Thursday, April 15, 2010
Nightlight, Chapel Hill
April 13, 2010
Where the Buffalo Roamed serves as example for why genre is meaningless in Chapel Hill, a town built upon originality and artistic expression. This three piece rock outfit sings the songs they have in their head and play the instruments they have in their hands without concern for what either are expected to sound like and there is no need for categorizing to enjoy it. True only to the picture in their mind and intent upon expressing it on stage, a war painted Where the Buffalo Roamed turned Nightlight’s stage into a theater Tuesday night. Demonstrating their emotions and feelings with razor sharp lyrics and the biggest ruckus that their two guitars and a set of drums could achieve, they transmitted a ragged collection of life experiences. I found a warm and ardent persistence in Corbie's longingly spun story telling which focuses in on distressed characters that traverse epic sad-but-true story lines. Written across the heavy weighted pages of grinding and reverberating guitar strokes are deeply earnest and passionate narrations of the American experience. Within their heart-to-heart sincerity Where the Buffalo Roamed casts a forgiving eye to star crossed lovers and burn outs alike. Theirs’ isn't to convey beliefs or defend ideas, but just to capture a singular emotion in time and describe it...good or bad, happy or sad.
Taking the stage for their agitated and animated set, they found an already primal and motivated pace left by their opener Finn Riggins, another three piece rock outfit who requires no genre sparring in order to enjoy. Idaho based Finn Riggins whose tour brought them to town Tuesday earned a few followers on the way through. Their synthish keyboard pop sound mashed up with thick cut guitar riffs matched perfectly with The Nightlight's zeal for experimental rock and left me with the thought that they could make their home in Chapel Hill easy as pie. Ironic that the t-shirt they had on the merch stand had mountain peaks on it, their music follows the same pattern. Layers upon layers of broad fronts hazed by smoky keyboard runs and textured drum fills give way to numerous unique vocal peaks poking through from any one of the three microphones arranged next to Cameron Bouiss' a-typical drum racks, Eric Gilbert's keyboard farm, or lead singer and guitar player Lisa Simpson. Listen to "Wake" on their myspace for an audible on this description, there is a lot going on in a Finn Riggin's arrangement and its just plain fun to listen to.
Chapel Hill singer/songstress Kellie Ann Grubbs opened the night with a powerful solo performance. Kelly demonstrated a strong, ranging, yet controlled vocal and quite unlike most soloists...subtly attracted attention without demanding it. Her songs were delicate in stature but profound in delivery and filled the room with a calm and tranquil composure. Kellie Ann Grubbs' performance was as far apart in arrangement from WTBR as could be perceived but they both shared a very high quality similarity; through the originality and sincerity of their song writing, the subject of their music is conveyed to their audience along with a glimpse of who they are and what they were feeling when they put pen to paper. --Carrboro Ninja
Where the Buffalo Roamed
Kellie Ann Grubbs