Made Violent has been and still is the most exciting young band in Buffalo. Period. If you've never done yourself the favor of going to one of their live shows, hopefully this review will convince you to do so in the future. Always a hive of activity, The Waiting Room was already abuzz with anticipation for the show. This is a band that has had its share of twists and turns along the always perilous and uncertain road of music, but time and time again their hometown shows have been among the best and most energetic I've been to. The band's combination of lo-fi, skate punk, and bluesy indie rock is perfect for an intimate venue like The Waiting Room. As I settled in for the show, I had a feeling this was going to be a fun one.
The openers were local bands Sixties Future and Ugly Sun. Sixties Future had a fairly straight forward alt-rock sound with a twinge of edge and classic rock mixed in. They had some great organ and keyboard backing and a killer harmonica solo at the end of one of their last songs. The singer's deep voice reminded me of Matt Berninger from The National, which certainly isn't a bad thing, and it made for an interesting combination with their style. Ugly Sun, however, really stepped up the intensity. Every band member was firing on all cylinders, and the band let their beachy, skate punk vibe shine. The guitarist flailed and the vocalist voice cut through the crowd like a chainsaw. It certainly set the tone before the main attraction.
After a bit of a wait, Made Violent finally took the stage to the sound of tropical bongos. But if you were there to relax, you were in for a rude awakening. Opening with one of their better known songs, "Wasted Days," the crowd packed in and filled the entire front space. Even the back of the room was looking a little crowded. The energy was high from the beginning, but it took a little goading from charismatic frontman, bassist, and singer Joe White to truly get the crowd to, in his words, "have fun." And as the band moved from song to song, have fun they did. With the show being the same day as the release of new songs and a brand new seven inch, the band played a fairly good amount of new material, which didn't slow the crowd down at all. They played with force, and I really felt the power of each instrument. Justin Acee goes wild on the drums, which boom and formed the entire foundation, while guitarist Rob Romano's slick and slinky style fills in the groove, even more than White's bass.
With a couple more well known songs played between the new material, the band brought the crowd to eleven with the final act of the show. Songs like "Two Tone Hair" and "On My Own" are crowd pleasers, and they sounded punchy and had the crowd jumping and moving like pinballs. White's little accentuations on each song really add to the fun of this band's live show, and even after some technical difficulty with his bass, the band kept the mood light with a "ten second" rendition of AC DC's "Back in Black."
Finishing the set with three of their hardest hitting songs, "Inside Out," "Don't Wanna Know," and "Dirty," the crowd up front by this point was in a frenzy and there was a constant stream of crowd surfing. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and the band sounded great. Their whole sound just shreds the air and you can't help but feel like moving. These guys are good, and this night was no exception. As they left the stage and expressed how good it felt to play in Buffalo again, the feeling was mutual. It was good to have them back, and this being the third or fourth time I've seen them, they still feel like a band on the verge of taking over the rock radio airwaves.