Waiting Room in Buffalo has been booking great show after show this year, and is becoming one of the places to be for live music. The event that they hosted last Saturday night was just short of spectacular. It provided the perfect combination of an up and coming band with Mister F, a band that is one step away from exploding on the jam scene in Aqueous, and a band that continues to close out shows, making you want more, in Dopapod.
Walking into the venue you heard to start the night was the guitar playing from Andrew Chamberlaine of Mister F, who kept you looking for more and the dexterity in his fingers as his soloing became mind altering, hooking you into their set. Where Chamberlaine was the center of the attention, Scott Hannay (keys, guitar, bass) was the heart and soul of the group. His smile and charisma throughout the set brought everyone onto the stage and got the crowd amped up for the night, the perfect situation for the opening band.
Aqueous, from North Tonawanda, continue to get bigger and better with every show they play. They not only know how to play music, they can effortlessly transition from song to song. They opened the show right out of the gate with “Gordon’s Mule > Complex” and would roll from song to song with ease, giving the fans no time to take a break. The strongest part of the band is just how well each other feeds off of each other. Mike Gantzer and Dave Loss both are able to mix their guitar sounds together and at the same time respect each others playing where it doesn’t drown one another out. Dopapod’s Rob Compa joined the band on stage during “Strange Times” bringing three different guitars together. The real backbone for this group is Nick Sonricker and Evan McPhaden who both provide the perfect beats and bass to let Gantzer and Loss explore their respected guitar fret boards, providing the listener a musical journey to wherever they want to take them. The end of their set brought such great energy to the floor with a cover of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”, with Mister F’s Scott Hannay on keyboard . One of Aqueous’ strongest assets is bringing a cover to their show and making it their own. Aqueous is not only becoming one of Buffalo’s greatest musical gems they are turning into one of the must see bands on tour right now.
There is so much love between Aqueous and Dopapod and it shone brightly when Rob Compa came on stage sporting an Aqueous button on his guitar strap. Compa has such a humble approach to his guitar and in mere minutes his improvisational skills turn up the heat in any room. Luke Stratton’s lights were exceptionally well done, often providing the perfect backdrop to the show. They seemed to accompany Compa’s guitar playing perfectly and even taking his extensive solos to another level. Eli Winderman (keys) and Rob Compa (guitar) pair so well together, feeding off each other and giving each other some ideas of where to go next. Chuck Jones (bass) and Scotty Zwang (drums) provide the perfect time table for Compa and Winderman to improvise throughout the night. Highlighted especially by “Eight Years Ended” as well as an impressive run with “Donkey Kong Theme > Present Ghosts > My Elephant Vs. Your Elephant”. Dopapod continues to be a force to reckon with. There is no wonder they have been invited to some of the biggest festivals and their talent to take music from one point to another is incredible.
Aqueous Setlist: Gordon’s Mule > Complex, The Median > Staring into the Sun > Kitty Chaser (Explosions), Strange Times*** > Complex II, Highway Star^$
** w/ Rob Compa from Dopapod
^ Aqueous debut, Deep Purple cover
$ with Scott Hannay from Mister F
Dopapod Setlist: Bluetooth, Flipped, King Harvest*, Like A Ball, 8 Years Ended, Donkey Kong Theme > Present Ghosts > My Elephant Vs. Your Elephant, Picture in Picture^
*The Band cover; for Rob’s dad
^with Scott Hannay from Mister F on keys