Joan Osborne and Jill Sobule @ Riviera Theatre, North Tonawanda, NY 9-26-23

Joan Osbourne @ Riviera Theatre, North Tonawanda, NY 9-26-23

As the fall season has started, The Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda, NY has a bevy of shows on its calendar. One of the first shows on its fall schedule was the Joan Osborne and Jill Sobule show. Osborne just released her last studio effort titled “Nobody Owns You” on September 8th. Sobule who also has folk influenced music, was the opener for this show.

Sobule, took the stage at 8pm sharp. She opened with the “Resistance Song” and shared stories throughout her set. If you’re not familiar with Sobule, she incorporates funny lyrical content and weaves that into her songs. She’s quirky but very likeable. She played songs like “America Back,” “Cinnamon Park and Underdog Victorious.” The songs that put her on the map were “Supermodel” and “I Kissed a Girl,” which also were played. I really enjoyed her set as Sobule has a good voice and I enjoyed her approach to the storytelling and song approach.

Osborne closed the set was she was only backed by a keyboardist and guitarist. She wasn’t as funny and engaging as Sobule, but she really gave the fans a great retrospect of her career’s work. She opened up her set with a song she has only performed few times prior in “I Should Have Danced More.” This new song along with a few others off her new album were played during the set. She also played 3 songs off her 2017 tribute to Bob Dylan album including “High Water” and “Gotta Serve Somebody.” She used a snare drum and brush for a few tracks as she stood and sang. At one point, Osborne talked about the pandemic and how unsettling it was for musicians who thrive playing in front a live audience. She went on to talk about how important music is to bring joy to our lives during these tumultuous times as she went into “Trouble and Strife.” At one point, she wanted a better response from the crowd when introducing her band. She said, “I know its Tuesday but Buffalo you have a reputation to uphold.” After that point, there was more of a positive response when the crowd was called upon. She played acoustic guitar on few tracks including the last song of the evening called “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry.”

If you love folk but with a splash of blues, pop and R&B, you would love this show. The two ladies delivered different but inspiring sets.


I Should’ve Dance More

High Water (For Charley Patton) (Bob Dylan cover)

I Want to be Loved (Muddy Waters cover)

Whole Wide World

Trouble and Strife

Nobody Owns You

Shake Your Hips (Slim Harop cover)


St. Teresa

One of Us (Eric Bazillian cover)

Gotta Serve Everybody (Bob Dylan cover)


Stella Blue (Grateful Dead cover)

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (Bob Dylan cover)

We would like to thank Rafael Castro from the Riviera Theatre for the credentials to review the show.