The transition to fall means a lot of things for students in Buffalo. The weather is getting colder, classes are getting harder and students are getting understandably stressed. But the cooler weather doesn’t mean the Buffalo music scene is cooling down any time soon.
Coloring pages and Dr. Seuss books covered tables outside of the Katharine Cornell Theatre Friday, as children and families waited in line to see the first-ever UB-led performance from an iconic cat. UB students performed a theater production of Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat” at the theater on Sept. 27-28 as part of the Department of Theatre and Dance’s annual Student Directed Series. The series gives students the opportunity to produce and direct a show on their own and this production was the first-ever children’s theater production at UB, based on the 1957 children’s book of the same name by Dr. Seuss.
SHAED hasn’t quite hit household name recognition yet, but that may not last much longer. The D.C.-based electro-pop group’s new single, “Trampoline,” overtook Billie Eilish’s “Bury a Friend” for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Alternative Radio chart this summer. With a musical style that BlackBook described as “infectious, magnetic charisma,” the group’s elaborate sound design, whimsical tone and deeply meaningful lyrics leave listeners craving more.
At the beginning of the semester, it’s hard to know all of the entertainment opportunities the Buffalo area can offer. And for some students, it can be difficult to make it downtown to enjoy a play or musical performance. But excellent performances may be closer than students think.
Country singer Eric Van Houton didn’t always want to play country music. It wasn’t until he was asked to play country one day –– and went home to listen to Ketih Urban’s 2002 record “Golden Road” for four days straight –– that he realized his passion.
There’s something magical about Haley Reinhart’s aura. It’s in her ‘60s appeal, it’s in her free-spirited live shows and it’s in her band, which once included the now Grammy-winning hip-hop heavyweight Anderson .Paak. Reinhart, quite like her former drummer-turned-performer extraordinaire, has evolved her sound over her career. Her new record, “Lo-Fi Soul,” is a coverless call to the ‘60s, full of organs, lovely backing harmonies and vocal effects that carry the record throughout. Unlike her previous effort, “What’s That Sound,” Reinhart’s originals run her latest and feel straight out of The Monkees’ or The Doors’ organ-heavy catalog. It’s vintage, but it’s her.
The crowd chanted “more w--re” and dropped dollar bills as Keke Valasquez-Lord entertained the audience to “Last Dance” by Donna Summer. Club Marcella held “Curtain Up’s a Drag” in collaboration with Shea’s Performing Arts Center at the Smith Theatre Friday night. The 237-seat Black Box Theater was nearly full –– surprisingly with an older audience. It featured individual performances from Sasha Storm, Cece Vergara, Chyna Dior, Nicky Monroe, Valasquez-Lord, Winter Storm, Bebe Bvlgari and Armani, along with a group act at the end. Reigning Miss Gay Buffalo Icon Valasquez-Lord –– an entertainer in the Buffalo drag community for the past 13 years –– hosted the show.
A backdrop of old VHS tapes and psychedelic visuals set the stage as wild synth patterns clash with violins. NYC band Guerilla Toss has covered everything from ear-splitting punk to ‘80s synthpop. Its gradual evolution has created a satisfying career arc, but one consistent appeal of the group is vocalist Kassie Carlson. Her singing ranges from high-pitched screams to melodic anthem cries, but she always remains the heart and soul of the band’s personality.
Kanye West wasn’t a big fan of presidents in 2005 and he probably never expected to dap one up when he visited Alumni Arena on Oct. 21 of that year. But Dela Yador –– the 2005 Student Association president –– thinks about his encounter with West often.
Buffalo’s production of “Hairspray” brings something to the musical that professional performances don’t typically see. A student-filled cast. “Hairspray,” despite the uncharacteristically young team, radiated an exuberant energy between the cast and audience that resonated throughout the house.
Students started their Saturday morning hoping to catch a glimpse of Afro-Caribbean artists Kranium, Koffee and Burna Boy at Fall Fest.
Koffee didn’t need any coffee to help her pull off her Fall Fest performance Saturday night. Instead, the artist –– who had the flu –– leaned on and harnessed her Buffalonian fans’ positive energy. Koffee, born Mikayla Simpson, performed at the Center for the Arts during the Student Association’s first of three Fall Fest shows, where she announced her sickness on stage.
Gilbert Gottfried could have played an important role in your childhood. But he probably won’t remember if you ask him. Throughout his 30-plus-year career, the comedian lent his voice to films like “Aladdin,” cartoons like “The Fairly Odd Parents,” video games like “Kingdom Hearts” and over 160 other projects. While he doesn’t always recall each of his gigs, he still rakes in the residual checks for them –– even the ones worth $.01.
While audiences won’t see the finished product until later this fall, performers in UB’s upcoming musical have been hard at work since the beginning of May. Even though the actors are students, they receive the same treatment as professionals, and are expected to work just as hard.
Billie Essco remembers the day he saw his creative idol live. The Buffalo rapper decided to drive down to New York City and go see Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 show. After the life-changing show, which featured Young Thug and Kid Cudi, Essco left the city to go stay at his friend’s place in Washington, D.C.
Students who have taken a media study production class know the department requires an extra $125 lab fee. Students have had to pay this fee for each production class they take –– regardless of how often the course uses the resources.
When asked to describe college students, most people’s first response is “broke.” Students have to pay for tuition, meals, gas, rent, books and so much more, so it gets hard to hold on to extra cash.But if you listen to this playlist of rich rhythms, you can feel richer, even while eating ramen noodles out of a coffee mug.
Burna Boy, Young the Giant, Gunna and DaBaby will headline the Student Association’s 2019 Fall Fest Concert Series.