Cultural Arts Preview: Concerts

05:00 AM, Sep 22, 2013

Indie rock favorite Vampire Weekend has a Dec. 1 show at the Main Street Armory. (Rich Paprocki)/


Written By Jeff Spevak | Staff music critic

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The biggest-drawing jam band in the land, Phish, has a 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 show at Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial. The group, whose last studio album was 2009’s Joy, has said it is working on a new release. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer, Phish holds what’s likely to be a never-broken attendance record for Blue Cross Arena, when it drew 14,100 people in 2000. Tickets ($62, plus service charges) are available at ticketmaster.com, (800) 745-3000 and the arena box office, 1 War Memorial Square. There is an eight-ticket limit per household.

Jerry Seinfeld returns to Rochester for a 7 p.m. Oct. 18 show at the Auditorium Theatre, 885 E. Main St. Seinfeld became a treasured figure in American entertainment through his TV sitcom Seinfeld, which ended in 1998 with the comedian reportedly turning down NBC’s offer of $5 million per episode. FIVE MILLION! JERRY, ARE YOU CRAZY? Instead, he carefully retreated to where he got his start, stand-up comedy, and a handful of pet projects of varying success. Most recently, that’s been the Internet show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, in which he rides with a comedian in a car and they go get coffee. When you’re Jerry Seinfeld, you can suggest a pilot called You’ll Pay Millions to Shave My Dog’s Butt and a half-dozen TV execs would be standing on your front porch within the hour, clippers in hand.

Seinfeld’s last appearance in Rochester was 2011, when he had two shows at the Auditorium. Tickets ($49.50, $64.50 and $79.50) are available at ticketmaster.com, rbtl.org, the theater box office and (800) 745-3000.

Another comedian of note, Brian Regan (Dec. 7), plays the Auditorium Theater, 885 E. Main St. Yes, Regan’s for adults, but his humor doesn’t shock the kids. He dwells a lot on his childhood, including the trauma of spelling bees: “Because up until that day I was an idiot, but nobody else knew.” Tickets ($35.50) are available at ticketmaster.com and the box office.

Soulful, wailing Joan Osborne (8 p.m. Friday) is at the German House Theater, 315 Gregory St. Osborne’s latest album, Bring It On Home, is a collection of old blues and soul songs that she sang in her early days while playing the clubs of New York City. This is a fully seated show, on the floor and in the balcony. Tickets ($30.50 in advance; $35 the day of show) are at Needledrop Records and the Bop Shop (neither of which have service charges), The House of Guitars, Aaron’s Alley, ticketfly.com and (877) 435-9849. Also at the German House is Arlo Guthrie (8 p.m. Oct. 17), carrying on quite well the political and humanity-concerned folk of his father. By the way, if you’re geared up to hear Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” don’t hold your breath. Guthrie almost never plays it in concert.

Sacred Steel star Robert Randolph has a 9 p.m. Oct. 5 show at Water Street Music Hall, 204 N. Water St. Tickets ($25 in advance; $30 the day of show) are available at waterstreetmusic.frontgatetickets.com, (888) 512-7469 and Aaron’s Alley. Also at Water Street, a night of pop punk with Bayside and Motion City Soundtrack (8 p.m. Oct. 4), indie-pop rockers Taking Back Sunday (8 p.m. Oct. 13), Soul Ayslum and Fountains of Wayne joined by former Lemonhead Evan Dando for a tryptich of ’90s pop-rock (8 p.m. Oct. 15), the German techno-dance monster KMFDM (8 p.m. Oct. 29), Donna the Buffalo (9 p.m. Nov. 16), and Georgia singer-songwriter Zach Deputy (Nov. 20).

Make a note of this one: Roots rockin’ soul singer Nikki Hill, who blew away the house this summer, returns for a Nov. 10 show at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way. Another one to take note of at Abilene is Jeanne Jolly (Oct. 17), an unknown who showed a small crowd a few months ago that she has all of the tools to be a star. The North Carolina native was once Chris Botti’s featured vocalist. Also coming to Abilene in a very loaded fall for the club is Candye Kane (Oct. 9), The Deadstring Brothers (Oct. 10), The Hackensaw Boys (Nov. 3), The Sultans of String (Nov. 7), The Spampanato Brothers CD release party (Nov. 8), and the Eddie Spaghetti record release party (Nov. 14).

Native American singer-songwriter Joanne Shenandoah performs at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1050 East Ave., in a benefit for Rochester-area animal shelters and animal rescue organizations. The show supports 15 different local animal organizations in Monroe, Wayne and Livingston counties. Shenandoah, a member of the Oneida Iroquois tribe, will be joined by her sister Diane and daughter Leah, a recent graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. The Grammy-winning Shenandoah frequently sings in her native language, but does explain the spiritual music in English. Tickets (a $20 donation per person) are available from any of the organizations benefiting from the event, and all proceeds go directly to those groups. For a list of organizations, and to reserve tickets online, go to thisoldcat.com. For more, call (585) 369-4687.

Indie rock favorite Vampire Weekend is joined by Ms Mr for an 8 p.m. Dec. 1 show at the Main Street Armory, 900 E. Main St. Tickets ($35 in advance; $40 at the door) are available at the House of Guitars, Aaron’s Alley, ticketfly.com and (877) 435-9849. Also at the Armory, dance-music DJs Wolfgang Gartner and Tommy Trash, (8 p.m. Oct. 13), more clubs sounds with Funkagenda (9 p.m. Oct. 18), the rootsy Langhorn Slim & The Law (7 p.m. Nov. 1), and the dance-rock of Destroid (7 p.m. Dec. 5).

