The “End of the World” was on the horizon and the Waterstreet Music Hall in Rochester hosted a party in celebration featuring the Sim Redmond Band and Donna the Buffalo. These two extremely talented musical groups were united on the auspicious date of December 21st to play to an eager and excited crowd that arrived early in anticipation of the show. Both bands have a strong following in the area and beyond, so naturally the venue was electric with excitement.
The Sim Redmond Band was slated to start off the evening’s festivities. The band has crafted a unique sound that incorporates an infectious blend of African-influenced reggae-tinged roots rock mixed in with beautifully arranged vocals. With three talented vocalists in the group, there vocal style not only compliments the music but enhance it to another level all together. Redmond and the angelic voice of Jen Middaugh often harmonize together throughout most songs. But when you add in the beautiful vocals of Nate Silas Richardson (Vocals, Keys & Guitar) they have achieved wonderful three-part harmonies. Dan Merwin contributes In on the powerful sound with his work on the bass and and Jordan Aceto does an excellent job playing guitar. Completing the band is Asa Redmond on drums/percussions.
The band opened the evening off with “All is not Lost”, a song that brings that feel good vibe of contentment and relaxation. As the band continued to play, the music began to take over the crowd, one by one people began to lose their inhibition to this driving sound. A sense of warmth filled those present as they happily dance the night away from pulsating beat the band provided. Hypnotically the crowd began to sway as one, bouncing back and forth to the rythmic sound overtaking the the Waterstreet Music Hall. Song by song the band delivered one tremendous offering after another to the delighted crowd. It was a performance that left no one disappointed, just left you craving for more of the Sim Redmond Band
Setlist: All is not Lost, All I ever Want, Life is Water, Nothing I Can Do, Instant, Break Like the Sun, One Sign, Potholes, Save Me, Pink Guitar, Mine all Mine, Breakdown, Holes, Goodbye
Donna the Buffalo arrived in Rochester followed by their faithful fans known as “The Herd” who live to see DtB play live. Donna the Buffalo’s dedicated fans will not hesitate without a thought to jump at a chance to travel several hours to see a live show. The band’s feel-good, groove-oriented, danceable and often socially conscious music is rooted in old time fiddle music that evolved into a soulful electric Americana mix infused with elements of cajun/zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country. Donna the Buffalo is known for outstanding live performances and touring the country extensively has earned a reputation as one of the most respected, eclectic and hardest-working acts today.
Lead by Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear, the band is continuously on the road. Their setlists are never generated before the show and the band feeds off the crowd to determine what tunes out of their 180 song repertoire what they will play. Song after song, the band to continually delivered what their fans wanted to hear.
They stepped onstage at 10:45pm and after briefly tuning the gear went right into “These Are Better Days” to the crowds delight. Immediately people began to bounce and dance around freely. The band continued on and followed that up with some other crowd favorites, “Beauty Within”, “Be the Change”, and “Love and Gasoline”. These songs showcased the instrumentally diverse talent of Tara Nevins on fiddle, guitar, accordion, and washboard. Jeb Puryear’s unique playing style was evident on the guitar and was complemented by keyboardist Dave McCracken rich sounds. Adding to the bands unique sound is energetic bassist Kyle Spark and drummer Mark Raudabaugh laying the foundation to this wonderful sound.
By this point the audience was in full dance mode. The energy of the place was high and the band and the audience seem to drive each other on and so forth. People were feeding off the bands energy, moving to the hypnotic pulsating sound enveloping them at the moment. Swept away in the moment would be the best way to describe the sensation the music creates. Faces filled with smiles were seen throughout the venue as the band cranked out one tune after another.
Midway through “Conscious Evolution”, the band began to softly play and at one point Jeb Puryear requested a moment of silence from the audience for ‘all the suffering in the world”. And for a brief moment, silence fell upon the Waterstreet Music Hall. At which point, the band continued back jamming into “Conscious Evolution”.
Donna the Buffalo concluded the evening with “Let Love Move Me” to the cheers, whistles and applause of an audience that obviously wanted more music. Not to disappoint, they returned to the stage to an enormous applause of the grateful crowd. The band then proceeded to launched into the songs “Do My Thing” -> “You’re Breaking My Heart” -> “Tell Me Why” and finished off the night with “Cornbread”. Donna the Buffalo delivered another stellar two and a half performance that their fans will certainly remember well into the future.
Setlist: These Are Better Days, Beauty Within, Be the Change, Love and Gasoline, I Can Fly, Blue Sky, This Mystery -> Revelation Two-Step, Winners and Losers, Tonight, Tomorrow, and Yesterday, What It Takes -> Family Picture, Me and Depression, Give Me Just a Little Time -> Hot Tamale Baby, I Love My Tribe, Conscious Evolution -> Moment of silence for all the suffering in the world ->Conscious Evolution, No Place Like the Right Time, Let Love Move Me -> Jamestown Christmas -> Let Love Move Me
Encore: Do My Thing ->You’re Breaking My Heart ->Tell Me Why (Co Fa) ->Cornbread