9 Essential Shows You Should See in December

City Guide, Live Music


Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on November 29, 2018

Marshmello is coming to Kissmas Bash 2018 on Dec 6 / Photo from Marshmello’s Facebook page

Let’s be honest: The live concert season usually hits a slow patch in December.

However, what we lack in quantity is more than made up for in quality. There are more than a few holiday-themed music events this month and you know that means good vibez from the stage all the way to the back of the house.

Without further ado, here are the nine essential shows you should see this month.

(Some of these shows may be sold out, but obviously you can still find tickets on StubHub, Craigslist, Facebook, LinkedIn, Singled Out, Road Rules, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, etc. Don’t @ us.)



1) Protomartyr & Preoccupations

DATE: December 3rd

LOCATION: Mohawk Place

COST: $14 (in advance)


Christmas isn’t just about reindeer, elves, carols and Santa’s lap: It’s also about Ebenezer Scrooge, Krampus and the senseless slaughter of countless evergreen trees. This Hipster Pick of the Month show promises to deliver for those who like the darker side of the holiday season.


2) Alt Buffalo Kerfuffle Before Christmas, Night 2

DATE: December 5th

LOCATION: Buffalo RiverWorks

COST: $30


The music played on the airwaves of Alt Buffalo is fan-friggin-tastic, but the radio station might be even better at curating a lineup of bands and artists for their Kerfuffle shows. Headliner Blue October alone is worth the price of admission.


3) Kissmas Bash 2018

DATE: December 6th

LOCATION: KeyBank Center

COST: $26 – $81.50


Not to be outdone, our friends at Kiss 98.5 are also featuring a great lineup of acts for their much, much bigger holiday stage at KeyBank Center. It’s also the best show in December to get ur EDM fix.



4) Catl, Soul Butchers

DATE: December 7th

LOCATION: Mohawk Place

COST: $5


If massive holiday shows aren’t your thing, you might want to pop in to Mohawk Place on December 7 to catch the blues-rock duo Catl, who will be making a short trip down the QEW from Toronto. Local band Soul Butchers has a rabid fanbase that turns their shows into a sweaty, swill-y dance party.


5) Thin Man Christmas Street Party

DATE: December 8th

LOCATION: Elmwood Avenue between W Utica & Bryant

COST: $15 – $60 (VIP)


Thin Man’s street parties have gotten so popular, they don’t even care about only holding them during warm weather anymore. This holiday event will be held in a massive heated tent on Elmwood Ave and probably feature great beer, if you like that kind of thing. Live entertainment will be provided by the Allen Degenerates, who are a dream team lineup of local talent with a knack for picking great band names.


6) 98 Degrees

DATE: December 14th

LOCATION: Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino

COST: $35 – $45 ($149 VIP, Meet-n-Greet)


Speaking of dream teams, 98 Degrees is coming to the Seneca Niagara Casino and the boys are set to bring some heat to your holidays! Don’t forget: You can also smoke in the casino, so feel free to puff on a few butts before the show.



7) ‘Tid the Season w/ Every Time I Die (SOLD OUT)

DATE: December 15th

LOCATION: Buffalo RiverWorks

COST: $40


Every Time I Die have earned fans around the world with their thundering riffs and caustic lyrics. ETID’s annual Christmas party is as much a social event as it is a concert, and definitely worth attending; that is, if you can score tickets.


8) Trans-Siberian Orchestra

DATE: December 15th

LOCATION: KeyBank Center

COST: $49.50 – $79.50


By far the biggest ‘dad show’ of the month, the annual Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert is also the most epic. This is not to be missed if you want to feel Christmas coming at you like a freight train.



DATE: December 19th

LOCATION: KeyBank Center

COST: $53.50 to ???


Justin Timberlake is bringing sexy back, and by that we mean he’s playing the sexy show that he cancelled in back in October. This has been sold out for a while, so hopefully JT’s vocal cords are feeling all better and he puts on a show that was worth the wait.

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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