Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Big outdoor venues open for business this Friday with The Lumineers

The members of the Lumineers, an American folk rock band, posing for a publicity photo.
Photo provided
Big Hassle Media
The members of the Lumineers, an American folk rock band, posing for a publicity photo.

The charm of The Lumineers opens the Rochester area’s big outdoor venue season.

Friday’s show at Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center, just outside of Canandaigua, is the first stop on a world tour that takes the rootsy Colorado band into December. And it is the first of a fast-approaching trio of shows for the venue, including Ringo Starr & His All-Star Band on Memorial Day. Then Robert Plant, the former Led Zeppelin lead singer, joined by Alison Krauss on Wednesday.

So, to paraphrase Mark Twain, CMAC is halfway around the world before Darien Lake Performing Arts Center gets out of bed with its first show: The Doobie Brothers’ 50th Anniversary Tour with the band’s former lead singer, Michael McDonald, on June 18.

Scattered throughout the summer are potentially great shows such as Fitz and the Tantrums and St. Paul & the Broken Bones at CMAC. And the venue also offers a homecoming for Steve Gadd, who will be playing drums with James Taylor.

We’ll make it easy for you with this handy, yet in no way comprehensive, list. We built it around the big shows at CMAC and Darien Lake, but tossed in a few things for those who want something different. Like, two opportunities to see Rochester’s soul queen Danielle Ponder.

MAY 27

CMAC: The Lumineers and Caamp, 7:30 p.m. Here’s what you need to know about The Lumineers: A folk-rock band that has quietly become one of the most important voices in your record collection. And yes, it is spelled Caamp.

Sponsor Message

Another option: Google “Swordfish Trio,” and you learn it’s a brand of pencil sharpener. Don’t trust Google. This is also a cool vintage jazz trio, headed by Postmodern Jukebox’s Eric Heveron-Smith, who is from Rochester. It starts at 6:30 p.m. at The Little Café.

MAY 30

CMAC: Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band. For this 7 p.m. Memorial Day show, Starr’s band includes an array of names, most of whom share connections through the 1980s, including Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Men at Work vocalist Colin Hay, Kansas and Toto singer and saxophonist Warren Ham, Average White Band guitarist Hamish Stuart, singer and multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter and drummer Gregg Bissonette, who’s played with an extensive roster of rockers and jazz musicians, including David Lee Roth, Toto, Starr and Maynard Ferguson.

Another option: “Blade Runner (The Final Cut)” is showing at The Little. This 1982 film peers into the future, 2019. Since it’s now (checks calendar) 2022, we can see it got a lot wrong, with all this talk about replicants. Or, did it get it right?


CMAC: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss at CMAC, 8 p.m. Plant sets aside his Led Zeppelin rock in favor of bluegrass. Krauss was always there, anyway.


CMAC: Rock for a Cause Community Concert, 5 p.m. This all-local event features The Zac Brown Tribute Band, The Tommy Brunett Band, The Monica Hall Band and Iron Smoke Battle of the Bands winner Letters From New York. Ticket proceeds will go to the Thompson Health Foundation and the Canandaigua Emergency Squad. The show is in honor of the area’s first responders and healthcare workers; they’ll be admitted free to the show with proof of their healthcare employee status.

Another option: This is the midst of The Nitrate Picture Show, running June 2-5 at the George Eastman Theatre’s Dryden Theatre. A visual treat, that old black-and-white nitrate film stock really pops off the screen.


CMAC: Country with Kenny Chesney and Carley Pearce, 7:30 p.m.

Another option: The Midday Bash, starting at 11:30 a.m. at Parcel 5 in downtown Rochester, with food trucks, music, games and even some stretching exercises.


CMAC: Best big outdoor show of the summer? Depends on what your record collection looks like. Fitz and the Tantrums, and St. Paul & the Broken Bones with Devon Gilfillian, 7 p.m.


Darien Lake: The Doobie Brothers 50th Anniversary Tour with the band’s former lead singer, Michael McDonald. This is the third try for the 7:30 p.m. show, which had Darien dates from 2020 and ’21 postponed.

Another option: This is Day Two of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, with The Devon Allman Project headlining the free show on Parcel 5. Yeah, Devon Allman is Gregg’s son. This might be the best night of free music from the jazz fest, with Grace Serene & the Superclean opening at 5 p.m., followed by Samantha Fish and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band supporting The Devon Allman Project.


CMAC: Country, with Maren Morris and Brent Cobb, 8 p.m.

Another option: Bluesy, Americana-driven Carolyn Wonderland has a 7:30 p.m. show at Abilene Bar & Lounge.


CMAC: The Black Crowes “Shake Your Money Maker” tour, 7:30 p.m., with Howlin Rain opening. Last year was the album’s 30th anniversary, and The Black Crowes are playing it in its entirety, alongside a selection of other favorites.

Darien Lake: Country, with Morgan Wallen and Hardy, 7 p.m.

