The Best WNY Concerts of the Decade

A lot has changed in 10 years.

In 2010, I had a bachelor’s degree, an uncertain career path, aspirations to become a music journalist at a national publication, and zero relationship prospects of any kind.

As 2020 approaches, I have a master’s degree, a great job, a reputation among readers and industry professionals as a serious writer, and a wife and son whose collective impact on everything I do can’t be overstated.

Yes, things changed for me, but they changed for the outside world, as well.

What should be a conscientious, über-literate society that uses social media as a catalyst for good is actually a vitriolic cesspool that allows the uninformed to spew digital dysentery on Twitter without consequence. What should be a culture predicated on intellectual disagreement is actually a breeding ground for ad hominem attacks that contribute absolutely nothing to the elevation of public discourse.

Mark Zuckerberg didn’t ruin us. He simply provided an avenue for us to ruin ourselves, and, if we don’t stop and smell the avocado toast, the damage could be irreparable.

That said, I’m going to do my part by continuing to bring depth to the work and not shaming people for having an opinion that isn’t in sync with the hive. We all like different things and respectfully debating the merits of what we love with others is what makes being a consumer of pop culture so much fun in the first place.

What follows is a list of the finest local shows that I experienced during the past decade, and, while there was a point early on where I attended three shows a week, keep in mind that I couldn’t see everything.

Public Enemy – Aug. 11, 2010 at Town Ballroom 

The Black Keys – Sept. 2, 2010 at Town Ballroom

Megadeth, Testament, and Exodus – March 13, 2010 at Town Ballroom

Pearl Jam and Band of Horses – May 10, 2010 at HSBC Arena 

Stone Temple Pilots – May 7, 2011 at Main Street Armory 

Sully Erna – June 14, 2011 at The Riviera Theatre

The Tragically Hip and Arkells – July 30, 2011 at Canalside

Ice Cube – March 11, 2011 at Town Ballroom

Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman – Oct. 26, 2011 at Kleinhans Music Hall 

Marcus Miller – June 7, 2013 at The Bear’s Den

Steven Wilson – April 21, 2013 at Town Ballroom

Jewel – March 16, 2013 at Seneca Niagara Events Center

Puscifer – June 20, 2012 at The Riviera Theatre

Joan Osborne – June 1, 2012 at The Bear’s Den

Bad Company – July 16, 2013 at Artpark

The Flaming Lips – July 17, 2013 at Artpark

Aretha Franklin – March 2, 2013 at Seneca Niagara Events Center

Our Lady Peace – April 6, 2012 at Club Infinity

Goo Goo Dolls – April 29, 2014 at North Park Theatre

Justin Hayward – May 15, 2014 at The Bear’s Den

Jackson Browne – Aug. 11, 2014 at Artpark 

My Morning Jacket – July 22, 2015 at Artpark

Pixies – May 19, 2015 at The Rapids Theatre

U2 and Beck – Sept. 5, 2017 at New Era Field

Dave Davies – Nov. 16, 2013 at The Bear’s Den

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – Feb. 25, 2016 at First Niagara Center

Lindsey Buckingham and J.S. Ondara – Nov. 27, 2018 at The Riviera Theatre

Smashing Pumpkins, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, and AFI – Aug. 10, 2019 at Darien Lake Amphitheatre

Ted Nugent – Aug. 16, 2011 at Artpark 

The Who – May 9, 2019 at KeyBank Center

Scott Stapp – June 27, 2014 at The Bear’s Den

Deep Purple, Judas Priest, and The Temperance Movement – Sept. 5, 2018 at Darien Lake Amphitheatre

The Tea Party  – July 22, 2011 at  Ulrich City Centre

Johnny Marr – Oct. 20, 2018 at Town Ballroom

Anthrax, Testament, and Death Angel – Nov. 15, 2011 at Town Ballroom













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