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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: Big Freedia & The Queen Divas at Soundlab on Friday, June 29th.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our full events calendar on-line for complete event listings, a location guide to find your way about the city, restaurant reviews, and more.

Big Freedia & The Queen Divas

Friday, June 29

If you’re not familiar with Big Freedia a.k.a. Freddie Ross, visit her website. Before you know it you’ll have spent hours competing in the Big Freedia Booty Battle (a Dance Dance Revolution inspired computer game where you control the ass of one of four selectable characters who shake it to the tunes of Freedia) and dropping dough on “#1 ass certified booty shorts.” Big Freedia comes to party spitting high energy raps over bounce beats—a form of hip hop developed in New Orleans characterized by call and response style vocals, chants, and variations on samples from Southern hip hop tracks. Understanding the culture from where this style of music was born is a very important part of understanding the music itself. Sometimes called “Sissy” bounce (a locally used name for biological men with varied and ambiguous sexual identities) the genre can feature explicitly gay and cross-dressing musicians and themes, but the party atmosphere that Freedia creates is universal and the rapper often includes the audience in the performance. This type of thing doesn’t work unless the audience is just as excited to be there as Freedia is, so show up to Soundlab on Friday (June 29) with a gang of your craziest friends and be prepared to let loose. Special guests, local rapper Jack Tropht and DJ Mario Be, will also perform. —cory perla

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $12 advance. 18+.

Friday, June 29

The Beach Boys

No summer playlist would be complete without a few of The Beach Boys’ greatest hits. The band’s surf-inspired melodies and sun-kissed harmonies have been on everyone’s summer soundtrack since 1961. Now, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” to see the iconic band perform their sweet made-for-summer tunes this week? America’s first pop band is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a new tour, featuring all surviving original band members for the first time in over two decades. The worldwide tour, which is making its stop at Darien Lakes’ Performing Arts Center on Friday (June 29), isn’t just going to rehash old favorites, but also introduce tracks off the band’s latest album. That’s Why God Made the Radio dropped on June 5th, marking the band’s 29th studio album. Fans will have the chance to sing and dance a long to longtime favorites like “Surfin’ USA,” and fall in love with new jams like, “Think About the Days.” So let the “Good Vibrations” roll on in with a concert that’s sure to provide a rocking summer evening. —sara dinatale

8pm. Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, 9993 Alleghany Road, Darien Center. (585.599.4641 / $25.75-$128.50.

Friday, June 29


Ours is the arena rock band that never was. A mixture of the mental hard rock of Smashing Pumpkins and the emotionally draining lyrics of the Cure, Ours is essentially songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Gnecco. Formed in the mid 1990s, the alternative rock band was on track to be a real leader in the post-grunge scene, but label troubles and a revolving door of members hindered their progress even after producing a record with Rick Rubin and signing to his label, American Records. Gnecco maintains a cult-like following though and his dynamic voice and songwriting style stands out from the conveyor-belt of modern alternative rock acts. As Ours, Gnecco released three albums between 2001 and 2008 including Mercy (Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy), which includes the haunting, AFI-like “Live Again” and the slow burning “God Only Wants You.” After a decade of writing Ours records Gnecco released an even more personal, self-produced solo album, The Heart, on which the 38-year-old musician played guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums resulting in a beautiful and melancholic record. Ours has a sound bigger than their spot in rock culture so it should be a one-of-a-kind experience when the band comes to Mohawk Place on Friday (June 29) with local support from Son of the Sun. —cory perla

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $12 advance, $15 day of show. 16+.

Friday, June 29

The Sam Roberts Band

If their music video for “Detroit ’67” is any indication, the Sam Roberts Band would probably be very comfortable swigging back a beer at Mulligans and driving on the Skyway in an old camero here in the Rust Belt City. In the meantime, they’ll be able to smell the Cheerios from the stage when they kick off the 14th annual “Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor,” this Friday (June 29). Our friendly neighbors from the North have been playing since 2001, but their shipwrecked 2003 hit, “Brother Down,” is still likely to be a summer crowd pleaser down at the Erie Canal Harbor Wharf. Lead guitarist Dave Nugent has shown his range, with an almost Bob Dylan-like nasal twang in “Without A Map,” and the more bouncy “Where Have All the Good People Gone.” Roberts will be joined by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, who played at Buffalo’s Thursday at the Square last year. Potter, a petite blonde with bangs and wide cateyes, surprises audiences with her Joplin growl. Their new album, The Lion The Beast The Beat already has catchy tunes with addicting hooks like the flirtatious “Paris oh la la la.” Tickets can be purchased at Buffalo Place Inc. on 671 Main Street, online at or by phone 1-88-223-6000.—leigh giangreco

6pm. Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf ( $10 advance, $20 day of show.

