Dave Leary’s Country Concert Preview
2016 Summer Season
Western New Yorkers love their country music as evidenced by the consistently strong ratings for Buffalo’s WYRK-FM and the strong attendance for the many shows that come to town each year. Here’s a preview of the summer country concert season including a couple that are under the radar.
WYRK’s Taste of Country is always the first big country show of the summer. Taking place at Coca-Cola Field, the event draws over 20,000 fans for a full evening of music. This year’s lineup includes established stars Billy Currington, Eli Young Band and Jerrod Niemann as well as Granger Smith and LoCash, 2 acts who have been around for years and finally had mainstream success in the past year.
Darien Lake PAC– Darien Center, NY
June 23, Miranda Lambert kicks off the country lineup with her high energy show and openers Kip Moore and Brothers Osborne.
July 3. Zac Brown Band- You can’t put them into just one category but you can count on stellar harmonies and musicianship
July 8- Brantley Gilbert. One of the new acts whose sound and attitude are just as much arena rock as they are country. Openers Justin Moore and Colt Ford do the same.
July 15- To quote one of his many hits, he may not be “as good as he once was” but Keith still has a devoted following and knows how to throw a party.
July 31- Darius Rucker. The former Hootie & the Blowfish frontman has carved out a nice 2nd career as a country hitmaker. He still performs his Hootie hits as well. Opening acts Dan + Shay and Michael Ray will have the women in the audience swooning.
August 19- Brad Paisley. One of the best guitarists around, Paisley brings his combination of humorous ditties and romantic ballads to town once again. Tyler Farr and Maddie & Tae open things up.
August 26- Florida Georgia Line. Say what you will about these guys (and I have) but they have a huge connection with their mostly young audience and an over the top show, Cole Swindell, The Cadillac Three and Kane Brown round out the lineup.
September 22- Jason Aldean. Aldean may wear a cowboy hat but he puts on a straight up rock show. Thomas Rhett and A Thousand Horses get the party started.
CMAC Performing Arts Center– Canandaigua, NY
If you’re willing to travel a little further, there are some stellar shows here as well.
June 10- Kenny Chesney. This is as close as he’s coming to the Buffalo area (which he hasn’t played in years) Still one of the biggest touring acts around. Old Dominion opens the show,
June 24- Keith Urban. Touring in support of the recently released Ripcord album, Urban brings his amazing guitar skills with Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris along for the ride.
July 2- Chris Young. Young won a season of the now defunct “Nashville Star” and is one of the best singers in modern country. He’s touring with Cassadee Pope, former winner of “The Voice. The two recorded a duet called “Think of You” , a recent #1 hit.
July 21- Chris Stapleton. He’s gone from writing hit songs for others to winning nearly every major award and selling the most albums in country music in the past year. With Brandy Clark opening, this promises to be a standout night of traditional country.
July 30- Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris. Two artists that have transcended genres but are undoubtedly a big part of country music’s history.
August 12- Don Henley. The legendary co-founder of the Eagles released one of the best country albums of 2015, Cass County.
Sportsmen’s Tavern, Buffalo
-June 21. Marty Stuart. Stuart brings his mix of traditional country and rockabilly to one of the best places to see live music in Buffalo.
Jam in the Valley, Varysburg June 30- July 2
-Started in 1994, this has become a major event over 3 days during July 4th weekend with one of the biggest fireworks shows anywhere. This year’s lineup includes national acts such as Sam Hunt, Jake Owen and Easton Corbin as well as local artists.