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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: Umphrey's McGee, who play the Town Ballroom on Saturday, October 26th.

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.

Umphrey's McGee

Saturday, October 26

As the crowd patiently waits for the lights to dim, their anxiety builds. As it hits its peak, the chants start, echoing a plea. “We want the Umph, gotta have that Umph!” Scattered throughout the venue, voices chime in, one by one, calling for the band to take the stage and quell their growing anticipation. This is how an Umphrey’s McGee show usually begins, and that same overwhelming feeling is already beginning to build for the upcoming weekend. This Saturday (Oct 26), Umphrey’s McGee is taking to the Town Ballroom stage in an attempt to outdo the killer performance they put on last January. Keyboardist Joel Cummins says, “I think we’ve played the Town Ballroom for, something like, 7 years at this point. It’s a great room with intense energy once it’s filled up.” The band is not only continuing their streak, but also sharing it with the world via their Couch Tour experience. Buffalo was selected, among other dates, to broadcast online, allowing fans to pay $6 and watch from anywhere around the world. The band combines sound board audio with high quality video to provide the closest thing to being there that a fan can get. “We like to experiment with new ideas, especially those that can involve the fans and technology. We live in a very advanced world and new technology is being developed every day. Why not use that to our advantage?” says Cummins. A new album is in the works as well. “We’ve been working on some new material in the studio now since May. We’ve got a bunch of new songs and a bunch of older songs that we’ve recorded. There’s a couple of fan favorites and some completely new material that hasn’t been heard by anyone but us. We don’t have a definite release date, but we’re planning on releasing the tracks in early 2014,” Cummins says. This show could very well top last year’s performance with Cummins admitting, during our interview, that the band has some new tricks up their sleeve. “We’re starting to use wireless packs now with the guitars and bass, so watch out for Ryan Stasik as he has been known to occasionally crowd surf.” We’ve raged, rested, and now it’s finally time to repeat Buffalo! \mm/.

- jeremiah shea

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $26.50 advance, $29 day of show

Thursday, October 24

Pine Fever

The city’s newest concert venue, Buffalo Iron Works, which officially opened last month, is bringing even more action to the Cobblestone District. With an industrial décor—a wooden bar, exposed ceilings, and concrete floors—the 500-person capacity venue should be the perfect spot for local acts and smaller touring national indie rock bands. Located around the corner from Helium comedy club and the First Niagara Center, the venue, which features an outdoor patio and full service kitchen, will host live music Tuesdays through Saturdays. Tonight (Oct 24) self-proclaimed “scumbag Americana band” Pine Fever will help break-in the brand new Iron Works stage. From mandolins to banjos, resonator guitars to upright basses, the instrumentally diverse band puts a grimy twist on roots-folk music. The Heavenly Chillbillies, the Poor Boys, the Stripteasers, and special guests Pyromancy will join the band for this show, which will be the kick off of Pine Fever’s first North American tour. You can see a full schedule of upcoming live music events, including Sabres post-game parties and national touring dates from bands like Plants & Animals at the venue’s website:

- cory perla

8pm Buffalo Iron Works, 49 Illinois St. (200-1893 / $5

Friday, October 25

Big Ups

Brooklyn power-punk band Big Ups have been getting some serious attention lately. Rightfully so, as the vintage-punk influenced band puts on an awesome, high energy live show. “What happens when it all goes black?!” lead singer Joe Galarraga shrieks on the band’s lead single “Goes Black.” Galarraga and company—Brendan Finn, Amar Lal, and Carlos Salguero—have been spewing their brand of grunge-punk all over audiences with their powerful live show since the band formed in 2010. Over the summer Pitchfork took notice of the quickly rising punk band noting their Descendents influenced sound and darkly melodic vibe. Big Ups will stop by the basement of Buffalo’s newest record store, Black Dots, on Friday (Oct 25) for the store’s first ever fully electric rock show. Joining them will be Buffalo retro-pop band Space Wolves and surf-rock band Aaron & the Burrs. So take a ride over to Grant Street to browse some hardcore records and catch an awesome up-and-coming punk band this weekend for only five bucks.

