This past Saturday was one of the most scorching days of the year. It also happened to fall on Kerfuffle’s third birthday. Kerfuffle is the creation of Alternative Buffalo 107.7 FM. This has sold out every year so far, they bring a selection of popular alternative bands from different sub genres. They have nailed it every year thus far.
LA, rockers, The Moth and the Flame kicked things off this year. What makes TMTH such a distinct and fun band to listen to is their fearlessness and originality. They are not afraid to do what they want to do. They aren’t a cookie cutter pop band. There is the grittiness of Robbins’ vocals which glisten on the band’s recordings but give their performance life and depth.
Coleman Hell was certainly not what I expected when he first appeared onstage. The only song I knew by him was his radio hit “Two Heads”. That was the black sheep of his song list. Everything else was very much different and percussion-heavy synth-pop. He appeared on stage in a paisley 70`s bright colored suit, that look straight out of the 70`s. He was a very spiritual individual and talked about the energy being overwhelmingly positive at the event.
Pvris (Pronouned as Paris) is a band that shows no signs of stopping. They have continuously been moving up the ranks and stealing the spotlight left and right. Today was an exception, they definitely brought their game but not their A, maybe B-.The vocals were great but she didn’t hit the high notes that she typically does, which gave it a less sensation to the song.
Madisen Ward and the Momma bear were a breath of fresh air. Hailing from Kansas City, the duo performed lively, soulful acoustic folk tunes side-by-side for Madisen takes the lead on most of the verses, but his mother certainly held her own.
New Politics come to Buffalo what seems like several times a year. They sell out each and every time. The band is based out of Brooklyn, NY. The love the audience had for this band is undeniable; it is clear as to why. Front man David Boyd gets the crowd to its feet and is quite the hype man. He has full faith in his fans and lets them carry him away into the crowd as far as they’ll take him. Dave`s famous acrobatic moves our ones you find in a hip hop studio; he does head spins and somersaults with the greatest of ease! Grant it some of their stuff is something you will find at every show they do, but if its not broke why fix it? These guys stole the show as they do every time.
The Strumbellas are a six piece Canadian based band that played for the first time in Buffalo. They are alternative country rock but didn’t seem to woo the audience; they were rather uninterested in the bands performance. It’s hard to follow heavier hitter the New Politics.
Bloc Party are all the way from England, they had some technical difficulties after the first song. Even the first song you could tell there was trouble but they pushed through it. Lead singer Kele apologized a couple times saying “Buffalo doesn’t deserve this”. Buffalonians do what they do best and screamed from the crowd saying its ok and that they’ll wait, not in the sarcastic tone either; in the true we support you because this kind of stuff happens tone. After what seemed like the longest seven minutes of Bloc Party`s life they got their sound system working again. Once they did you could still sense the aggravation in the way they looked but they came back with what they could pull from the wreckage, which was restless punk ska music that had hints of old school wrapped up neatly into it.
The Violent Femmes are a flash back from the past for some people. I think most of us know the song “Blister in the Sun”. That dates back all the way to 1983. The guys are well seasoned and casual dressers for the most part. They haven’t changed a bit vocally from when they first began according the people who have known them from day 1. They had the crowd to singing a good handful of their songs and the main audience was roughly between the ages 16-30.
Awolnation, where do we begin? Let’s start by saying the entrance was one to catch attention. Lights were turned down low with a blueish hint haze. A woman dressed in a vintage looking space helmet, wearing a long black robe carrying a lantern appeared on stage. You can find her on their “Beautiful Things” music video as well. No words were spoken just haunting music. Then as quickly as she came she disappeared. As soon as that happened the audience knew it was time to get this party started; not that it hadn’t already. Front man and brain child Aaron Bruno took to the stage with the rest of his mates and when the bass dropped to start the chorus, the crowd erupted to pandemonium that would not cease until the night’s end. It was also refreshing to see a group of musicians who were so musically bound. There were moments of improvisation and jam band style expansions of songs. “Sail” stands out as an example of a song that sounds much stronger live than on the album. The song set was nothing short of impressive; their performance guaranteed more sellout crowds on return trips through Buffalo.
Kerfuffle was a success this year, the staff managed to keep their composure while aiding in keeping everyone cool hydrated and happy. The fans soaked up just about every performance that night and the headliner did not disappoint. Hopefully they can keep selling out and keep bringing heavy hitting bands that are relevant like they are doing now. Great job Alternative Buffalo, Kerfuffle is one to compete with.