It was during the season’s first Food Truck Tuesdays (yesterday) that the 2016 Live at Larkin concert series line-up was announced. 2016 will feature new theme nights, more acts, and more importantly a 24 music acts that have never performed at the event series. This is the fifth year that Live at Larkin has gathered together some of Buffalo’s most talented musicians. This year, fans will be able to catch a total of 38 acts throughout the season (every Wednesday).
“We’re excited to welcome the public to a new chapter of Live at Larkin with this most ambitious lineup to date for our original flagship event,” said Larkin Square Director of Fun Leslie Zemsky. “We continue to be amazed at the depth and quality of the Buffalo music scene – We can’t wait to hula hoop to these sounds of summer!”
The 2016 season kicks off earlier than it ever has – Wednesday, June 1, featuring a six-act Opening Night. At least two bands will play each week. At the end of each show, the bands will come together for a super energetic collaborative finale.
Food trucks will be available during the series. Admission is free.
6/1 – Opening Night Extravaganza! 6 acts, all representing local music nonprofits – John and Mary & the Valkyries (Sportsmens Americana Music Foundation); Fredtown Stompers (Music is Art); Freightrain (Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, Blues Society of WNY); Verve Dance Studio (Young Audiences of WNY); Carol McLaughlin & Magnitude (Colored Musicians Club, Community Music School); and the French Quarter Hounds (Music is Art).
6/8 – On a break from nationwide touring, Buffalo’s own ever-growing groove-rockers Aqueous return to Larkin Square with support from the debut show of their friends Jettison, featuring members of The Albrights.
6/15 – After one of the wildest nights in Live at Larkin history last year, Outer Circle Orchestra brings its Afro-Caribbean world-beat back to Larkinville with support from fellow horn-heavy, high-energy ensemble Tiger Chung Lee.
6/22 – East Side Night: featuring the return of the Unity Band along with Larkinville debuts of jazz saxophonist Will Holton, a cappella quartet 4 B-Lo, and Polonia-flavored polkas from the Buffalo Concertina All Stars.
6/29 – Buffalo ’66: Cash & Stones Revisited: 50 years ago this week, Johnny Cash played 6 nights at Melody Fair while The Rolling Stones played The Aud on their first U.S. tour. In honor of this amazing occasion, Buffalo bands Stoneflower and A Band Named Sue featuring cast members from Ring of Fire will recreate the sets of those shows.
7/6 – Latin at Larkin: while not the first time Latin grooves have graced the Larkin stage, this makes the first time that free dance lessons will be offered alongside, as Salsa Sarah‘s beginner sessions in merengue, bachata and salsa precede sets from La Krema and Sol Y Sombra (inset – left).
7/13 – Album release: folk-rock veterans Tom Stahl and the Dangerfields will celebrate the release of his 11th album – along with his 25th wedding anniversary! – with support from the Larkinville debut of folk-pop singer-songwriter Savannah & the Kings.
7/20 – In a brief visit home from cross-country touring, Miller & the Other Sinners bring their internationally-charting blues-soul back to Live at Larkin, with support from the Larkinville debut of renowned roots-rock-reggae sage Preach Freedom & Connect.
7/27 – Returning home from New York City for their first Buffalo show in more than two years, The Reign of Kindo (inset – right) brings their adventurous rock to Larkinville for the first time, with support from fellow internationally-renowned indie rockers The Tins.
8/3 – South Buffalo Night: the annual civic pride party returns with both new and familiar faces – Congressman Brian Higgins & the Exchange Street Band will once again headline in their only annual appearance, along with South Buffalo special-occasion staple The Stone Bridge Band and newcomer Keith Shuskie featuring John Higgins.
8/10 – The only Live at Larkin pairing to appear together in each of the series’ first five seasons, blues-rock powerhouse Dive House Union will once again reunite for the occasion of playing with survival blues beacon Jony James Band (lead image).
8/17 – Album release: Led by Andrew J. Reimers and Kate Panfil of CPX fame, The Rear View Ramblers will release their debut album of original Americana with support from another Live at Larkin debut in outlaw country newcomers Uncle Ben’s Remedy.
8/24 – Sinatra’s Second Century: with another new theme night unique to Live at Larkin, two acts will look both forward and back on the songbook of Frank Sinatra, who would’ve turned 100 in 2015 – Nelson Starr & the Franciscans have been assembled just for the occasion, as Starr and a group of adventurous local musicians will put a new spin on old Sinatra songs, while the Joey Giambra Jazz Orchestra will honor the original Sinatra sound while sharing stories of The Chairman of the Board’s many visits to Buffalo.
8/31 – The Live at Larkin finale has always been a big party – enter the perfect party band, The Buffalovebirds, a local supergroup which to date has only performed at the annual Buffalovefest at the zoo, with support from another special-occasion party band in the debut of The New Good Neighbors, a 12-piece outfit led by Larkin’s own emcee Seamus Gallivan.
Who: Larkin Square, 38 Buffalo-bred musical acts, food trucks and community groups
What: Live at Larkin free concert series, presented by First Niagara and sponsored by Independent Health
When: Wednesdays, June 1st through August 31st, 5-8:30pm
Where: Larkin Square, 745 Seneca Street, Buffalo
Why: Celebrate summertime and the local music scene with 14 weeks of free concerts
For more information on Live at Larkin and other events in Larkinville, please visit www.larkinsquare.com.