Date: December 10th, 2017
Opening Act: Suzanne Santo
It’s been 2 years since last seeing The White Buffalo, when he co-headlined with Chuck Ragan. Unfortunately, haven’t gotten a chance to see him since, even though I wanted to see him open for Flogging Molly in late Spring. But I’d rather see him headline where he can play a lot more songs than just a half hour. For those that don’t know who The White Buffalo is, he’s a country/punk influenced singer/songwriter Jake Smith, who plays under the name The White Buffalo. You probably have heard his music in TVs and movies, mostly notably Sons of Anarchy and most recent in The Punisher. I fell in love with his music 2 years ago and have become a big fan ever since. I always tell people he’s a cross between Eddie Vedder and Richie Havens.
It’s also been 2 years since seeing a show at Brooklyn Bowl, which was Fishbone and The Skints. The venue is interesting, but I can definitely see it being a distraction for some musicians with the bowling going on while you’re playing. Opening act, Suzanne Santo commented about her bowling game, and how odd it was to be playing at a bowling alley. But she was laughing about it. Suzanne had a lovely singing voice, bit of Americana/ folk flair and her personality in-between songs made me like her even more. She’s also in the band Honey Honey with Ben Jaffe. I’m not sure what songs she played but towards the end she did play a Johnny Cash song so that was cool. I’m definitely going to check out Suzanne’s and Honey Honey’s music because I liked what I heard. If you like that Americana singer-songwriter type, you’ll like Suzanne Santo.
The White Buffalo has a new album out called Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights, and this tour is in support of that. You can read my review of that here. Jake came out with drummer Matt Lynott and bassist Christopher Hoffee and played the first song off the new album, “Hide and Seek.” I originally didn’t care for that song when I initially heard it but hearing it more on the album and then live, makes me appreciate it more. Jake commented about wearing his most hippest shirt, since we were in Brooklyn. He also made a joke about bowling and screamed towards the bowlers that they were “over the line!” Having met Jake when I filmed a Before The Concert session with him and watching him do his In The Garage videos, the guy has a big sense of humor and I love that.
For the set, they played a lot of material from the last few albums. “Dark Days,” “Oh Darling,” “Don’t You Want It,” and one of my favorites from the new album “The Observatory” were played early on. Another favorite from the new one, “Avalon” was played shortly after and it sounded great live. That song has to be one of my favorites from the band. That’s what I like about the White Buffalo, the slow songs are just as good as the fast ones. One thing I noticed this time around was how awesome a drummer Matt Lynott is. He wasn’t in the back and right up front with the rest of the guys, and he was directly in front of me. Jake called him an uncaged animal and that’s the truth.
Other highlights of the show included “Home Is In Your Arms,” “Border Town,” “Joe and Jolene” and of course “The Pilot.” I was really hoping for “BB Guns and Dirtbikes” and either “Come Join The Murder” or “If I Lost My Eyes” but it wasn’t meant to be that night. Has Jake ever done “House of Pain” cover that he did for West of Memphis movie? I would love to hear that live one of these days.
After “The Pilot,” the band left and came back to play a few more. “Wish It Was True” was played first but not sure what was played next since I had to catch a train. I believe the Johnny Cash cover “The Highwaymen” and “How The West Was Won” were played after that. I was happy to hear “Wish It Was True” played since I didn’t hear it the last time I saw him.
If you love The White Buffalo’s music and haven’t seen Jake and the guys perform yet, get your ass to one of their shows because it’s a great time! You can’t beat Jake’s vocals and Matt’s drumming.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the night. All of them will be up on SkaPunkPhotos.com shortly.