Last American Buffalo have a name that communicates extermination. In fact, their set isn't going to be left for dead. It is the first of a month-long residency at the Silverlake Lounge. On this night, they take the stage just before 11pm in the west. They are immediately impressive. The sound-check took too long, sure, and some of their affect isn't perfect but this band is low and tight. No set-list but a little less than an hour of American roots-rock; take it or leave it.
Things aren't perfect. Lead singer, Kevin Compton, blows a string on his acoustic in the second song. Compton doesn't show the strain, instead leading his over-sized band through a set of propulsive American rock. It has its moments and it has its moments where you wish something else was happening. Last American Buffalo are good. But they weren't the best band on the bill.
If you rewind 90-minutes, Eastern Conference Champions are taking the stage. They are a disjointed trio but they don't play like it. Lead singer, Josh Ostrander, squeezes his vocals out of the side of his mouth in something that approaches catharsis. Playing lead guitar, Melissa Dougherty has to be one of the best women playing in rock. She is illuminating and moving, soloing in equal frenzy as high-fret thrash. She might be the best part of this band.
Without even playing 2007 single, "The Box," the band rips through an eight-song set built to destroy. Opening with "To The World" and closing with the elevated "Atlas," the band still fit in upcoming single "Common Sense." The sum-total is built on strong opening movements and crushing, wave-of-sound closers. The band leaves the stage after clustering around and pounding on the drums. It is an explosive moment and part of you thinks there isn't a better band in this whole town. You just might be right.
Listen :: Eastern Conference Champions - "The Box"