-monthly market, returning for it’s FOURTH year in 2024! Set in the…

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MJ the Musical

06/11 – 06/16

Shea’s Buffalo

The music. The moves. The icon. Now, the unparalleled artistry of the greatest entertainer of all time comes to Buffalo…

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Brothers Osborne

06/14

Terminal B Event Center

$40-90

Fresh off the release of their self-titled, fourth studio album, “Brothers Osborne,” the duo is one of music’s most consistently…

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Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind & Fire

06/15

KeyBank Center

Last year, 2023, was another pivotal year for music icon Lionel Richie, who has sold over 125 million albums. He…

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Bidwell Parkway Summer Concert Series

06/18 – 08/13

Bidwell Parkway & Elmwood Ave.

The 26th annual Picnic in the Parkway Summer Concert Series is heading our way. Starting on June 18, 2024, and…

Details

Sarah McLachlan Fumbling Towards Ecstasy 30th Anniversary Tour

06/18

Artpark

Indoor seating $60+ Lawn $40.50

As part of Artpark’s 50th Anniversary Season, Sarah McLachlan – Fumbling Towards Ecstasy 30th Anniversary Tour with special guest FEIST…

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Bonnie Raitt Just Like That tour

06/21

Artpark

$39-69

Gates open at 6:30.Bonnie Raitt, a singer, songwriter and guitarist, is coming to Artpark June 21. Her unique style blends…

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Taste of Country 2024

06/21

Sahlen Field

The concert event of the summer is back with Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Chris Jansen and American Idol winner Chayce…

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Queen of the Night: A Musucal Tribute to Whitney Houston

06/25

Tickets start at $50

“Queen of the Night, A Musical Tribute to Whitney Houston” is a stunning celebration of the music and life of…

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Strawberry Moon Festival

06/29

Artpark

The Strawberry Moon Festival is a truly immersive experience for everyone to celebrate the diverse indigenous cultures of North America…

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The Falling and the Rising

06/29 – 06/30

Nichols Flickinger Performing Arts Center

THE FALLING AND THE RISING is a powerful story based on interviews with real service members and Veterans. It follows…

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Third Eye Blind

07/03

Darien Lake Amphitheater

Third Eye Blind with special guest Yellowcard, comes to the Darien Lake Amphitheater on the Summer Gods Tour 2024.  Also…

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Janet Jackson in Concert

07/05

Darien Lake Amphitheater

Janet Jackson comes to the outdoor Darien Lake Amphitheater site with her Together Again Tour.  Also appearing, special guest Nelly.

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Norah Jones in Concert

07/06

Artpark

Norah Jones and the Visions Tour come to Artpark with special guest Mavis Staples. Norah Jones emerged on the world stage…

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Kidz Bop Live 2024Tour

07/07

Darien Lake Amphitheater

Kidz Bop Live 2024 Tour comes to Darien Lake as part of the summer concert series. Event is rain or…

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Chris Stapleton’s All American Road Show

07/11

Darien Lake Amphitheater

Chris Stapleton’s All American Road Show comes to the outdoor Darien Lake Amphitheater.  Also appearing, Marcus King and Nikki Lane.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers

07/11

Darien Lake Amphitheater

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Unlimited Love Tour comes to the outdoor Darien Lake Amphitheater.  Also appearing, Wand and Irontom.

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Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca

07/12 – 07/14

Artpark – Mainstage Theater

Lust, betrayal, intrigue, revenge, and a love triangle leading to backstabbing & literally!  Heralded as “the ultimate Opera,” Artpark presents…

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Train in Concert

07/19

Artpark

(Lewiston, NY) & As part of Artpark’s 50th Anniversary Season, Train – Summer Road Trip 2024 is coming to the…

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