To start, I have never written a concert review and this is not a professional attempt. Simply, this is just a writer’s effort to capture the night that started with Dead Feather Moon and ended with The White Buffalo; because, through that night, all that mattered was music and making certain you had just enough room to move with it.
I bought my ticket because The White Buffalo was headlining, and the man has been a favorite musician of mine for some time, I had no clue who Dead Feather Moon and didn’t care to look them up. After their set, they were lodged into my phone’s notes.
It is hard to imagine a better opening act for The White Buffalo; as the men of Dead Feather Moon commanded the stage with a combination of raw and honest tunes, using sliding guitar licks and deep bass rifts. It only took one song for the crowd to fall enchanted, with feet moving, loud hoots, and the refrain sing-a-longs to songs very few had heard before. As the set ended, I am pretty certain everyone would be content with the performance we had just been given…but that wasn’t what we were there for. And when Dead Feather Moon finished, the crowd had been energized and was most certainly ready for the deep bass voice that would be on stage shortly.
And that’s why I am here writing this, dreary eyed and listening to the man again.
When The White Buffalo came to the stage alone, his feature as bold and deep as his lyrics, there was no special lighting, he was without need for it as he walked to the microphone with no words, began to pick along his strings and let it out, “Thought I did, but then I don’t…” The crowd fell deftly silent and all eyes and ears were focused forward, “The Moon,” was upon us and The White Buffalo was going to tell us all about it. At the end of the song the Belly Up’s full attention and dedication was to the Buffalo, and then, his band took to the stage.
Throughout the show The White Buffalo flowed through a set list ranging from the beginning all the way to the present, utilizing his deep (deep) voice to hold long lines and stir connections through the crowd. When he brought out a song that everyone knew, everyone sang without fear trying their best to connect to the man on stage. When it was something new, everyone tried to learn the words and let their feet go free. Mid way through the show, as he strummed through the opening to a slower melody, I noted to someone I was with that it felt like he was teaching us, and all you could do was listen so that maybe some of his honesty would wear off on you. She agreed in the full. And that became ever more true as he wiped down his guitar with his sweat rag and took another swig from his beer to open up “Every Night Every Day,” awakening us from our awe inspired gazes.
Then he went off his regular plan, he played the song everyone knows, “Love Song#1,” as not a closing song but a gathering song. Leading us through to the end, at which point every shirt in the house was soaked with sweat and beer. But, that would not be the end. We had all just been energized again, and there was no going home without more of the Buffalo’s voice and lyrics. The chants and the claps began, no one moved, no one was going to move till he gave us at least another 5 to 10 songs. Sure enough, a few minutes into the begging a Buffalo walked to the stage alone and brought us to our knees with a solo effort of “Wish It Was True.” A song later the band once again held the stage. The encore brought more than the beginning, featuring faster paced songs of personal adventure. The Buffalo told the crowd to thank the band, and we did by letting it all out as we learned about “How the West Was Won” and what it means to be a pilot.
As he left the stage everyone felt like the $15 paid to get in was the best investment they had made in recent years. And then headed to a little corner where you could buy some CDs, just to make certain they would be able to make it through the car ride home, but also because the next time he is in town, we want to know every song.