Let’s be honest: it’s going to be pretty tough to for the Wild Buffalo to top the back-to-back-to-back punch of shows that took place at the music venue last weekend. From Friday’s epic show by Charles Bradley, to Saturday’s outing with local favorites Polecat, and straight on through to Sunday’s sold-out Allen Stone show, for a broad swath of this area’s music fans, it was the very best kind of lost weekend.
Given that, you’d think folks at the Buffalo would take a bit of a break—and give us all a respite—before they inundate us with can’t-miss shows once again.
Apparently, that’s just not how they do things at the Buff, and the coming weekend’s lineup of shows has me taking a deep breath, tapping my inner reserve of stamina and reminding myself that I can sleep when I’m dead.
Arriving in Bellingham fresh from a performance on the Late Show with David Letterman is JD McPherson, who will land on the Buffalo stage Fri., Dec. 14. Of course, this isn’t McPherson’s first visit to our fair burg—his introduction to Bellingham came via a May show at the Green Frog—and his brand of retro rock ’n’ roll proved to be a good fit with our musical sensibilities.
Since then, he’s kept himself busy with the work of making himself known to audiences near and far—and, if his Letterman appearance is any indication, his efforts have been met with a fair amount of success. McPherson is just one of a proud crew of musicians who have gained notice by mixing the influences they grew up on with the sounds of music’s more distant past. In McPherson’s case, this sounds like what would happen if a guy took his love of bands such as T. Rex and the Pixies and rolled them into what is no small talent for creating good old-fashioned Buddy Holly-style rock ’n’ roll. Throw in a dash of charisma and some solid throwback style, and you’ll pretty much have McPherson.
But newfangled old-school jams aren’t all the Buffalo has up its sleeve. Come Sat., Dec. 15, the venue will take a walk on a significantly louder, darker side when Seattle’s oh-so-mighty Sunn O))) make their way up here. The band with the weird moniker and crypt-keeper fashion sense has made a name for itself (aside from the one it stole from the Sunn amplifier company, that is) as masters of ambient drone—and in case that description doesn’t tip you off, you should know that few bands bring the thunder and abuse the upper reaches of all things volume-related like this one does.
Speaking of bands that bring the thunder (but in a wholly different way), Sunn O))) will be joined at the Buff by Southern Lord label mates and much-beloved erstwhile locals Black Breath. Although Black Breath has taken a bit of a break from their normally manic touring schedule, it’s safe to say that does not mean the band has slacked off in the slightest. One of what is an exceedingly short list of the best live bands this town has ever produced, watching Black Breath take the stage is akin to watching them teach an object lesson in what happens when a band works hard, tours harder and refuses to let up, ever. Not content to just be a ripping metal band with monster hooks and chops to spare, Black Breath has honed their sound and style until they resemble less a band and more a force of nature.
If, after last weekend, you thought you’d use the upcoming one to rest and recoup, possibly bake some cookies and trim a tree or otherwise relax a little, you might be mistaken. Because it seems the Wild Buffalo has some plans for you.
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