Concert Reviews

The Kerfuffle Before Christmas Night Two at Buffalo Riverworks With Jimmy Eat World, BORNS, & Saint Motel

Photos by Janine Van Oostrom

Not even a little snow could dampen the spirits of the sold-out crowd who made the trek to Alt Buffalo’s Kerfuffle Before Christmas on Wednesday night. Everyone had electric energy for the bands that set the stage a blaze.

The first band to take the stage was Saint Motel. The Los Angeles based indie pop band led by A/J Jackson really took command from the get-go. With an incredible mixture of electric guitars, synthesizers and even a saxophone, their unique sound really got the crowd moving. They made sure the crowd stayed engaged from sing-a-longs to illuminating the stage via cellphone flashlight. There was a point in the set during “Born Again” where Jackson climbed one of the structural towers of the stage overlooking the entire venue. It was that bold (and a little dangerous) move that solidified my desire to see these gentlemen again one day.

rns was up next to take on the Kerfuffle, he was someone I was very excited to see heading into the evening. From the moment he took the stage with “American Money”, I was instantly captivated. With his impeccable style and feathery falsettos it’s hard not to immediately fall in love with Garrett Clark Borns. With a female dominate band behind him, each song dazzled with electric guitars and keyboards. “Electric Love” which is definitely his most popular song off the 2015 album Dopamine, not only showed off the harmonizing between members of the crowd, but it most importantly highlighted Børns’ falsetto ability. Though I would have loved to see him perform for another hour, it was a perfect person to segway to the last group of the evening.

The anticipation was absolutely building for Jimmy Eat World to take the take. There was a little bit of an age divide between those attending the show for Saint Motel and Børns, versus those there for Jimmy Eat World. It was made extremely apparent when the older generation in the back completely changed places with those younger in the front. Alt Buffalo did a great job playing music of popular pop/rock and alternative artists from Panic! At The Disco to Fall Out Boy, and even a bit of Blink 182. Those 3 bands alone plus Jimmy Eat World really took over my Walkman back in middle school, and as the entire crowd sang along it really took me back.

From the moment they took the stage with “Sure and Certain” from their latest album Integrity Blues, the crowd turned up their level of enthusiasm tenfold. For a band that has been together for almost 25 years they have never lost a beat. You could tell they were so thankful to still be making music and bringing so much joy to everyone in the room that night. While the entire night had been backed with incredible lighting which really illuminated each act, Jimmy Eat World brought their own street lights which could have been a possible ode to their fourth studio album Futures or maybe just for the aesthetic, either way it was incredible.

There was a portion of the setlist, which was entirely dedicated to throwing it back to early albums like “Futures” and Bleed American”. Strapped with an acoustic guitar lead singer Jim Adkins began the intro for Hear You Me, which transitioned perfectly into a cover of “Last Christmas”, that got everyone into the holiday spirit. They closed the evening with “The Middle” which in true pop punk concert fashion brought the mosh pit and crowd surfing trends back from the early 00’s. It was truly an incredible evening to kick off the holidays.