Buffalo Tom : Hollywood Troubadour

Buffalo Tom skip the preliminaries and win 'em all over in the first three minutes.

Winning a crowd over tends to be something a band needs to work at during the course of a show. Tonight, within the cozy confines of the Troubadour in Hollywood, Buffalo Tom skip the preliminaries and win ’em all over in the first three minutes. Barreling out of the blocks with ‘Tangerine’, it’s a tribute to the Boston trio that less than halfway through the tune, a row of no-necks in front are arm in arm singing along with the improbable-for-them chorus of “Just a little haiku to say how much I like you”

Audience securely tucked into the back pockets of their collective slacks, Janovitz and crew get down to the business of what they do best, namely take the same chords everyone else muddles along with and recycling them in a way that makes the musicians in the crowd wonder why G, C, and D normally seem mundane but sound so good when ringing from Buffalo Tom’s guitars. Pulling generously from the recently released ‘Asides’ compilation, ‘Summer’ soars, as does ‘Soda Jerk’, the clever ode to the joys of relieving a frustrated sex life by taking matters into your own hands, the bull by the horns, what have you.

Exhibiting the kind of inter-band banter that likely has helped keep them together for over a decade, Janovitz needles bassist Chris Colbourn about his beloved Baltimore Orioles’ recent loss of their star pitcher, as Colbourn steps to the mic to sing ‘Kitchen Door’, a song that references in passing that exact team.

While it’s a safe wager that Colbourn’s hapless Orioles will remain dismal for years to come, betting against a band like Buffalo Tom that still believes in forgotten old-fashioned fundamentals like thoughtful songwriting and sweat-drenched live shows under hot lights is just too much of a gamble to take.

Colin Devenish