News Column

JENNINGS: Tea Party, Mahar and the area's best kept concert secret

July 11, 2013


July 11--NIGHT & DAY -- It's huge entertainment weekend featuring a band best known for a movie theme, a movie director of horror flicks that is also a rock star, a rock band that made violins cool, a band that had a huge hit with a ukulele in it, a Canadian band that shares a name with an American Political movement, and a politically incorrect comedian. Did I forget to mention Justin Bieber?

We are going to start at Braun's Concert Cove in Akron. The venue has been quietly putting together some serious shows there this year, and this weekend is no exception. On Friday, classic rockers Survivor will be performing at Braun's and there has never been a better time to see them than now because both of their famous vocalists are in the current lineup.

When Survivor had a hit in 1982 with "Eye of the Tiger," it featured vocalist Dave Bickler who left the band in 1983. Their other big hits including "High on You", "Burning Heart" and "I Can't Hold Back" featured Jimi Jameson. Now both vocalists are with the band, which is pretty cool. It's a show I am honestly upset that I will be missing.

On Saturday at the same venue they have Fuel, Hoobastank and Alien Ant Farm. Not my kind of music, but of you are a fan of 1990s music you will be in your glory! The venue has some big names coming later this summer, like Jackyl, Ted Nugent, Bret Michaels and Skid Row.

They also landed a date with Florida Georgia Line in September.

Tickets for Braun's shows are available at or at the venue in Akron.

In Lockport on Friday, classic rockers Kansas will be in town for the Canal Concert Series. The band is a staple around these parts, and is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. You can expect to hear "Dust in the Wind" and see a million people playing air guitar to "Carry on Wayward Son."

On Sunday, the second Niagara River Rocks show features the Canadian band Tea Party. It's free to attend, $5 to park. The three-piece Canadian band is well known on this side of the border and put on some great shows in Lockport the past couple of years. The shows take place at scenic (I've been there and it really is scenic) Gratwick Park.

Also on Sunday at Kleinhans Music Hall, the star of the long running television series "Politically Incorrect," Bill Maher. The ground-breaking show ran from 1993-2002, first on Comedy Central and later ABC. The network canceled the show in 2002 after Maher's comments about September 11 terrorists caused a major controversy. The irony is that "Politically Incorrect" was canceled for being politically incorrect.

Since 2003 he has been the host of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."

Tickets for the Sunday evening show are available through Kleinhans website at their box office.

It's a huge weekend at Darien Lake. Friday gets it going with Train, the band that gave us "Drops of Jupiter" and "Hey Soul Sister." They are one of my favorite bands of all time and I own all of their albums. They put on a fantastic show.

On Saturday, country superstar Brad Paisley tops the bill at Darien Lake. I saw him a couple of years back and what impressed me most about his show is that he is such a great guitarist. It's also very family friendly.

On Sunday, the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival will be at Darien Lake, featuring Rob Zombie and Five Finger Death Punch. I've seen Rob Zombie and he is a great performer, but not family friendly by any means.

Tickets for Darien Lake shows are available at Live Nation.

Of course, on Monday Justin Bieber comes to town at The First Niagara Center. He has the most followers of any entertainer on Twitter. I'm not one of them.

Tickets for the Justin Bieber show are available at

Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.


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