Niagara Gazette

December 19, 2013

It was the week before Christmas and all through the area ... local acts shine

By Thom Jennings
Night & Day

Night & Day — It is the last weekend before Christmas and there are virtually no major headliners coming to the area this weekend so if you are craving some music this is an opportune time to hit some of the Western New York’s clubs. I’ll put the spotlight on some of the acts I know, and a few I don’t.

Over at the Hard Café in Niagara Falls, the venue’s Free Music Friday series continues with performances by The Frank Grizanti Band and Melissa Croff.

Grizanti is a 2007 Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee, and Croff is a soulful singer well worth checking out. The show starts at 7 p.m. and, true to its name, there is no cover charge.

Also on Friday at Lock 34 in Lockport, they will be hosting Ultraviolet. The band just won 2013’s Top Alternative Band at the Buffalo Music Awards. I have had some great times at Ultraviolet shows and at Lock 34, including the time my friend John celebrated his birthday with the band at Lock 34, did a face plant and lost a front tooth. That Christmas all he wanted was his two front teeth!

One more Friday listing — Nietzsche’s annual Christmas Benefit for Friends of Night People. The event features McCarthyizm, The Jim Whitford Band, A Potters Field, Randle & the Late Night Scandals, Paul Weisenburger and Folkfaces. It’s a great venue and McCarthyizm is an amazing band.

On Saturday at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda, they will be hosting The Scintas Christmas Show. The group is a staple in Las Vegas but hail from Buffalo. You can expect great music, a little comedy and a full evening of Vegas-style entertainment. Tickets start at $35 and are available at and the Riviera box office. The group also plays a Sunday afternoon show.

With the lack of music performers I can recommend you check out a comedy show at Helium Comedy Club in Buffalo. I was there for the very first time this past weekend for dinner and a show and had a spectacular time celebrating a friend’s birthday and checking out Hannibal Buress. This weekend’s shows feature Orny Adams, he has been on Leno, Letterman, was featured in Jerry Seinfeld’s documentary entitled “Comedian.” Tickets for the shows start at $15 and are available at

And if music and comedy are not your thing, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” opens this weekend. I don’t see a lot of movies in the theater but I may just make a special trip to see this one.

Finally, for our shows on a tank of gas, Kanye West has a two-night run at Air Canada Center in Toronto on Saturday and Sunday. West has won 21 Grammy’s and is arguably the most famous rap artist in the genre’s history. Tickets start at $51.75 and are available through Ticketmaster.

On a final note, I would like to wish all of my readers a joyous holiday season and thank all of you who took the time to email me about this column in its first year.

Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.