The grapevine: Your weekly collection of Buffalo's sonic selections
Time is frigidly moving along as the Buffalo weather has seen its ups and downs. Your class workload may be increasing in the next few weeks but the Queen City will always keep you steady with great live music.
This week, Ariana Grande leads the mix as funk & rap also make their rounds to our neck of the woods. Go out, bring some friends and enjoy what Buffalo has to offer.
Tuesday, Feb. 21
Ariana Grande - KeyBank Center
This larger-than-life pop singer will be making her way downtown to perform some of her latest songs and hit records. Ariana Grande – the multi-talented, Florida-born performer – has seen her share of success from Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” to her popular music career.
Grande is known for her vocal range that draws shades of Mariah Carey and her signature catchiness. The Grammy-nominated singer hits sweet notes on old songs like “The Way” and “Problem” along with newer cuts off her album Dangerous Woman.
Grande will be joined by rapper BIA and singer Victoria Monet, who will complement the singer’s pleasant sounds on-stage. Don’t miss what will be a rousing performance in perfect pitch at the KeyBank Center.
Wednesday, Feb. 22
COIN featuring Romes - Waiting Room
Indie pop band COIN will have the Waiting Room well invested in their music Wednesday night.
COIN, led by singer Chase Lawrence, is a Nashville-based indie group that plays with youthful themes of fun. The group recently released their single “I Don’t Wanna Dance,” which pleases through floaty vocals and a catchy chorus.
Joining COIN will be Romes, a soul-pop outfit from Toronto. Last year, Romes released their EP BELIEVE which features the upbeat track “Believe” and space-ish dance cut “Tryna Be.”
If you’re searching for a mid-week occasion that will resonate with you into the weekend, this concert is the place to be.
Wednesday, Feb. 22
Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles - Iron Works
Jazz musician Cory Henry is no stranger to a cool time as the keyboardist and organist for the group Snarky Puppy. Henry is touring the east coast and will be making the stop in Buffalo with a different collective.
Henry’s work with Snarky Puppy has seen him shine on jazz fusion tracks like “Lingus” and “Skate U.” His groovy playing turns any set of keys into colorful, soulful fields.
The instrumentalist has music in his blood, performing at the legendary Apollo Theater at six years old. As the years have gone on, Henry has performed with acts ranging from Bruce Springsteen to gospel star Kirk Franklin.
Henry’s gospel vibes seep into his music with his second album The Revival, which peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. Gospel charts. The instrumentalist’s funky bunch is a nice break in the middle of the week and for just $18, it’s a musical steal.
Saturday, Feb. 25
GZA featuring Meyhem Lauren - Waiting Room
When this MC comes to perform, he’ll provide a show of pure “genius” for hip-hop fans.
GZA, known for his praised rap albums like Liquid Swords and Words from the Genius, is the co-founder of the Wu-Tang Clan. GZA’s appearances on the group’s albums are packed with intellect and lyricism that makes heads nod.
Queens rapper Meyhem Lauren will be holding things down to start the show. Lauren brings a nostalgic feel to rap on songs like “Badmon Ting” as well as his collaborations with rapper Action Bronson.
A night with an old-school punch is certainly in order, so make sure you get to the Waiting Room early.
Saturday, Feb. 25
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic - Center for the Arts
P-Funk will be making its way to North Campus this weekend as George Clinton takes center stage.
Clinton, known primarily for his funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic, has been performing for decades. In 1997, Clinton joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and recently collaborated with rapper Kendrick Lamar on his album To Pimp a Butterfly.
The artist may not have a recognizable name but his music has spanned generations.
His work in the ’70s and ’80s found Clinton in major roles on albums like Maggot Brain and One Nation Under a Groove. The group’s tracks play with emotions both powerful and unconventional.
In his solo career, Clinton’s synthy song “Atomic Dog” has been sampled by numerous musicians. Aspects of the digitalized funk song have been recycled by the late singer Aaliyah, Prince, Snoop Dogg and 2Pac.
Clinton’s concerts tend to run primarily long so get cozy and enjoy the electric, funky experience.
Benjamin Blanchet is the assistant arts editor and can be reached at email@example.com