Concert Review: Descendents, Buffalo, NY

2018 Tourage
Descendents, A Wilhelm Scream, Pavers
Friday, August 3rd, 2018
River Works, Buffalo, NY

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

One of the biggest names in punk rock the Descendents kicked off another leg of their ongoing “2018 Tourage” tour on August 3rd at the River Works Complex in Buffalo, NY, The tour which first kicked off in April of this year and has the So-Cal punkers playing all around the US and various other countries through December. Also on the bill for the evening was the Massachusetts based A Wilhelm Scream and the Scott Reynolds (ALL) fronted Pavers.

Having never had the chance to see the Descendents before I jumped on the opportunity when it was announced they would kick off a new leg of their current “Tourage” tour in nearby Buffalo. The bands famous Milo logo adorned my skateboard growing up so it was great to finally see a band I had been following for so long. Opening up the show was former ALL front-man Scott Reynolds recently re-formed group the Pavers. Though the band had a couple rough spots during their thirty minute set Reynolds kept things moving like the seasoned veteran he is forging forward with a smile on his face which showed the growing crowd he and his band mates were there to have fun doing what they love performing tracks from the groups various albums. With little time between sets and down one member due to a missed flight A Wilhelm Scream hit the stage with a burst of energy that instantly ignited the multi-generational crowd. Vocalist Nuno Pereira worked the stage left, right and up and down for that matter as the front-man was in constant motion adding to the bands fast paced, frantic approach. Even if the band was starting out one in the hole you would have never know as the band sounded great and were extremely tight as they helped bring the crowds energy to an even higher level.

Last but not least the Descendents took the stage helmed by founding member drummer Bill Stevenson and long time vocalist Milo Aukerman. For the next ninety minutes the band completely shredded over thirty five classic Descendents tunes including “Clean Sheets”, “Coffee Mug” and the guitar-tastic “Coolidge”. After the bands initial twenty nine song set fans were treated to a mini ALL reunion when former vocalist Scott Reynolds joined the Descendents (Minus Aukerman) for renditions of the ALL songs “Fool” and “Dot”. Needless to say this caused the crowd (myself included) to go absolutely nuts. After the brief reunion Aukerman would return performing probably my two favorite Descendents tracks “Bikeage” and “Good Good Things” along with a handful of other great tunes before taking their bows and waving goodbye.

It was clearly a night of nostalgia and fun as each of the bands on the tour brought their own unique brand of punk rock to the near capacity Buffalo venue. With the Descenedents history stretching back to 1977 it would be expected for them to lose a step or two however the band sounds just as fresh and powerful as they did at their inception. With the tour running the remainder of 2018 you owe it to yourself to catch one of the many shows scheduled on the “Tourage” run as it is the perfect setting for ALL generations of punk loving fans.

Set List:
1.) Suburban Home
2.) Everything Sux
3.) Hope
4.) On Paper
5.) I Wanna Be a Bear
6.) Rotting Out
7.) Victim of Me
8.) Get the Time
9.) I Like Food
10.) Shameless Halo
11.) My Dad Sucks
12.) Clean Sheets
13.) Testosterone
14.) Van
15.) Nothing With you
16.) I’m Not a Punk
17.) Silly Girl
18.) I Don’t Want to Grow Up
19.) Who We Are
20.) Weinerschnitzel
21.) Myage
22.) Without Love
23.) Global Probing
24.) Coffee Mug
25.) When I Get Old
26.) Coolidge
27.) Thank You
28.) Descendents
29.) Fool (ALL Cover)
30.) Dot (ALL Cover)
31.) ALL
32.) No! All!
33.) ‘Merican
34.) I’m the One
35.) Bikeage
36.) Smile
37.) Good Good Things
38.) Pep Talk

Concert Review “Alternative Buffalo 107.7 Kerfuffle 2015” Buffalo, NY

“Alternative Buffalo 107.7 Kerfuffle 2015”
CAKE, The Gaslight Anthem, The Airborne Toxic Event New Politics, Cold War Kids, Saint Motel, The Mowglis, Civil Twilight, The Valley Below, Uncle Bens Remedy
Date: Saturday, July 25th 2015
Venue: Canal Side, Buffalo, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Alternative Buffalo 107.7 held their second annual Kerfuffle music festival on July 25th at the unique multifaceted venue known as Canal Side located in Buffalo, NY. The venue which as the names suggests is located on the canal and is nestled snugly underneath the nearby highway overpass and features its very own battleship. The unique surroundings proved to be the perfect setting for the annual music festival which featured 10 bands and a variety of local vendors.