Friday, June 29

Gov't Mule

For southern rock jam band Gov’t Mule, just existing can be like riding a motorcycle down the Pacific Coast highway at 120 miles per hour. Each move must be very precise. Staying true to the roots of American music while still trying to push into new territory, honoring the memory of their former bassist Allen Woody while still welcoming in new bassist Jorgen Carlsson, and dealing with the ever changing nature of the music industry are all part of the ride for Gov’t Mule. Since their formation in 1995—while founding members, guitarist and vocalist Warren Haynes and bassist Woody, were still getting situated as members of the Allman Brothers Band—Gov’t Mule has dabbled in all forms of blues, funk, and hard rock. One of the most influential jam bands around right now (see the music feature on moe.) the four-piece has released over a dozen albums, from their jamming self-titled debut, to the darker Dose, to live recordings like The Deepest End Live in Concert since their formation. Gov’t Mule have made several trips to Buffalo during their career and this time they are rewarding their fans here with a free show as part of the Labatt Canal Concert Series in Lockport on Friday (June 29) with special guests the Sheepdogs, Handsome Jack, and Salt Peter. For a full list of dates and performs at the 2012 Labatt Canal Concert Series go to —cory perla

5:30-11pm. Labatt Canal Concert Series, Ulrich City Courtyard, 80 Main St., Lockport ( Free.

Saturday, June 30

On Beta CD Release w/Micah Schnabel

The self-described “electric piano death-pop” sound of local band On Beta has landed them enough experience to be signed to the Harvest Sum Musical Collective (which is based in Buffalo) and more recently to release their debut album, You’ve Got Blood in Your Heart. Made up of Mark Nosowicz, Jeff Pietrzak, and Andy Vaeth, On Beta’s music is certainly pop-driven, but it also has a rock edge, which is shown through rhythmic drum beats and gritty vocals. These elements combined create well-worn yet upbeat tracks such as “Crackin Up” and “Sometimes It’s Gone.” To celebrate the release, On Beta will perform this Saturday (June 30) at Mohawk Place where the album will be on sale for a special discounted rate. A solo performance by Micah Schnabel of Two Cow Garage will kick off the show. Come out for these performances and to celebrate along with On Beta on the eve of their album release. —jill greenberg

9pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 /

Saturday, June 30

Earth Bowl

What do you get when you mix scenic views of the Niagara River, vegetarian and vegan food, and artful dishes made by local potters? Well, you get the first ever Earth Bowl. The Earth Bowl is a fundraiser that helps support the 9th-annual World on Your Plate, a community food forum that seeks to restore the earth by promoting sustainability for farmers, farm workers, and consumers alike, while advancing education on various food issues. Attendees will get to feast on a delicious vegetarian dinner that includes an entrée, salad, bread, and desert; vegan, wheat-free, and dairy-free options will also be available. All meals will be served in hand-thrown artisan bowls designed by local potter, George Schaeffer, along with six local artists, and diners will be able to take home their dishes with them. Local singers Nan Hoffman, Joe Tumino, and the Bloodthirsty Vegans will perform. Visitors can walk the Labyrinth marked by rocks from around the world, scenic woodland trails, and explore the only Straw Bale building on Grand Island that’s constructed with green, earth, and recycled materials. Food demos, film screenings, a plant sale, and games will also take place. The Earth Bowl takes place this Saturday (June 30) at the Riverside Salem United Church of Christ Environmental Cottage. The concert begins at 2pm, and dinner will be served at 5pm. —rebecca bratek

2pm-7pm. Riverside Salem United Church of Christ Environmental Cottage, 3449 West River Road. (912-8253) $40 adult, $10 children under 12.

15th Annual Elmwood Village Summer Concert Series

Tuesday, June 3

This week, the 15th Annual Elmwood Village Summer Concert Series begins in Bidwell Park to the delight of Elmwood Village residents and Buffalonians of all ages. This family-friendly concert series brings a variety of live music to the sprawling, green parkway, which offers plenty of room to lay out a picnic blanket, gather with your friends, and dance en plein air. The series starts this Tuesday (July 3) at 7pm with the iconic Motown sound of The Shadows Motown & Soul Revue featuring some of Buffalo’s finest blues musicians, jazz veterans Barbara St. Clair and Billy McEwen. The series continues Tuesday evenings with the country-western and Cajun standards of The Skiffle Minstrels (July 10), rock by Caitlin and The Moses Band (July 17), blues and R&B by The Mick Hayes Band (July 24), African-Caribbean and world beat improvisation by The Outer Circle Orchestra (July 31), reggae and Afro-Caribbean music by Neville Francis and The Riddim Posse (August 7), and culminates with the Latin and jazz blend of Kevin Doyle and Sol Y Sombra (August 14). The series is presented by The Elmwood Village Association, M&T Bank, and Damon Morey, LLP. All shows are free and open to the public. View a full schedule of The Elmwood Village Association’s events at —jill greenberg

7pm. Bidwell Park,Bidwell Parkway & Elmwood Avenue. ( Free. All ages.