Summer Energy


All winter, concertgoers have hidden from sub-zero temperatures in the warmth of an indoor venue. But now the temperature's rising and summer nights draw music lovers out into the open, filling up arenas and parking lots across the country. So here are a few dates you might just want to skip that summer job for.

Vans Warped Tour at Darien Lake PAC
7/14
$30
The aptly named "Punk Rock Summer Camp" is back for its 16th year and is boasting one of its strongest lineups yet. Although the tour is famous for being the grueling boot camp for the newer bands, this year also brings back some older, well-established acts. Gracing the stage will be the talented men of Sum 41 and Motion City Soundtrack – both must-see acts. Also hitting the parking lots will be We the Kings, Four Year Strong, Alkaline Trio, Never Shout Never, All-American Rejects, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Buffalo natives Every Time I Die. Of the lesser-known bands, The Downtown Fiction is one that shouldn't be overlooked. As the tour crisscrosses the USA, the only reason punk rock lovers have for missing this summer staple is if they're out of the country.

Bamboozle Roadshow at Molson Amphitheater, Toronto, ON
6/16
$39.25 to $51.75 CAN (fees included)
Although this concert may require a passport and a roughly two-hour drive, it will be worth it. All Time Low boasts some of the best music in the pop-punk genus and has a live show to match it. After years on the Warped Tour, this quartet has honed their summer concert skills and definitely won't disappoint. They are joined by three more headliners – Boys Like Girls, LMFAO and Third Eye Blind. Out of the nine other performers, Forever the Sickest Kids and Good Charlotte are two sets you will want to be in the pit for.

Green Day with AFI at Darien Lake PAC
8/5
$35-$85
If you have somehow missed any of Green Day's concerts, then consider the night of August 5 booked. Green Day gives one of the best live shows this decade has to offer. They won't be taking your attendance for granted. The trio will work up a sweat halfway into the first song and their energy won't die down until the last note ends. Plus, they tend to bring along fireworks. Oh, and that other band? AFI? They're pretty amazing as well.

Honda Civic Tour- Paramore with Tegan & Sara, New Found Glory, and Kadawatha
Darien Lake PAC
8/8
$26- $37.50
Another band that grew up in the spotlight, Paramore started in the business at an age when they still knew how painful it was to go to a bad show, so they have created the opposite. With an energetic show sure to keep you happy, they are supported by the amazing talents of Tegan & Sara and New Found Glory. Although Kadawatha is lesser known, they have a strong sound and Paramore fans can trust that the band wouldn't bring along a bad act.

Lynard Skynyrd God and Guns Tour at Darien Lake PAC
7/3
$29-$59.50
It's a chance to yell "Free Bird" and actually have it be relevant.

Festivals

Music festivals are an integral part of the summer and there are three well-established, excellent offerings you can get to without too much trouble. Unfortunately, none are in the Buffalo area and most will make your wallet cry.

Bamboozle Chicago
5/15
$35
Travel time: Eight and a half hours
Since the largest Bamboozle falls during exams (May 1 and 2), most will be missing this. Yet for the first time ever, this problem has been rectified with Bamboozle's newest endeavor, located in the Windy City. It may be a drive, but the tickets are cheap and the eight hours on the highway will pay off with the headliners alone: Something Corporate, Cobra Starship, and 3OH!3. Since the only shows the newly reformed Something Corporate has announced are Bamboozle-related, fans may want to head out to see them for fear they may disappear again.

Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN
June 10-13
$249.50 (includes camping and parking)
Travel time: 12 hours
This infamous four-day festival really needs no introduction. Featuring over 100 bands and comedians, concertgoers will get their money's worth. This year, the festival hosts such bands as Rise Against, the National, Against Me!, Gaslight Anthem, OK Go, Bo Burnham, Manchester Orchestra and Frank Turner. Comedians include Conan O'Brien and Nick Kroll. It's expensive and far away, but if it has enough bands you like, it's going to be worth it.

Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Chicago
August 6-8
$215
Travel time: Nine hours
Featuring mainly punk and pop acts, this year's major bands include Sound Garden, Green Day and Lady Gaga. Other well-known bands appearing are Arcade Fire, MGMT, The National, AFI, Matt & Kim, Drive-By Truckers, Switchfoot, Foxy Shazam and The Strokes. As with Boonaroo, if the love of the music outweighs the hefty price, the money won't be wasted.

E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com