Kicking off the nine and a half hour day was Art Voice Boom contest winners Uncle Bens Remedy. The group proved they were the perfect choice for this spot as they brought just the right amount of energy to help kick of the day’s festivities. The Valley Below would take the stage next followed by Civil Twilight and The Mowglis who despite being one member down still put on a solid performance for the growing crowd. Saint Motel would follow with their first ever performance in Buffalo and the crowd greeted them with open arms and praise especially during the playing of the groups hit song “My Type”. Cold War Kids, a group I was really interested in seeing were up next and despite what seemed to be a pretty solid performance by the band received only a luke warm reception from the audience which seemed to kill a bit of the day’s excitement.

New Politics would follow and almost instantly reinvigorating the crowd with their high energy stage performance. Lead singer David Boyd seemed to hold the crowd in his hand the entire length of the bands 30 minute which quickly put the day back on track for the near 12,000 people in attendance. The Airborne Toxic Event would be the first of 3 acts charged with closing out the day’s festivities. Sadly the band seemed less than interested in performing as the members sort of milled about the stage aimlessly going through the motions of a 40 minute set. After a brief set change New Jersey natives The Gaslight Anthem would follow by blasting through a 10 song set which featured crowd favorites “45” “American Slang” and “The 59 Sound”. Front man Brian Fallon and company took part in a playful game of kick the beach ball throughout the set which had the band cracking up making the performance fun for everyone involved.

Closing out the night were veteran performers CAKE who performed a variety of songs which spanned their 6 album catalog. With 24 years in the music business under their belt the band showed no signs of slowing down and treated the immense, sun baked crowd to songs such as “Frank Sinatra” Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and the bands hit song “The Distance” which closed out the night.

Alternative Buffalo proved once again that they certainly know how to throw a party. With this being the stations second event of this magnitude it seemed to go off without a hitch and those in attendance seemed to really enjoy themselves. Great venue, music and weather made for an enjoyable concert experience and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for next year.

The Gaslight Anthem Set List:
1.) Handwritten
2.) Film Noir
3.) Biloxi Parish
4.) 1,000 Years
5.) Halloween
6.) 45
7.) Howl
8.) Mulholland Drive
9.) American Slang
10.) The ’59 Sound

CAKE Set List:
1.) Sheep Go to Heaven
2.) Frank Sinatra
3.) Love You Madly
4.) Italian Leather Sofa
5.) Wheels
6.) Mustache Man (Wasted)
7.) Long Time
8.) Sick of You
9.) I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor Cover)
10.) Never There
11.) Short Skirt/Long Jacket
12.) The Distance

Concert Review: “Transgender Dysphoria Tour 2015” Buffalo, NY

“Transgender Dysphoria Tour 2015”
Against Me!, Frank Iero & the Cellebration, Annie Girl & the Flight
Date: Wednesday, June 24th 2015
Venue: Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Against Me! made their way back to the quaint Town Ballroom located in Buffalo, NY as part of their ongoing Transgender Dysphoria tour. Along for the ride this time around were San Francisco, Bay Area native Annie Girl & the Flight and former My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero and his band the Cellebration. Despite the show being mid-week the venue was near capacity with a crowd set to give their all.

Taking the stage first would be Annie Girl & the Flight. The bands sounds were a mix/match of styles ranging from experimental garage rock to modern folk. The group performed songs off their self titled debut as well as songs from their latest EP “Bodies. It was hard at times to figure out which direction the band would go in next however the uncertainty made for an interesting listening experience as the band showed off an impressive range that kept listeners on their toes.

