Thursday, July 14, 2011

The White Buffalo w/ Blackout Party & Ari Shine @ Casbah- 07.09.11

Last Saturday the Casbah hosted a trio of acts featuring some good ol' Americana. Ari Shine from LA opened up for local boys Blackout Party, who set the stage for Los Angeles' The White Buffalo. Late start and an even later finish to the night, but it was all well worth it.

Weekend shows at the Casbah are known to run later than the Sunday through Monday shows and Saturday was no exception. It all started when opener Ari Shine started playing just before 10, about an hour and a half after doors had opened. Its always good to give the crowd time to lube up before the music starts, but by around 9:45 quite a few people were starting to wonder if the opening act was happening or not. Apparently making up for lost time, Shine played what seemed to be a very long (hour+) set for an opener. Solid tunes, but the one man acoustic show started to drag a bit, especially considering most in attendance were itching for the two following acts to take the stage.

Ari Shine:

I had the opportunity to talk with Brian, Danny and Jesse during the long wait for the opening band which was great since I hadn't seen a Blackout Party show since they played Bar Pink last October. Solid group of guys right there. Apparently, apart from recording their debut album, they have been spending a lot of time practicing and playing live gigs because they seemed much more polished on stage than I remembered. Much more stage presence and crowd interaction, both of which fed into the crowd's rapidly escalating enthusiasm. Keep your eyes peeled for their impending album release show- it's going to be a helluva party.

Blackout Party:

The White Buffalo is one of those acts that, if you're relying solely on the limited tracks available on their website, you have no perspective on what they bring to the table at a live show. The studio recorded versions of their songs offer the same reflective lyricism and melodies as you would get on stage, but the live show takes it all to another level. I've been fortunate enough to see these guys a couple times in the past few months (most recently at The Loft on UCSD's campus) and they continue to amaze. Jake Smith is a flat out force of nature- apart from his intimidating size, his deep, rich vocals have the power to stop you in your tracks. Purely by function of the way he delivers his songs you can tell that his lyrics are not born of some naive impression of what Americana music should be about- he has definitely lived it and it comes through loud and clear in his voice. Those who know me know that I have and will not hesitate to hype this band up at every opportunity. From what I've seen everyone who attends a White Buffalo show, whether it's their first or tenth, walks away immensely satisfied and eager to find out when the next opportunity to see them will arrive.

The White Buffalo:

For more pix from the evening click here and the rest of my concert photography click here.

All images copyright © Nate Vandermeulen, All Rights Reserved.
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