- cory perla

6pm Black Dots, 223 Lafayette Ave ( $5

Saturday, October 26

Tera Melos with Fang Island

There are plenty of bands out there that can fit into the math-rock mold, but very few that can reinvent the formula like West Coast trio Tera Melos. Of course, they can play fast and loud, but in no way does this group sacrifice power and abrasiveness for musicality and songwriting. This Sacramento-based outfit has a knack for making the complex not seem so complex, a trait which stems from their poppy vocal harmonies and hooks. Instrumentally, these guys don’t hold back in the slightest, and each member plays with a precision and energy that is as satisfying as is it is impressive. Remarkably nimble guitar work, shifting time signatures, and plenty of effects and pedals produce a sound that wavers in and out of musical genres like punk, metal, post-hardcore, prog rock, and even jazz. Alongside Tera Melos are two of their Sargent House label mates, Fang Island and Zorch. Fang Island takes a tech-heavy, spazz-rock approach when it comes to crafting some insanely catchy riffs and vocal melodies. Their ever-expanding sound seems to multiply in intensity as the band gets going, resulting in dense, powerful tunes with a pop rock sensibility. Likewise, the creative explosion that is Austin experimental duo Zorch is likely to rattle your brain when you consider that all of that sound comes from the ambitious work of just two musicians. Zorch takes noisy scraps of pop rock and recycles them into synthy compositions that can turn chaotic in a heartbeat. Between these three overachieving bands, there’s certainly more than enough volume to go around. Tera Melos, Fang Island and Zorch converge on the Tralf Music Hall this Saturday (Oct 26).

- jon wheelock

7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $10 advance, $12 day of show

Saturday, October 26

Cute is What We Aim For

Despite the band’s recent return from hiatuses, Cute Is What We Aim For’s reunion has slipped under the pop-punk radar. That may be because their last few songs aren’t exactly characteristic of CIWWAF. Their latest single, “A Closed My Mind With an Open Mouth,” features far darker undertones than anything on their past albums, Blood Rush With A New Touch and Rotation. The single opens with Jeff Czum’s high-pitched guitar riffs accompanied by Shaant Hacikyan’s crooning voice, opposite his traditional high-pitched intonation that has long been associated with CIWWAF. Their latest work is certainly edgier, but it also manifests their constructive maturity over the last nine years. Classics like “Lyrical Lies” and “The Fourth Drink Instinct” still primarily comprise their live sets. Hacikyan’s stage presence is still marked by exuberant dancing, which includes crouching down at the front of the stage and singing to some lucky front-rower. These much-loved Buffalo natives will play at The Waiting Room on Saturday (Oct 26). Loyal fans can expect a solid set brimming with nostalgia and dance-infused energy.

- kellie powell

6pm The Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (852-3900 / $13 advance $15 day of show

Monday, October 28


Rusko is taking over Town Ballroom once again on Monday (Oct 28). When he performed in Buffalo on Valentine’s Day of 2012 he left a broken bottle of liquor on the stage and continued his tour with a broken thumb. The floor was packed and nearly impossible to maneuver around but no one seemed to mind because that was the vibe of the scene at the time. It was a topic of discussion in the realm when Rusko began producing more drum n’ bass; clearly a successful venture, this summer he released his Lift Me Up EP under Skrillex’ OWSLA Records. On tour for the EP, he is bringing two big-name heavy hitters as well: prominently known drum n’ bass DJ and producer Roni Size, along with Dynamite MC. MNM Presents the show with openers Rochester’s Hoogs, and also Buffalo’s very own SwaggleRock.

- alicia greco

8pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $27 advance, $30 day of show

Wednesday, October 30

Melt Banana

“I’m looking for the best American beef. Give me 50 burgers,” says former Melt Banana drummer Sodoh Toshiaki, as he pulls up to a fast food window in the music video for the band’s 2006 single “Sick Zip Everywhere.” The band gets their 50 burgers and proceeds to devour them—pickles flying through the air, blood-red ketchup smearing across their faces—to the tune of their own demented grindcore noise-rock. It’s glutonous and violent, the perfect accompaniment to Melt Banana’s music. Led by female vocalist Yasuko Onuki, the Japanese band is known for their extremely fast, disorienting brand of experimental music. Yasuko squawks and yelps into the microphone as guitarist Ichirou Agata saws at the strings of his guitar, eliciting horror movie sound-effects that pummel the eardrums. Since the band formed in 1993 they have released 10 studios albums including their seminal 1995 record Scratch or Stitch and 2007’s uncharacteristically poppy Bambi’s Dilemma. This month the band released Fetch, their first record in six years, which marks an impressive return to the hyper-speed mix of punk, metal, jazz, and electronica that the band made their name with. Melt Banana come to the Tralf Music Hall on Wednesday (Oct 30) with special guests Lesionread.

- cory perla

7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $12