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EdgeFest 2014 had big shoes to fill. The long running festival has been a highlight and a staple of the Buffalo music scene for years. Located at the Buffalo Outer Harbor with no shade in sight, Buffalo experienced one of the hottest days of this (admittedly mild) summer. Despite the heat, the energy level was high and the music kept the liveliness going.
The first two groups to play, Dirty Smile and Pentimento, are both Buffalo based bands. Pentimento has recently seen more commercial success with the release of their self-titled full length and their Inside the Sea EP last year. Not taking the opportunity for granted, Pentimento clearly played their set on full blast.
Following Pentimento was the Buffalo formed but now Boston based The Sheila Divine. The group was originally founded in 1997 but has been on hiatus a few times since then. Most recently reuniting in 2010, the group independently released a full length and has been revisiting the touring circuit. Calmest of the five bands playing the festival, The Sheila Divine offered an excellent change of pace. Sonically thick and dynamic, the group played through a number of their old hits as well as some of their newer material.
Next up was Brand New. The Long Island quartet is made up of front man Jesse Lacey, bassist Garrett Tierney, guitarist Vincent Accardi, and drummer Brian Lane. Let me preface this by saying that Brand New was one of my favorite bands growing up. Their 2003 and 2006 releases Deja Entendu and The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me were two of my favorite albums in high school, and the first time I (poorly) attempted to play a bass, it was the bass line of "Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades." When the band took the stage, they were met by cheers and enthusiasm from the front to the back of the crowd. It seemed that everyone knew every lyric sung that night. Featuring a mostly older set list of songs, the group remained moderately even keeled for most of the set. It wasn’t until the second to last song, "Jesus Christ", that the energy began to build until reaching an apex during the final song, "You Won’t Know." The last few minutes were full of screaming guitars, screaming vocals, and intense sequences of heavily atonal dissonance. The inner angry high school kid inside everyone was being realized in that moment of cathartic expression.
At last, it was time for Weezer to take the stage. This group also had a tie to the Buffalo region as drummer Patrick Wilson is from Clarence, NY. The power-pop-punk-rock outfit has been playing since 1992 and is responsible for some of the most memorable albums of the 90’s. Kicking the set off with “My Name is Jonas,” the group continued for 17 additional songs totaling over an hour and a half of playing time. The full moon and the waterfront environment offered an ideal evening for a rock show. All in all, Edgefest filled those metaphorical shoes left by its predecessors and did so in excellent fashion. Proper attention was paid to local talent while also offering a satisfying collection of big name bands.
EdgeFest 2014 - Sunday August 10 @ Buffalo Outer Harbor