by Doug Sitler

nietzchesOn Friday night I headed down to Nietzsche’s in historic Allentown to catch one of my favorite local rock bands – The Steve Johnson Band. Nietzsche’s is a venerable Buffalo music hall that has provided music seven nights a week for over 25 years – from solo artists to bombastic rock bands, the club has seen it all. The fact that Nietzsche’s is located in Allentown is an added bonus, as it has always been my favorite neighborhood in Buffalo; full of cool shops, funky art galleries, great restaurants, and late-night hangouts.

Walking though the front door of the 300-person capacity club is like stepping into an art exhibit. From floor to ceiling, the club’s walls are adorned with interesting paintings and sculptures created by local artists and the club’s patrons. The place attracts a wide variety of patrons, with “music lover” tending to be the characteristic that brings everyone together. One of the more interesting features of this club is the ceiling. A quick glance upwards reveals autographs by Phish, Rusted Root, 10,000 Maniacs, Ani DiFranco, The Tragically Hip, and other famous performers that have graced the club’s stage.

With the club’s owner Joe Rubino quite often holding court at the corner of the bar, Nietzsche’s features two areas where patrons can experience music. In the front of the bar is a small stage that tends to feature acoustic performers. In the rear of the club is where the large main stage resides, with elevated seating on the sides of the venue, and an ample dance floor to groove the night away. The weekend shows tend to start at 10:00 p.m., with the cover charge rarely exceeding $5. Whether you go to the club to see “the next big thing,” or just to have an enjoyable night in a creative setting, Nietzsche’s will fit the bill.

Click on the following links to find out more about Nietzsche’s ( or the Allentown neighborhood (