The grapevine

Your weekly collection of Buffalo’s sonic selections


From John Legend to Todd Rundgren, Buffalo never fails to surprise with its array of incoming talent. As the much-dreaded finals week approaches, get out of whatever study spot you are currently crying in and give yourself a much-needed reprieve. Get out to one of the many shows in the Queen City this week and let yourself relax and forget about the huge pileup of work you inevitably have been putting off.

Wednesday, Dec. 2

The Dreamers – Waiting Room

The Dreamers, a self-described “cosmic rock” band from Brooklyn, is a three-piece outfit consisting of Nick Wold on vocals, Chris Bagamery on drums and Nelson on bass. Its name, The Dreamers, suits the band’s easygoing, dreamy rock style.

Its first EP, a self-titled release in 2014, helped the band reach a broader market and helped the group sign a record deal with Fairfax Recordings. The band is currently on tour while promoting the release of its new album, due out sometime within the year.

Thursday, Dec. 3

John Legend – University at Buffalo

Nine-time Grammy award winning artist John Legend, who also has a Golden Globe and Academy Award to his name, will be coming to UB to speak during the Distinguished Speaker Series on Friday.

In addition to his speech, Legend will also be performing a few songs on piano. The artist, who has worked alongside household names like Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lauryn Hill, is the most noteworthy arrival in Buffalo this week. Don’t miss the chance to see Legend speak and perform at UB.

Friday, Dec. 4

Borgore – Town Ballroom

Asaf Borger, or Borgore, is an Israeli electronic artist who is considered the founder of “gorestep,” a combination or rap, metal and dubstep. Borger, also the founder of Buygore Records, has been hugely influential in the EDM scene.

He has been instrumental in the stylization of many current EDM artists such as Rusko and DJ Carnage. He will be performing his unique gorestep on Friday at Town Ballroom – perfect for head mashing away those finals week blues.

Saturday, Dec. 5

The Sword and Royal Thunder – Town Ballroom

The Sword, hailing from Texas, is an odd fusion of country, psychedelic rock and hard rock that has carried the group through five studio albums. Royal Thunder is a hard rock band from Atlanta, Georgia and both will be performing at Town Ballroom on Saturday. The Sword focuses on a combination of psychedelia, hard rock and country, while Royal Thunder tries to include progressive rock and ’90s rock into their music.

Together, the bands will showcase of how two psychedelic rock bands can still branch off into completely different subgenres, but still have the same, eclectic winning appeal that psychedelia has to offer.

Sunday, Dec. 6

Grace Potter – Town Ballroom

On Sunday, Grace Potter will be coming to Buffalo to promote her newest solo album, Midnight. It is her first release since separating from her bandmates, the Nocturnals. Before going solo, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals was known as an more-or-less famous indie rock outfit from Vermont who touring basically non-stop since its 2005 Hollywood Records deal, which spawned four studio albums, the most recent in 2012.

Since the breakup, Potter has been busy collaborating with artists such as Kenny Chesney and The Flaming Lips. Now, Potter has reimagined her sound as an indie rock artist into a pop rock musician, and will be showing off just how much her sound has changed on Sunday.

Todd Rundgren – Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center

Thirty years ago, Todd Rundgren was considered a pop genius, a pioneer of recording technology and sound editing, especially for his release of Something/Anything? on which Rundgren not only played all the instruments and sang all the vocals himself, but also produced as well.

Since then Rundgren hasn’t stopped his fast-paced style of musical innovation –the 67 year old has released 22 separate music projects since Something/Anything?, the most recent, Global, just this past year is a poppy, jazzy studio album which shows Rundgren is anything but past his prime.

Slim Jesus – Waiting Room

Whether you love him or hate him, Slim Jesus’s notoriety is only increasing as time goes on. Oft compared to Eminem and Chief Keef, this young rapper will be coming to the Waiting Room to perform. Known for his extremely violent lyricism, the rapper’s claim to fame is “Drill Time,” a single released in 2015 as a music video that shows Slim Jesus throwing money and flashing multiple weapons onscreen.

Come out to see Slim Jesus perform on Sunday and decide whether the hype is justified or if the rapper is just a passing trend.

Brian Windschitl is the senior arts editor and can be reached at