Legendary Greenwich Village denizen Eric Andersen plays First Unitarian Church, 220 S. Winton Road at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Tickets ($18 general admission; $10 for students with an ID; free for children under 12) are available at cafeveritas.org and the door. Also at the venue, Canadian folkie John Wort Hannam (7:30 p.m. Friday), Canadian social song bard James Keelaghan (7:30 p.m. Oct. 19), Baltimore singer/songwriter ellen cherry (7:30 p.m. Nov. 2), and Lovin’ Spoonful founder John Sebastian (7:30 p.m. Dec. 7).

Doug MacLeod (8 p.m. Oct. 12) picks guitar at Greece Baptist Church, 1230 Long Pond Road, Greece. Tickets ($17 in advance; $20 at the door) are available at heartlandconcerts.org. Also at the venue, bluesman Roy
Bookbinder (8 p.m. Nov. 9).

Django Reinhardt-inspired, yet thoroughly 21st-century, the French-born, Brooklyn-residing guitarist Stephane Wremble returns for a 9 p.m. Sept. 27 show at Lovin’ Cup Bistro & Brews, 300 Park Point Place, Henrietta, near the Rochester Institute of Technology campus. Tickets are $5 for the general public; $3 for students. Also at the venue, Steve Katz (8 p.m. Sept. 28), a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, gets into blues, folk, spoken word and some BST. Lovin’ Cup also has the quirky musical force known as The Chandler Travis Orchestra (7 p.m. Oct. 27).

Of interest to guitar geeks, the duo of Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb (7:30 p.m. Oct. 2) is at Hilda D. Taylor Recital Hall, Hochstein School and Music and Dance, 50 Plymouth Ave. Barrigar, who’s from Syracuse and is the youngest instrumentalist to ever appear at the Grand Ole Opry, and New Zealand native Mazengarb played the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival this summer. Tickets ($20) are available at brownpapertickets.com.

Break of Reality, the cello-and-percussion ensemble that began a decade ago as a group of Eastman School of Music grads, plays its largest venue ever on Jan. 17 at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs St. The band blends rocking originals with a dynamic selection of classic, metal and indie-rock music. This show celebrates the CD release of the band’s first original collection of songs since 2006.

Jazz is largely taking the fall off. The Bop Shop, 1460 Monroe Ave., Brighton, does have a few avant-garde offerings. The Larry Ochs-Don Robinson Duo(8 p.m. Sept. 29) is one of those reed and percussion duos that you’ve come to expect at the venue. Daniel Carter and The Moon (8 p.m. Oct. 28) is led by the jazz reedman who has played with the likes of Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Sonic Youth and Jaco Pastorius. That’s a very abbreviated list. And 10³²K (7 p.m. Nov. 17), is an avant-garde jazz project featuring three gentlemen — bassist Kevin Ray, trombonist Frank Lacy and found-object percussionist Andrew Drury — also with an extensive list of co-conspirators from the jazz world. Local keyboardist Gap Mangione can be found playing most weekends at Woodcliff Hotel and Spa or Bistro 135 in East Rochester.

Rough-hewn solo blues punk artist Scott H. Biram (9 p.m. Tuesday) is at the Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave. Also coming to the club are local-band tributes to Neil Young (Oct. 4) and T Rex (Dec. 6), The Sadies, (8 p.m. Sept. 28) and speed-metal outfit Nashville Pussy (9 p.m. Oct. 22). And as part of that weekend’s Rochester Indie Fest, area rockers will present The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds in its entirety (Oct. 25).

Bela Fleck leads “Five String Summit,” a band fronted by six top banjo players, at 8 p.m. Oct. 4 at Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca St., Geneva, Ontario County. Fleck, a pioneer in progressive banjo, is joined by fellow banjoists Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Eric Weissberg, Noam Pickelny, Richie Sterns, Mac Benford and Abigail Washburn. Tickets ($32.50 and $39.50 in advance; $37.50 and $44.50 the day of the show) are available at thesmith.org. Also at The Smith, the fine new Americana band The Lone Bellow (8 p.m. Oct. 17). Tickets are $18; $15 for students. Check thesmith.org.

A couple of Christmas shows have turned up on the calendar. The Christmas Ceilidh Band (8 p.m. Dec. 14) is at Greece Baptist Church, 1230 Long Pond Road, Greece. Tickets ($17 in advance; $20 at the door) are available at heartlandconcerts.org. And romantic pianist Jim Brickman’s “The Magic of Christmas” (7:30 p.m. Dec. 20) is at the Auditorium Theatre.

The Capitol Steps returns for their annual New Year’s Eve show of music and comedy at 6:30 and 10 p.m. at Nazareth College Arts Center. The college also offers Jim Witter’s Piano Men, the music of Elton John and Billy Joel (8 p.m. April 25). Brass Transit (Feb. 8) plays Roberts Wesleyan College Cultural Life Center.

Out of town, Jay Z has an 8 p.m. Jan. 30 show at Buffalo’s First Niagara Center. Tickets ($39.50, $59.50, $99.50 and $125) are available at tickets.com or (888) 223-6000. Also at the arena is Pearl Jam (7:30 p.m. Oct. 12).