Mid-fall is the time when students first start to get antsy for a break from school — at least, those of us who weren’t antsy from the very first day of classes. In any case, by the fall, most of us are ready for some diversion, and what better way to escape the monotony of campus life than attending a concert?
In Ithaca itself, one of the best places to see a concert is at the Haunt. This venue constantly has a string of smaller acts playing all nights of the week. The highlight of the Haunt’s line-up this fall is definitely the legendary funk/punk fusion of Fishbone, who will be appearing on Friday, October 26. The group will go on at 9:00 p.m., with a load of special guests including Dirty Walt & the Columbus Sanitations, Blowfly, Dr. Madvibe, and 3. Prior to the performance, there will be a “Happy Hour” from 6-9 p.m., with house blues band Pete Panek & the Bluecats playing.
Other highlights include 80s hardcore band King’s X (Monday, October 29) and goths the Cruxshadows (November 4). Check out the Haunt online at www.thehaunt.com for a full schedule of shows. Also be sure to keep an eye out for all the local shows happening every weekend at smaller venues like the Nines, Castaway’s, the Odyssey, and even Collegetown Bagels.
Other Ithaca events include the appearance of popular jam act Rusted Root at Ithaca College. These Grateful Dead revivalists will be bringing their unique mix of jammy rock and tribal drumming to IC’s Ben Light Gymnasium on October 27. To get the full information, check out IC’s Bureau of Concerts homepage for the event: www.ithaca.edu/boc. The Cornell Concert Commission, meanwhile, has yet to announce any set dates for its shows this year, but a few promising candidates are in the works.
If the local scene isn’t enough for the avid concert-goer in you, there are plenty of larger cities within an hour or two by car or bus. Buffalo, the furthest of the cities surrounding Ithaca, seems to be the place to go for metal concerts this year. On October 18, the “Pledge of Allegiance” tour will roll into town at the HSBC Arena (www.hsbcarena.com). The tour, with the dubious boast that attendance can lead to ears bleeding, is headlined by raucous metal bands Mudvayne, Rammstein, Slipknot, and System of a Down.
Then, 10 days later on the 28th, the HSBC Arena will host the “Family Values Tour,” the massive stadium venture founded by Korn in 1998. This year’s headliners include a more varied line-up than in the past, with Stone Temple Pilots, Staind, Linkin Park, and Static X topping the bill. And, if Buffalo concert-goers still haven’t had their fill of headbanging, metal king Ozzy Osbourne will roar in on the crazy train on December 16, accompanied by the lord of the undead, Rob Zombie.
But lest you think Buffalo is only home to metalheads, on October 20 the Showplace will be hosting the penultimate party punk band, the Bouncing Souls, with an impressive opening roster of Flogging Molly, Madcap, and One Man Army.
Another pitstop on your next rock n’ roll road trip should definitely be Syracuse. The Goldstein Auditorium at Syracuse University (http://students.syr.edu/depts/boxoffice), in addition to hosting Everclear this past Tuesday, will feature ska/punk outfits Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger for an early show 6 pm on Sunday, October 7.
Syracuse’s Landmark Theatre (www.landmark-theatre.com) will also feature some great concerts, including hard rockers Fuel and Saliva with Breaking Point (October 21) and Southern rock band Widespread Panic (November 6). At Lost Horizon, the up-and-coming jam band O.A.R. will perform on October 14 with opening act Llama. Ithaca band gone national John Brown’s Body will be returning to their home area for a show on November 9 at Armory High.
But by far the highlight of the Syracuse touring season should be Bob Dylan’s stadium appearance, at the War Memorial Arena on November 13. The Syracuse stop is part of a long series of dates that also includes an appearance at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 19.
Cortland, the closest of these cities to sunny Ithaca, unfortunately only has one concert of note scheduled at this time. Folk-influenced singer/songwriter John Wesley Harding will appear on November 7 on SUNY Cortland’s campus.
Basically, we’re looking at a pretty solid concert season in the upstate New York area. Unfortunately, for those of us without cars, seeing most of these shows means either grubbing a ride from a friend or shelling out cash for a bus ticket. Still, with plenty of great shows right here in Ithaca — not to mention the unannounced acts who may be coming right here to Cornell — even those of us stuck in Ithaca can get our fill of concerts.
Archived article by Ed Howard