Former My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero would be up next with his group “Frank Iero & the Cellebration”. As the band took the stage they were greeted with tremendous applause and instantly launched in to their 30+ minute set which was made up of songs from the groups “Stomachaches” album was high energy from the word go. The band took little time in between songs packing as much music as they could into their brief set which acted as the catalyst that upped the night’s energy.

Against Me! would close out the night with an impressive set of 20+ songs that band blasted through in rapid fire succession. Front woman Laura Jane Grace commanded the microphone like a true professional and really shined on songs such as “Black Me Out”, “Thrash Unreal” and “FuckMyLife666”. Another stand out of the nights set was the bands rendition of The Replacements song “Androgynous” which Laura and drummer Atom Willard performed a few months ago with Miley Cyrus and Joan Jett for Cyrus’s Happy Hippie Foundation. Despite front woman Grace appearing a bit tired (no doubt from her relentless tour cycle) the band sounded killer as always which made for a really great night of music.

If you for some reason or another have yet to catch an Against Me! show over the past year or so then what are you waiting for? There are still plenty of opportunities as the band will continue to tour the States through July before heading to Europe where they will be through August only to come back for another round of shows in the U.S. which run through September.

Against Me! Set List:
1.) I Was a Teenage Anarchist
2.) Walking Is Still Honest
3.) Cliché Guevara
4.) You Look Like You Need A Drink
5.) White Crosses
6.) Dead Friend
7.) Pints of Guinness Make You Strong
8.) Unconditional Love
9.) FuckMyLife666
10.) The Ocean
11.) T.S.R. (This Shit Rules)
12.) Drinking With the Jocks
13.) Bamboo Bones
14.) Transgender Dysphoria Blues
15.) Because of the Shame/Thrash Unreal
16.) Black Me Out
17.) True Trans Soul Rebel
18.) Tonight We’re Gonna Give It 35%
19.) Androgynous
20.) Don’t Lose Touch
21.) Sink Florida Sink

Concert Review “Van Halen: A Different Kind of Truth Tour”, Buffalo, NY

“A Different Kind of Truth Tour”
Van Halen, Kool & the Gang
Date: Friday, March 9th 2012
Venue: First Niagara Center Buffalo, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Van Halen made a stop at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY on March 9th as part of their “A Different Kind of Truth” tour. The tour is in support of the band’s latest album of the same name and, is the first studio recording to feature original vocalist David Lee Roth since 1984. The unlikely act of Kool & the Gang would kick off the show playing an hour long set that filled the arena with the bands own special blend of R&B. Fans present for the group’s performance seemed a little baffled as to why this style of band was opening for a rock act. This question has plagued the tour since the line ups initial announcement and it will mostly likely be noted as one of the more odd tour line ups.

Van Halen would take the stage after a brief intermission and seemed to catch the crowd off guard as the set was kicked off by Alex Van Halen blasting into the classic Kinks song “You Really got Me” all while the house lights were still up. Within seconds the rest of the band was on stage and the crowd was on their feet. A place they would remain their throughout the rest of the evening. Though the show did not appear to be a sellout fans in attendance were treated to classic Roth era hits such as “Everybody Wants Some!!”, “Dance the Night Away” and “Jump”. The set also featured several new tracks off the bands newly released album. The entire band sounded and looked great. Each member appeared to be in great spirits as there was a lot of interaction between the members. I felt the set list for the night could have featured a few more of the bands hits and, I think everyone in attendance would have really enjoyed Michael Anthony back on bass completing the bands classic original line-up. One could only hope that we see that reunion sooner than later.

Van Halen Set List:
1.) You Really Got Me
2.) Runnin’ With the Devil
3.) She’s the Woman
4.) Romeo Delight
5.) Tattoo
6.) Everybody Wants Some!!
7.) Somebody Get Me a Doctor
8.) China Town
9.) Hear About it Later
10.) Oh, Pretty Woman
11.) Drum Solo
12.) Unchained
13.) The Trouble with Never
14.) Dance the Night Away
15.) I’ll Wait
16.) Hot For Teacher
17.) Women in Love
18.) Girl Gone Bad
19.) Beautiful Girls
20.) Ice Cream Man
21.) Panama
22.) Guitar Solo
23.) Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
24.) Jump

 

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