Road Blog: Friday June 15, 2018 - Buffalo, NY
June 15, 2018
We left our hotel in Rochester and stopped off at the Record Archive – a huge store full of a million albums and novelties, curated nicely, and easy to browse. Patrick bought a small stack of stuff, Gabriel left empty handed, and I bought an album by The Move and a couple knick-knacks. We cranked the new live The Darkness album all the way to Buffalo and landed at Revolver Records Inc. – a store we always hit there – but first we had some decent tacos delivered with mediocre at-best service, at a nearby Mexican joint that was voted best something or other from a local publication. Patty complained about the salt on the chips, Gabe complained that we ordered too much food, and I complained about the service, so it was pretty much a love fest all around. Phil at Revolver is a good dude and we chatted it up about the city, the show, good local eats, and then headed towards our hotel. Pat played Grand Funk Railroad - Band's “Good Singing, Good Playing” record and I commented that I don’t blame them for excluding “Good Lyrics” from the title. Don’t get me wrong, I get down with some Grand Funk from time to time, but their lyrics aren't always the highlight.
We headed to the Allentown neighborhood and got rock star parking at Nietzsche's. We walked over to Allen Burger Venture for dinner. We were still pretty full from the tacos, salty chips, and shitty service earlier, but we had a long night ahead so we ordered knowing we’d be taking a lot of it with us. I went with the #5 which was peanut butter, Applewood bacon, jalapenos, and white cheddar, which was recommended by Phil, and we got the loaded tots for an appetizer also recommended. The food was great, as was the beer selection, and the waitresses all wore punk rock shirts and they played Bikini Kill and Mission of Burma while we ate. Thumbs up all around! We walked back to Nietzsche’s and loaded in.
Nietzche’s is a bigger place, long and narrow, with a tall, deep stage against the back wall. There’s elevated viewing areas on each side of the stage, a bar near the front, and a grungy green room up a dilapidated old set of stairs off to the side. This building has been around for a while, and it shows, but it’s got loads of character, and the people there were welcoming. After load in I set up merch and went for a walk around the neighborhood and found a bench near a school where I sat and chilled for a bit and made a couple overdue phone calls. When I got back to the bar I was happy to see my good pal Paul Easterberg, who came a day early to catch our show before he catches Sloan Music tonight. We got caught up a bit then he, Gabe and I headed over to a bar called The Old Pink, which Paul had heard was a local hang for Man Without Ties - Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson when they were in town. Doesn’t take much more than that to convince me to check it out. Walking in, it was believable. It smelled like a bar rag, it was dark and noisy, and there was some tension in the air. We loved it. We got a round, gulped it down and headed back to Nietszche’s.
The Alison Pipitone Band went on sometime after 10 and played a good set of original rock and roll. Her band is tight and her songs are solid and she’s got a great voice. Their drummer was wearing a Cheap Trick shirt, so we bonded over that, and he told me about how he’d recently met Bun E. Carlos and purchased a snare from him in Rockford, IL. We were up next and felt at home with our amps cranked, after the quiet set in Rochester on Thursday. We played a decent set to a decent crowd that was pretty engaged for most of it. It was hot and sticky. A few seconds into the first song my whiskey fell off the railing and spilled all over the stage, but Paul came to the rescue with reinforcements in no time (thanks buddy – I owe ya for that!). After that, The Buffalo Brass Machine played and they are awesome. We played with them the first time we came through Buffalo and always kept in touch. They’re a brass band (obviously) with trumpets, trombones, sax and tuba, and a drummer. They play a mostly-New Orleans style with sing-alongs and great horn harmonies. They are super fun, and great dudes to match. It’s a pleasure watching them work. They played until about 2:30am.
We finished our drinks, loaded out, and headed back to the hotel where we devoured what was left of our burgers, and crashed out just south of 4am. This morning came early as we hit the breakfast bar before they tore it down and we’re getting ready to head out. I had a moment with a nice southern lady who was a bit overly-curious about the caramel, crumbly, pound cakes and after I encouraged her to give it a go she told everyone in earshot what a delight they were. Patty wasn’t impressed.
Thanks to Nietzsche’s, Alison, and the BBM for a fun night! We’re off to Ithaca where we’ll play at The Range tonight. Hope to see our pals! And happy birthday to my awesome sister Kristen, who I can’t seem to tag here, but hopefully she’s out having fun! Xo.