Autumn has finally put summer to rest in Buffalo. The trees are a muted mixture of red, orange, and yellow and the air is crisp as you walk into Buffalo Iron Works. A crowd of excited attendees awaited Buffalo local indie-rock group Younger Then to take the stage in the wake of the release of their most recent album, Bad Life. Younger Then traveled out to Nashville to record at Blackbird Studio, a world-class establishment with a reputation for recording some of the world’s best rock groups. It had been a long time coming, and fans were prepped and ready to go, with about half the house already filled by 8pm to catch the opening acts.
Buffalo has such a deep collection of indie bands. Supporting the night were Cooler and Feverbox. Cooler has been making noise lately as they continue to play their monthly Wednesday night residency at Mr. Goodbar in Buffalo. Feverbox has been frequenting regional festivals and running the gamut of local venues. Both bands put on exciting sets, with music totally in line with what the crowd had come for. The bill was crafted to great effect, giving the entire flow of performances a nice consistency. Cooler’s emo stylings pull from the early pop-emo greats from the 2000’s, while also hearkening to the kind of alt-driven Midwestern emo that offers a bit more grit. Feverbox checked all the boxes for an on-the-rise indie rock group. The band had good stage presence and original tunes, putting on the kind of set one would expect to see at a SXSW showcase.
The support set the scene for veteran group Younger Then to take the stage. The venue was packed in, with people opting to stay indoors for the entire set as opposed to standing on the patio- an effect of the brisk fall temperatures. Iron Works was on-point with the light shows as always. The mix of subtle fog painted by combinations of colors set the scene for the band to walk onstage to a big welcome cheer from their supporters. While the cold was effective in forcing people inside, Younger Then’s performance was more than encapsulating to keep people inside. The group played selections from their older discography, and mixed them in with live versions of tunes from the new release.
The group had great stage presence, only amplified by the playfulness of the lights. Guitarist Austin Dorr was a ham on the stage, stepping up to meet fans near the stage barrier as he walked up in front of the stage monitors during his solo parts. Zack Dupuis voiced his and the band’s gratitude for the support, and eventually organized the crowd to sing the chorus of one of their new songs. The audience responded in kind, singing full voiced back to the band. Drums and bass were on point, with a tight sync between the two accentuated by the thick live mix at the venue. Michael Wirth held down rhythm guitar, playing around with timbre to liven or darken the mood of a given song.
The album itself was a very pristine listen (review here), while the live performance was a lot grittier. As a result of the mix, Younger Then’s music had a slightly harder edge live than the recordings. The raw feel of the performance was a good contrast and comparison to their studio work. The group provides two different feeling experiences with the recorded album compared to their live set. The group also had a good feel for what the audience was hearing, each member laying back or coming forward appropriately for the best live-sound effect. No one overshadowed or stole the show. Younger Then had great chemistry between the members and the audience. In a successful night, Younger Then released their newest album and put on a great show for music fans in Buffalo.