9 Essential Concerts to Put On Your Radar This December

City Guide, Live Music


Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on November 20, 2019

Goo Goo Dolls perform at Buffalo Riverworks on Dec 13th / Photo from Goo Goo Dolls Facebook

Holiday concert season is upon us and it’s no surprise that most of this month’s essential shows are suitable for ages 9 to 99.

Yes, you can take grandma to a lot of concerts listed below and many of them are good for the soul. Oh, there are also a few heathen events for the badass grandmas out there. Peep the list below.

(Some of these shows may be sold out, but obviously you can still find tickets on StubHub, Craigslist, Facebook, TikTok, Roblox, Twitch, Pied Piper, etc. C’mon guys, don’t @ us.)




1) Vanessa Williams

DATE: Dec. 4th, 5th

LOCATION: Seneca Niagara Casino

COST: $95 – $125


Singer, actor and former Miss America Vanessa Williams has deep Western New York roots and you can often see her popping up at our favorite local spots. Her two-night residency at the Seneca Niagara Casino is a solid way to kick off your December with a heavy dose of Buffa-love.


2) Reverend Horton Heat

DATE: Dec 4th

LOCATION: Tralf Music Hall

COST: $29


The holidays are a holy time of year, when people of faith make it a point to visit their spiritual leaders. Although Wikipedia doesn’t say which seminary school Reverend Horton Heat graduated from, you can be sure he’ll shake the Tralf to its foundations with fire and brimstone. 


3) Celine Dion

DATE: Dec 5th

LOCATION: KeyBank Center

COST: $49.50 – $229.50


Contrary to what you might have seen on the internets, Celine Dion is not dead. Her heart goes on and she brings her titanic pipes to KeyBank Center for an epic appearance. 


4) Smokey Robinson

DATE: Dec 7th

LOCATION: Shea’s Performing Arts Center

COST: $99 – $149


With a career that stretches back to the 1950s, Smokey Robinson probably seems like an artist for the grown-n-sexy set, but don’t sleep on old Smokey. He’s got a stack of hits that you ought to know by heart.


5) Super-Tugger, Soul Butchers + 4 more

DATE: Dec 13th

LOCATION: The Gypsy Parlor

COST: $5


One of the nicest guys in local music, Angel Rivera is having a birthday bash at Gypsy Parlor and his band Supper-Tugger plays all the classic rock-punk hits. Expect a night of fun, sweaty rock and/or roll.


Every Time I Die performs at Buffalo Riverworks Dec 13 & 14 / Photo from Every Time I Die’s Facebook

6) Every Time I Die – Annual ‘TID the Season Residency

DATE: Dec 13th, 14th

LOCATION: Buffalo Riverworks

COST: $50 (adv), $100 (both days)


Hometown hardcore heroes Every Time I Die have been hammering out thundering riffs since the 90s and their annual ‘TID the Season residency is not to be missed. With artists like Against Me!, The Get Up Kids and Ghostface Killah also playing, there’s basically something for everyone.


7) Trans-Siberian Orchestra

DATE: Dec 14th

LOCATION: KeyBank Center

COST: $45 – $75


The annual Trans-Siberian Orchestra show at KeyBank is an all-you-can-eat festive buffet that goes to 11, just like Baby Jesus would have wanted.



8) Goo Goo Dolls + Rob Thomas (SOLD OUT)

DATE: Dec 15th

LOCATION: Buffalo RiverWorks

COST: $59.50


Every Time I Die aren’t the only hometown heroes playing this month, or even this December weekend. Goo Goo Dolls slide into RiverWorks with smooth Rob Thomas for a Sunday night sold out show.




9) Matisyahu

DATE: Dec 20th

LOCATION: Town Ballroom

COST: $27


This year, Hanukah runs from Dec. 22 to Dec. 30 and what better way to prepare for the festival of lights than a performance from Matisyahu? The rapper-singer-songwriter has made a name for himself writing songs with Orthodox Jewish themes.

Written by <a href="" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.
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