Decades Night Becomes Dancing Night: Aqueous at Nietzsche’s, February 5th

In over 30 years of live music at Nietzsche’s Buffalo, no band has ever been granted a residency, until Wednesday February 5th, 2014 when Aqueous secured a month long gig at Nietzsche’s where they will play themed shows every single Wednesday night with various opening bands. Wednesday was “Decades Night,” so both Aqueous and Baltimore based Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (PPPP) brought some celebratory cover songs to the party.

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Pigeons started the night off strong with their excellent brand of funk/improv. Coming out hot with the perfectly named “Upfunk”, PPPP got the crowd grooving from the first note. Both “Decades Night” covers of Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride,” and Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” were well adjusted to the band’s style and fit perfectly in their set. Pigeons did a great job injecting the crowd with energy and setting the stage wonderfully for Aqueous.

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Selling out Nietzsche’s has become old hat for Aqueous. Tonight was a difficult night for people to make it out to Nietzsche’s. With a storm that dropped 10 inches of snow and a late Wednesday night gig, Aqueous was still able to bring in a crowd of around 150. Those brave 150 would leave the two hour set happy, appreciative, and tired from dancing.

Aqueous opened the run with the newly penned “Complex ii” that has seen some growth already during its short life. The first Decades Night themed cover would appear after just one song. Aqueous closed “Complex ii” and immediately released The Doors “Break on Through” (60’s); the energy in the building would never slow from that point. Two more Aqueous originals with some exploratory jamming would set things up for the 70’s decade cover. The Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” gave the Nietzsche’s crowd a chance to show off their disco moves that they have watched their parents do at weddings.

Once again two more Aqueous originals followed, including an excellent “Aldehyde.” Next it was time for the 80’s decade cover. Covering a-ha’s “Take On Me” was an excellent choice and the clear highlight up until this point of the show. However, this was no laughing matter. The crowd was in a frenzy grabbing each other, singing the cheesy lyrics and basking in the fun.

Aqueous followed next with their original tune “Skyway” before seguing into the last cover of the night. The 90’s cover of Britney Spears “Baby One More Time” came out of nowhere. If you had that as your office pool choice for the 90’s decade, please provide visual evidence. Unfortunately, Britney was not around to shake it for us, but guitarist Dave Loss handled things like a pro. Luckily for us, Dave decided not go the sexy teenage schoolgirl route, instead he helped turn the cover into a funky take on the teeny-bopper classic. The crowd ate it up, everything was weird and perfect at the same time. An outstanding jam concluded “Baby One More Time” before the band returned to “Skyway” which finished up the set.

The encore choice of the rarely played “Dig It Good” capped the night while staying true to the jamming spirit of Aqueous’ core. Smiles, laughter, and happiness were certainly the dominant emotions of the crowd as the exited Nietzsche’s. Just a reminder, this was only the first of the four residency shows. See you next Wednesday for the “Love” themed set and opening band from North Carolina, The Mantras.

Aqueous Residency Remaining Dates at Nietzsche’s:
Wednesday, February 12 with The Mantras
Wednesday, February 19 with Broccoli Samurai
Wednesday, February 26 with Big Something

Setlist: Complex ii>Break On Through (Doors), Dave’s Song>Gordon’s Mule, Stayin Alive (Bee Gees)>Kitty Chaser, Aldehyde>Take On Me (a-ha), Skyway>One More Time (Britney Spears)>Skyway

Encore: Dig It Good