Another option: It must be that Time of the Season, with The Zombies at Point of the Bluff Winery. Sounds… too dated? I saw The Zombies a couple of years ago, and they were surprisingly good. Altameda opens the show at 3 p.m.


CMAC: James Taylor and His All-Star Band, 8 p.m. Irondequoit native Steve Gadd will be on drums.


CMAC: The Tedeschi Trucks Band, after 2020 and ’21 dates at the venue postponed due to the pandemic, has 6:30 p.m. third try. With a strong set of openers in Los Lobos and Gabe Dixon.

Darien Lake: Easy listening pop crooner Josh Groban, 7 p.m.

Another option: The second annual Nature in the City day at the Rochester Public Market, from 2-10 p.m. It’s an environmental-awareness festival of art, music, dance workshops and activities for children and adults.


Darien Lake: The pop boy band Big Time Rush Forever Tour with Dixie D’Amelio, 8 p.m.


Darien Lake: The Backstreet Boys’ 7:30 p.m. show is another one making up for dates postponed in 2020 and ’21.

Another option: Amazingly, Three Dog Night is still out there, with a show at Point of the Bluff Winery. Danny McGaw opens the show at 3 p.m.


Darien Lake: Cheer Live, featuring performers from the Netflix series on competitive cheerleading, 7:30 p.m.

Another option: This is opening night for the Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s “Mean Girls.” It’s a musical-comedy, nominated for a dozen Tony Awards, about nasty high-school girls based on the 2004 film written by Tina Fey. It runs through July 10.


Darien Lake: Dierks Bentley, Ashley McBryde and Travis Denning at Darien Lake, 7 p.m. This is the “Beer’s on Me” tour.

Another option: Buffalo’s The Donny Frauenhofer Band plays the Little Feet album “Waiting For Columbus” in its entirety, starting at 8 p.m.


CMAC: Keith Urban and Ingrid Andress, 7 p.m.

Another option: Did we mention July 9 and 10 is Corn Hill Arts Festival weekend?


CMAC: Luke Bryan, Riley Green and Mitchell Tenpenny, 7 p.m.

Darien Lake: Thomas Rhett, Parker McCollum and Conner Smith, 7:30 p.m. “Bring the Bar to You” tour.


CMAC: Jackson Browne, 8 p.m.

Another option: Webster native Kate Lee and her husband, Forrest O’Connor, have a gig at the old church in Charlotte, now a music venue, 75 Stutson Street. Based out of Nashville, the duo is a part of The Mark O’Connor Band -- named for Forrest’s dad, the band leader -- which won a Grammy in 2017 for Best Bluegrass Album.


CMAC: Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, 7:30 pm.

Another option: Fema Kuti & the Positive Force has a show at the Point of the Bluff winery. But the 3 p.m. opener is a don’t miss: Soulful Rochester singer Danielle Ponder, is fresh off her first national TV appearance on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” Ponder (checks notes, again) as we failed to note earlier, plays the final day of the Rochester International Jazz Festival, as a June 25 opener for G Love and Special Sauce on Parcel 5.


Darien Lake: Pitbull and Iggy Azalea, 8 p.m.

AUG. 4

CMAC: Sam Hunt, Dustin Lynch and Mackenzie Porter, 7 p.m.

AUG. 8

CMAC: Journey, 8 p.m.

Another option: Midday Bash at Parcel 5. Starting at 11:30 a.m. with food trucks, music and a handful of activities, including stretching exercises for the downtown deskbound.

AUG. 14

Darien Lake: Outlaw Music Festival, Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, Zach Bryan, Charlie Crockett and The War & Treaty, 4 p.m.

AUG. 17

CMAC: Chris Stapleton, Elle King and Madeline Edwards, 7 p.m.

AUG. 20

Darien Lake: Encanto: The Sing Along Film Concert, 7:30 p.m. Encanto, as everyone who bought the accompanying dolls knows, is an animated Disney film released last year.

AUG. 25

Darien Lake: Hip-hop with Wiz Khalifa and Logic, 6:30 p.m.

AUG. 27

CMAC: Dwight Yoakam and Old Crow Medicine Show, 8 p.m.

Darien Lake: Jason Aldean, Gabby Barrett and John Morgan, 7:30 p.m.


CMAC: Daryl Hall and John Oates, 8 p.m.

SEPT. 20

Darien Lake: Rock with Shinedown, Jellyroll and John Harvie, 7 p.m.

Another option: Although the outdoor season will be winding to a close by now, the CGI Rochester Fringe Festival will be taking up the slack here, running from Sept.13-24 in and around downtown Rochester.

SEPT. 27

Darien Lake: Closing out the big outdoor venue summer season is a hardcore rock show with Five Finger Death Punch and Megadeth, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Jeff Spevak has been a Rochester arts reporter for nearly three decades, with seven first-place finishes in the Associated Press New York State Features Writing Awards while working for the Democrat and Chronicle.
Related Content