151120 United Way 1

Nerds Gone Wild perform at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in this file photo. The band will be back at the casino — at the Stir nightclub on Dec. 31.

New Year’s Eve is one of the best nights of the year to go out and enjoy some live music. For my last column of the year I have three great choices, ranging from a massive outdoor show to a great offering in a club setting.

Starting with a show at Buffalo Iron Works, you can ring in the New Year with Uprooted, which features Rusted Root founder Michael Glabicki. As the band’s name suggests, the show will feature plenty of Rusted Root material, albeit reimagined.

The Pittsburgh-based Rusted Root is on hiatus, which definitely has an impact on the live music scene around here, because Rusted Root was a mainstay on the festival scene, and has performed some legendary shows in Niagara County over the past decade.

Rusted Root has had its share of lineup changes, but the core three members Liz Berlin, Patrick Norman and Glabicki have kept Rusted Root going since the group’s commercial peak in the 1990s with the Platinum selling album “When I Woke.”

Uprooted appears to be the band that is keeping the Rusted Root tradition alive, and I am sure with Glabicki at the helm you can expect a fantastic evening of live music, he is a great performer and a road dog.

Tickets for the show are available at buffaloironworks.com

Over at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, they will be hosting Nerds Gone Wild at Stir, the bar located in the middle of the casino. Nerds Gone Wild is a party band that focuses on material from the 1980s.

It takes tremendous skill to be an effective party band, most of them perform a wide range of material from different eras. I caught the Nerds for the first time back in the summer of 2017, and to be candid, even though many people told me how amazing their show is, I was skeptical, especially since they limit themselves to material from the 1980s.

They definitely lived up to their reputation, and the musicianship and visual elements are wonderful. Even if you didn’t grow up listening to material from the 1980s, the show is stellar.

Tickets for the party are $50 and available through Ticketmaster.

Over in Niagara Falls Canada at Queen Victoria Park, they have hosted huge free outdoor New Year’s Eve shows for a long time that feature some big names and plenty of fireworks and fun.

This year’s headliner is Burton Cummings, the voice of The Guess Who’s biggest hits including “American Woman,” “Undun” and “No Time.” Burton will not only be ringing in the New Year, he will be celebrating his 71st birthday on Dec. 31.

He may be a septuagenarian, but Burton still sings and plays like a kid at his first bar gig. His voice has held up, and he knows how to work a crowd with his song selection and banter. Burton is a legend in Canada, and thanks to our regions proximity to the Great White North, he is just as beloved in these parts.

I’ll close with special thanks to all of my readers for another great year. It’s been an incredible year covering shows at the amazing venues in this region, including Artpark, the Rapids Theatre, the Riv and Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino. I look forward to another music-filled year with you.


Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.

Recommended for you