The new record by 18 year-old singer/songwriter Avi Buffalo (aka Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg) doesn’t come out until April 27 on Sub Pop, but right now he and his band are in the midst of a cross country tour with Oakland’s Rogue Wave. They played the Bowery Ballroom on March 3 and Annie Reuter was on hand to file this report. -ed.
Avi Buffalo at Bowery Ballroom
by Annie Reuter
Acoustic singer-songwriter JBM (aka Jesse Marchant) kicked off the evening with a 30 minute set of emotional-filled ballads. Switching gears from guitar, drums and harmonica, the one man band impressed. So quiet, the crowd was receptive throughout his echoing vocals and delicate finger picking.
Sub Pop’s Avi Buffalo were up next, providing a change of pace with their energetic indie rock songs. With solid musical accompaniment, the band’s blend of atmospheric keyboard features, anthemic electric guitar interludes and wavering vocals brought intensity to the room.
While tracks like “What’s It In For” and “Where’s Your Dirty Mind” embody catchy melodies, it is perhaps their musical prowess that stood out most to the audience. Each song played throughout their 45 minute set encompassed stand-out instrumental breaks showcasing frontman Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg’s killer guitar chops. At first listen, Avi Buffalo’s music comes across as emotional ballads but by mid-song the accompanying guitar riffs quickly change the song’s attitude.
Pining for love on “Jessica,” Zahner-Isenberg sings, “Sometimes I feel like you’re all I’ve got.” Starting the track off slowly, the audience could feel the emotion throughout his singing style. Ending with more angst, an electric guitar interlude aggressively switched gears to which Zahner-Isenberg sang, “I can’t tell when something’s real/Nobody tells me how they feel.”
Whether it was their heart-thumping experimental bass and drum beats or shared vocals between frontman Zahner-Isenberg and keyboardist Rebecca Coleman, Avi Buffalo impressed concertgoers. While many of their songs can be easily pictured being heard in indie films, it was their stage presence and interaction with the audience left the greatest impact.
More Avi Buffalo pictures, album art and tour dates after the jump.
Avi Buffalo 2010 Tour Dates
Mar 09 2010 Mercy Loung w/ Rogue Wave Nashville, Tennessee
Mar 10 2010 Bottletree w/ Rogue Wave Birmingham, Alabama
Mar 12 2010 Harvest of Hope w/ Rogue Wave Elkton, Florida
Mar 13 2010 The Social w/ Rogue Wave Orlando, Florida
Mar 15 2010 One Eyed Jacks w/ Rogue Wave New Orleans, Louisiana
Mar 16 2010 Warehouse Live w/ Rogue Wave Houston, Texas
Mar 17 2010 The Loft w/ Rogue Wave Dallas, Texas
Mar 18 2010 Aloft/Banyan Branch SXSW Party (Acoustic Set) RSVP Austin, Texas
Mar 18 2010 Billions/Ticketfly SXSW Party at The Mohawk Austin, Texas
Mar 18 2010 Sub Pop SXSW Showcase at The Galaxy Room Austin, Texas
Mar 19 2010 KXLU/The Smell-Olfactory Records SXSW Party at Domy Books Austin, Texas
Mar 19 2010 AAM 2010 SXSW EXTRAVAGANZA at Emo’s Annex East Austin,, Texas
Mar 20 2010 Under The Radar Party at Emo’s Annex East Austin, Texas
Mar 20 2010 WXPN Presents Coffee? No Pants! SXSW Party at Red Eye Fly (Acoustic Set) Austin, Texas
Mar 20 2010 Mess w/ Texas 4 Austin, Texas
Apr 06 2010 Grog Shop w/ Japandroids Cleveland, Ohio
Apr 08 2010 Radio Radio w/ Japandroids Indianapoliz, Indiana
Apr 09 2010 LINCOLN HALL w/ Japandroids Chicago, Illinois
Apr 10 2010 7th Street Entry w/ Japandroids Minneapolis, Minnesota
Apr 12 2010 Mojos w/ Japandroids Columbia, Missouri
Apr 15 2010 Beauty Bar w/ Japandroids Las Vegas, Nevada
Apr 19 2010 Trunk Space w/ Japandroids Phoenix, Arizona
Apr 21 2010 Casbah w/ Japandroids San Diego, California
Apr 23 2010 Independent w/ Japandroids San Francisco, California
May 01 2010 Troubadour (Record Release Show) Los Angeles, California
May 14 2010 All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival Minehead
May 15 2010 Walk The Line Festival The Hague
May 30 2010 SASQUATCH FESTIVAL The Gorge, Washington