The grapevine: Your weekly collection of Buffalo’s sonic selections


In the coming days the area will be blessed by rapper Lecrae, American Idol winner Scotty McCreery and legendary singer Elvis Costello. Don’t miss out on all the great performances in the Queen City this week.

Wednesday, Nov. 2

Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Shea’s Performing Arts Center

Music legend Elvis Costello is taking a quick stop through Buffalo. The English singer-songwriter is most famous for new wave albums such as My Aim Is True, This Year’s Model and Armed Forces.

His pioneer punk rock/new-wave status not only led to success at award shows but has also led to his worldwide appreciation.

In 2004, the London musician was ranked number 80 on the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list by Rolling Stone magazine. Costello will be backed by The Imposters, which features keyboardist Steve Nieve and drummer Pete Thomas. Both Nieve and Thomas were part of Costello’s original group The Attractions, which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Nearly forty years after the release of My Aim Is True, Costello will rock Buffalo’s historic theater for what will be an amazing Wednesday night.

Thursday, Nov. 3

Lecrae - Rapids Theatre

Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae will be stopping by Niagara Falls on Thursday. The Grammy award-winner is not only lyrically skilled but spiritually skilled, especially on albums like Anomaly and Rehab.

The rapper has also been outspoken about current social injustices happening to Black people in America. During this year’s BET awards, Lecrae delivered a musically impressive and thoughtful spoken-word piece.

The rapper is performing as part of his The Destination Tour which has been making stops around the country. Lecrae’s powerful message can be better grasped live, so this performance will be an important one to witness.

Thursday, Nov. 3

Danny Brown - Town Ballroom

Coming by Buffalo’s Town Ballroom is Detroit rapper Danny Brown. Brown has a slew of wholesome hip-hop albums that include XXX, Old and his latest work Atrocity Exhibition.

On Atrocity Exhibition, Brown uses his quirky vocal tone to deliver over experimental beats such as “Pneumonia” and “When It Rain.” The album has received massive amounts of love by fans and critics alike, coming in as one of the best received hip-hop albums of the year.

Rappers Maxo Kream and Zelooperz will be opening for Brown. Maxo Kream is a Houston-based artist who recently released The Persona Tape in June. Maxo Kream proves to be one of the most scary trap artists out with ill lyrics and hard-hitting instrumentals.

Similar to Brown, Zelooperz is a Detroit rapper whose equally raw sound is heard on songs like “Elevators” and “ISBD.” Expect a night full of memorable and energetic raps.

Friday, Nov. 4

Shonen Knife - Mohawk Place

Traveling all the way from the Japan is pop-punk band Shonen Knife. The all-female group from Osaka has been killing shows for thirty-five years and counting. Shonen Knife’s last remaining member from the ‘80s, Naoko Yamano, is the leading vocalist for the band and a skilled guitar player.

One of the rock music’s legends, Kurt Cobain, was known to be a big supporter of Yamano’s group. Cobain was inspired by the band’s album Burning Farm and invited Shonen Knife to be a part of a Nirvana tour in the ‘90s. Seeing Shonen Knife in your own backyard is a treat so don’t be afraid to buy your ticket as soon as possible.

Saturday, Nov. 5

Scotty McCreery - Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino

A former reality TV show star will be performing Saturday about an hour south of Buffalo. Singer Scotty McCreery, best known for winning American Idol in 2011, will be bringing his popular country style to the region.

After his win, the singer has been touring the world with country artists such as Rascal Flatts and Brad Paisley.

In addition to having a powerful twang-filled voice, McCreery is also an author. In May, the singer released his autobiography Go Big or Go Home in which he detailed his rise to nationwide fame.

Don’t let the chance pass you by to hear this superbly talented country singer.

Benjamin Blanchet is a staff writer and can be reached at