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


There are very few relaxing days ahead this semester as the leisureliness of syllabus week has come to a close. Don’t fret, as a number of respected acts will be making their way to musical destinations scattered throughout Erie County.

Music fans this week can pick from gigs such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and get down to the soulfulness of singer Babyface. Whichever sonic route you choose this week, letting loose to these artists will make you forget your scholarly concerns.

Friday, Feb. 10

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Key Bank Center

The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be sharing with the birds not a lonely view this Friday night, but a packed house. This Los Angeles-based alternative rock band is decorated in both success and acclaim, winning multiple Grammys as well as selling millions of records internationally.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers is made up of vocalist Anthony Kiedis, drummer Chad Smith, guitarist Josh Klinghoffer and bassist Flea. Over the years, the band has dropped memorable singles such as “Californication,” “Under the Bridge” and “Scar Tissue”.

The rock collective will be joined by Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.

Trombone Shorty, a New Orleans-native jazz artist, performed at the Center for the Arts in October. His band will likely display the same funky attitude as they did last fall, opening for the celebrated rockers on a big stage.

This show should be an unforgettable night for Buffalo rock fans so don’t miss out.

Friday, Feb. 10

Granger Smith - Town Ballroom

Granger Smith is a fresh face in country music and is on tour promoting his newest album Remington.

In 2015, the country singer went big with his “Backroad Song” which preached ‘freedom’ as the miles rolled on. The song went to the top of the country charts and the singer saw moderate success with his single “If the Boot Fits” shortly after.

Smith’s tour will be taking him across the nation and then down under for stops in Australia. For a fun night of kicking it to some rural anthems, go check out this future star downtown on Friday.

Saturday, Feb. 11

STRFKR with Psychic Twin - Waiting Room

STRFKR will be rolling into the Waiting Room this weekend, touring with their latest album Being No One, Going Nowhere.

This Portland-based indie rock band, headed by singer Joshua Hodges, is known for their shoegaze that mixes well with infectious rock sounds. STRFKR’s ear for catchy hooks can be heard on synth-laced tracks like “Something Ain’t Right” and “Tape Machine” off their new album.

STRFKR will be joined by Psychic Twin, a pop artist with electronic tendencies scattered throughout her songs. Her latest full-length record, Strange Diary, is a lovely and danceable piece with trippy cuts like “Running in the Dark” and “The Deepest Part.”

For an upbeat weekend occasion, consider heading to the Delaware Avenue fixture to liven up your night.

Saturday, Feb. 11

Charlie Wilson, Fantasia, Johnny Gill and Solero – Key Bank Center

Charlie Wilson has been an R&B staple for decades and will be performing at the KeyBank Center on the Saturday before Valentine’s Day.

Wilson, part of the legendary funk stars the Gap Band, explored his passions on songs like “Yearning for Your Love” as well as the hit “You Dropped A Bomb On Me.” His past electro-funkiness has made him the solo-act he is today, collaborating with rappers like Snoop Dogg and Kanye West.

Wilson will be joined by American Idol winner Fantasia to perform songs from The Definition Of…, her latest album. The singer’s celebratory single from the show, “I Believe,” went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and has also appeared in a Broadway adaptation of “The Color Purple.”

Johnny Gill, legendary New Edition member, will open alongside Fantasia. Gill joined the group before their fifth album Heart Break, which featured the easing “Can You Stand The Rain” and new jack swing hit “If It Isn’t Love.”

These three musical forces are enough to make this show an attractive opportunity to take advantage of.

Saturday, Feb. 11

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds - Seneca Niagara Casino

As a singer, Babyface may not be as well known as the countless No. 1 songs that he’s played an integral part in. Babyface, an R&B singer-songwriter, has had a hand in Grammy Award winners such as Alicia Keys’ Girl on Fire as well as The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album.

The singer’s solo work is equally as profound, from his smoothness on “Whip Appeal” to his collaboration with saxophonist Kenny G on “Every Time I Close My Eyes.” His writing credits date as far back to the early ‘80s as he performed with disco-funk group The Deele.

In recent years, Babyface has collaborated with Toni Braxton as well as Lil Wayne on his album Tha Carter III. Seeing this legendary, multi-talented soul singer live on Saturday is a great choice for first dates and long-term lovers alike.

Benjamin Blanchet is the assistant arts editor and can be reached at