The Kerfuffle Before Xmas
Presented By: 107.7 Alternative Buffalo
First Niagara Center
Friday December 18, 2015
Review: Dave Leary
Photos: Joseph Suto
The mood was festive at First Niagara Center Friday night as Alternative Buffalo 107.7 presented their 2nd annual Kerfuffle Before Christmas. Just as with last year’s show, an eclectic mix of musical styles was on display.
Opening the night was SomeKindaWonderful, out of Cleveland. It’s not easy to be in that first slot with so many acts to follow. But a sizable crowd had already settled in for the long night ahead. The group’s mix of rock, soul and hip-hop was well-received.
Borns was next, from Michigan. Backed by a 4 piece band, Garrett Borns displayed an impressive voice and rock star charisma. He recently released his debut album Dopamine.
The London based quartet Wolf Alice followed. Even though their debut LP My Love Is Cool just came out in June, they’ve already received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance. Their performance justified the buzz. Lead singer/guitarist Ellie Rowsell (wearing a T-shirt supporting Buffalo band Made Violent who they’ve toured with) and her bandmates played a killer set reminiscent of the best ‘90s alternative music. A band to keep an eye on.
This was a good segue into one of the most successful acts of the’90s, Third Eye Blind. Despite many lineup changes over the years, they also released an album this year, called Dopamine. The new songs blended well with the familiar tunes “Jumper”, “How’s It Gonna Be”, “Never Let You Go” and of course, “Semi-Charmed Life”. Frontman Stephan Jenkins, who’s been the one constant in the band, thanked the crowd for keeping their music alive. Even though many in the crowd may not have been old enough to hear these songs when they first came out, it was obvious from the response that they still have staying power.
Matt and Kim headlined at Canalside over the summer and mentioned how crazy the crowd was at that show and they were determined to have this one top it. Even being unfamiliar with their music, the energy of their performance and the way the crowd was so involved was wonderful to see. This is what seeing live music is supposed to be about but too often isn’t these days. Based on the reaction, I expect the duo from Brooklyn to make many more trips here in the years to come.
Sublime with Rome served as the headliner and after the previous three acts, there was no way they could match their intensity. A portion of the crowd seemed to have left before their set. They have made a few stops in the area recently as the music of Sublime continues to be popular nearly 20 years after the death of Bradley Nowell. With only bass player Eric Wilson remaining, it may be a glorified cover band, but it’s a pretty good one.
Alternative Buffalo has done an excellent job of putting on these shows the last 2 years. Combined with the summer Kerfuffle at Canalside, music lovers in Buffalo have 2 dates to look forward to each year.
Third Eye Blind
Matt And Kim
Sublime With Rome
Third Eye Blind Set
Everything Is Easy
Never Let You Go
How’s It Going To Be
Rites Of Passage/With Or Without You
Something In You
Special Thanks to Nik Rivers for the press credentials