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


Finals are now upon us. If you yearn to get away from the heavy workload and intense studying sessions in Capen, consider seeing a concert in the next couple of weeks.

Some acts to look out for include singer-songwriter Rick Springfield and soul singers the Platters. Fill your December with every musical evening the Queen City has to offer.

Wednesday, Dec. 7

Sawyer Fredericks - Waiting Room

Singer-songwriter Sawyer Fredericks – former winner of “The Voice” – is coming to town. Fredericks, who grew up in Upstate New York, made it big with the help of Pharrell Williams on the singing competition show.

The singer’s rendition of “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow” won the hearts of millions around the nation, eventually leading to his debut album this May. Most recently, Fredericks’ folk style has found him travelling the Northeast and performing songs such as “Take It All.”

Fredericks represents the power of Upstate’s music scene, so don’t skip this mellow evening.

Thursday, Dec. 8

The Platters - Seneca Niagara Events Center

The Platters, a doo-wop group out of the west coast, blessed the charts with countless hits in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

The Platters’ harmonious cuts like “The Great Pretender” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” are just some of their many soulful arrangements. In addition to their classics, the group is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Today, the Platters are made up of all new members but still continue to impress fans around the nation. Check out this equally mellow collective of singers downtown on Thursday night.

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Kenny G - Riviera Theatre

The biggest alto-saxophonist in the game is coming by for a jazzy evening. Kenny G, known for his smooth playing in the ‘80s and ‘90s, is one of jazz’s jewel performers.

One of the artist’s most popular songs, “Going Home,” has become a phenomenon in China. The song plays at closing time in most establishments to gesture for people to hit the road.

On Tuesday, the performer is set to play a mix of holiday classics as well as all his hits from the past. Down a cup of eggnog and head to North Tonawanda next week for a merry evening.

Thursday, Dec. 15

Kissmas Bash – The Chainsmokers, JoJo and more - KeyBank Center

The Chainsmokers are back in Buffalo as part of Kiss 98.5’s Kissmas Bash.

The Chainsmokers, an EDM pair from New York City, are most famous for their hit “Closer” with singer Halsey. The duo performed earlier this year at Spring Fest and to much fanfare, playing crowd favorites like “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Roses.”

The Chainsmokers will be joined by an array of other pop acts, most notably pop artist JoJo.

JoJo is known for her 2004 pop hit “Leave (Get Out)” and was only 13 when she made it big. The singer has remained relevant in a challenging industry and continues to record R&B-centric records. JoJo’s latest album, Mad Love, dropped in October and has received positive reviews.

Other artists like DNCE and Jake Miller will also be on hand, making this concert a great chance to ring out the fall semester with friends.

Friday, Dec. 16

Rick Springfield - Riviera Theatre

Former-Zoot singer will make his presence known next Friday in the area. Rick Springfield is an Australian singer known for songs like “Jessie’s Girl” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers.”

Springfield, one of the memorable performers of the ‘80s, found success in the pop-rock market. Most of the singer’s albums went platinum during the decade such as Working Class Dog and Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet.

In addition to his musical success, Springfield is also famous for his portrayal of Dr. Noah Drake on the soap opera General Hospital. Count on Mr. Springfield to close your semester out in style in what will be a stellar performance.

Benjamin Blanchet is a staff writer and can be reached at