It's a strong week for concertgoers in Buffalo, as both Kiss 98.5 FM and Alternative Buffalo 107.7 FM host concerts with deep bills, while the City of Buffalo Artists Market, in the seasonally spectacular Ellicott Square Building, is a chance to feel both festive and productive.
Find out what is on tap for Monday through Thursday.
It's funny to realize Marshmello was able to hide his identity for more than a year into his mainstream career. While his cover was eventually blown by an Indian actress and international financial site Forbes, the unveiling didn't slow the electronic deejay's rise.
Chris Comstock has collaborated with the Selena Gomez, Khalid and Bastille - including the white-hot, almost-overplayed "Happier" - and the beatmaker hidden within the puffy marshmallow head has blossomed into a megastar by balancing his own original work.
Sabrina Carpenter, Lauv, Cheat Codes, Bryce Vine, Madison Beer and Live Luxury are also slated for short sets during Kiss 98.5 FM's annual holiday pop concert.
[Photos: Marshmello's fans and the deejay in action in RiverWorks earlier this year]
2. Lockhouse Distillery's Prohibition Repeal Party, 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 41 Columbia St. Free to attend.
Lockhouse Distillery rides the wave of excitement from its fifth anniversary party last weekend into its annual Prohibition Repeal Party, which - while it sounds like an excuse to drink on a Wednesday - is also a reminder of how the return of legal alcohol production and sales eventually spurred the redevelopment of the industry in Buffalo. And look at it now!
Prohibition-era cocktails and live music by Gravy, beginning at 8 p.m., are on the docket.
Buffalo's first distillery downtown since Prohibition - which has paved the way for more - has hosted other cool events in the past, including a recent stop by the "Rick & Morty" bus tour. See photos from that here.
3. Hydraulic Hearth's Prohibition Repeal Party, 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 716 Swan St. Free to attend.
Swing down to Larkinville for an alternative for celebrating the anniversary of Prohibition's demise, as Hydraulic Hearth welcomes spirits from Buffalo Distilling, Lockhouse and Tommyrotter in creating their own list of Prohibition-era cocktails. Pine Fever will handle the live music at 8 p.m.
One cool fact, passed along by the Hydraulic Hearth event page: The Larkin Terminal Warehouse was Buffalo's only bonded warehouse in the early 20th century, storing 10,000 cases of imported whiskey and gin to be sold to Buffalo's restaurant and bars when the sale of alcohol became legal again.
Blue October, Alice Merton and Max Frost are the three performers slated for the second night of the Kerfuffle Before Christmas, following last week's concert that welcomed Metric, The Moth & The Flame and Mondo Cozmo to RiverWorks.
Houston alt-rock group Blue October has played the area within the last year, hitting Rapids Theatre in late April in Niagara Falls before setting a return for Alternative Buffalo's holiday festival. While Frost has appeared as a Canalside Live opener, this seems to be Merton's first Buffalo appearance ever.
Look back at Smiles from Night One of the Kerfuffle Before Christmas.
5. Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour, 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 in Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.). There's a $7 cover at the door.
In terms of the music, this might be the highest-profile Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour yet; show up early to make sure you can get in.
Two of the Beatles' 1960s albums - "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" - will be spun on vinyl and discussed by The News' Jeff Miers and 97 Rock's Anita West, followed by a performance of tracks from the two albums by a curated six-piece local band.
While these two albums weren't quite as successful as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts," 1965's "Rubber Soul" was the eighth best-seller of the 1960s in the United Kingdom, while "Revolver" came in at a cool No. 11.
6. City of Buffalo Artists Market, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 in the Ellicott Square Building (295 Main St.). Free to attend.
At this point, no one will believe you if you say, "There are just no Buffalo events that bring local artisans together for holiday shopping." So don't say that.
The Ellicott Square Building - brilliant in its own right - will sparkle on Wednesday for an evening market. The 30-foot-tall decorated Christmas Tree is quite the sight to behold (and probably a pain to clean up its needles).
7. Festival of Trees, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, and 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Dec. 4 in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Free and open to the public.
If you missed out on the Festival of Trees' fashion show, the Crystal Ball Gala featuring Vanessa Williams and the sold-out family day on Sunday, don't fret too much.
The gorgeous Christmas tree and wreath display - organized by volunteers - will remain up at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center for hours both Monday and Tuesday.
Support Buffalo's Partnership for the Public Good (PPG) by checking out this cool gathering, which features civic leaders delivering famous Shakespeare speeches or poems in front of a rather-intimidating panel of judges: Vincent O'Neill of Irish Classical, Paulette Harris of Paul Robeson Theatre and Annette Daniels Taylor, a local playwright, poet and filmmaker. Thankfully, though, it's the audience's vote that will determine the winner.
In pre-event fundraising, Sasha Yerkovich of Canopy of Neighbors leads the way with $1,225 generated so far; roughly $6,000 of the $8,000 goal has been raised. A guest performance by Peace of the City's youth ensemble, Shakespeare Comes to (716), is also planned.
9. Casa Azul's second anniversary, 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 128 Genesee St. Free to attend.
If $2 margaritas strike a chord, consider celebrating with Casa Azul - the downtown taqueria run by Zina Lapi - as the restaurant-bar turns 2 years old. Food specials and live music by Nelson Rivera and La Genete Somos are additional draws for the event.
Read how Casa Azul made the list of best Mexican dishes in the area, selected by News food editor Andrew Galarneau.
10. See a play: Either "Nuncrackers," 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at O'Connell & Company's Park School residence, 4625 Harlem Road, Amherst; or "Barcelo on the Rocks," 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, by Raices Theatre Company, at 255 Great Arrow Ave. The former runs through Dec. 23, while the latter concludes Dec. 16.
Both O'Connell & Company and Raices Theatre present two plays that received ratings of three stars or better from News contributing reviewers.
The News' Melinda Miller calls "Nuncrackers" "lightweight" and "lighthearted" in her reactions to the production, while Ben Siegel points out the stirring emotion of "Barcelo," which moves brilliantly from script to the stage. With the ongoing popularity of "Hamilton," now is a fine time to appreciate the works of other local theaters.
This Wednesday Babeville show was Jeff Miers' gig of the week for a reason. The project of Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth has been a roller coaster of personal life influencing their craft; the two ended a three-year open relationship not long ago, but remained together to craft an album - "Sun Machine" - that explores the heartbreak of the romantic split but also their enduring connection. Fascinating dynamics here.
5 events to look forward to this weekend
Santa Con in Niagara Square
Thin Man's Christmas street party
Shop South Buffalo
Kootsie Ball at Hotel @ the Lafayette