The grapevine

Your monthly collection of Buffalo’s sonic selections


Winter break is a time for relaxation, but not all students travel home or leave the Buffalo area. Luckily, for those individuals, Buffalo has a thriving music scene that doesn't take any breaks. 

Between large venues like the KeyBank Center to smaller, more intimate venues like Town Ballroom, there is a wide range of acts throughout the next two months. 

Marshmello - KeyBank Center

Thursday, Dec. 6

EDM DJ Marshmello will be bringing his bass-driven sound to the KeyBank Center for a night of fun and dancing at Kiss 98.5’s annual Kissmas Bash. The performer draws comparisons to Daft Punk in sound and appearance, donning a custom helmet to distinguish him from other DJs. 

The artist has multiple Billboard top hits including “Happier” featuring Bastille and “Friends” featuring Anne-Marie. “Friends” appeared on Spotify’s top songs of 2018 playlist. His live performances often feature intense lighting designs and animated visuals. 

Pop singers like Justin Bieber-protégé Madison Beer and chart-topper Lauv open the annual show and bring a little something for everyone.

Chingy & Ying Yang Twins - The Rapids Theatre

Saturday, Dec. 8

The high-energy hip-hop performances from rapper Chingy and the Ying Yang Twins are sure to make the inconvenient drive to Niagara Falls more tolerable. 

Chingy is known for his work as a rapper and an actor, appearing in “Scary Movie 4” and the remake of “Psycho.” His hit “Right Thurr” established the slant use of “thurr” and other words in the hip-hop community. The Ying Yang Twins also established their careers during the early 2000s. They often collaborated with big names on popular songs throughout the decade. 

The musicians produce high-energy tracks with the classic 2000s vibe. The performance is bound to be full of throwback songs made for dancing. 

Jewel - Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino 

Saturday, Dec. 8

Folk singer-songwriter Jewel has been performing music since the ‘90s. Her music has topped Billboard’s country chart. The versatile star has also published poetry and has appeared in films. She continues to dominate the country genre with her “Handmade Holiday Tour” and she is bringing the tour to Buffalo. 

Jewel’s songs “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games” reached the number-two spot of the Billboard chart. Her powerhouse vocals coupled with her operatic training are sure to invoke a feeling of comfort and poetic nostalgia.

Femmes of Rock - Center for the Arts

Thursday, Dec. 13

Those living on campus won’t have to travel far to see Femmes of Rock, the electric violin quartet. The group is composed of four women who combine classic rock with intense violin performances. The quartet is backed by a drummer and bass player. Together, they have covered songs by Queen, Metallica and David Bowie. 

The performances are accompanied by dramatic lighting cues and sparklers throughout the show. The group is known for covers of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Eleanor Rigby.”

Justin Timberlake - KeyBank Center

Wednesday, Dec. 19

Justin Timberlake spent the last decade proving himself to be a jack of all trades. Timberlake has multiple acting credits in popular films and a discography that spans across boybands, a satirical group and a solo pop-music career. All of his solo albums have gone platinum and have culminated in multiple Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards and American Music Awards. His “Man of the Woods” tour demonstrates his ability maintain his musical career throughout his time. 

The pop star will likely combine his new album with his older, critically acclaimed work. His songs “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” “Suit and Tie,” “SexyBack” and “My Love” are among a few of his hits that the audience could expect to hear. 

Panic! At the Disco - KeyBank Center

Thursday, Jan. 10

One of Hot Topic’s favorite rock bands will be coming to Buffalo. Panic! at the Disco is known for upbeat, pop-rock. The tone shifts through the band’s different albums, dabbling in deeper themes through the lyricism. The group has been producing music for over ten years and has accumulated a large fanbase. The “Pray for the Wicked” tour promotes the group’s new album.

The group has won an American Music Award. Its songs “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” “Death of a Bachelor” and “Nine in the Afternoon” all topped the Billboard charts. 

Shoreline Mafia - Town Ballroom

Tuesday, Jan. 29

Shoreline Mafia is a relatively new trap ensemble working under Atlantic Records. They’ve only released two mixtapes but are steadily growing a consistent fanbase. Their Soundcloud-rapper vibe draws in a younger audience. Lyrically, the group writes about their lives and about the trap culture. Their performances are bound to be full of dancing and partying.

Although they may not be well known, they’ve performed at the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival and the Rolling Loud Festival.

Samantha Vargas is the asst. arts editor and can be reached at and on Twitter @SamVargasArts


 Samantha Vargas is an English/ film studies double major with a minor in media study. She spends her free time finding shows around buffalo and hanging out with her cat.