Thursday, September 29th marked a monumental night for Bass, and Dance Music in general, in the Buffalo community. All week long, the city was abuzz with excitement as we crept closer and closer to the first big show at the beautiful and spacious Buffalo River Works venue. Ever since the initial announcement months ago, and after seeing highlights from the tour’s first few stops in Dallas and Austin, fans had certainly been curious. How would the layout look? Where would the stage face? How would the acoustics sound? What about parking? Well, what better way to test the venue’s capabilities than to bring in one of the nation’s largest travelling festivals in Safe In Sound for a night of bone rattling bass music courtesy of MNM Presents. As I pulled up to the river side venue that fell behind what is now Key Bank Center, I noticed it stood underneath several large silos. I parked, got out of the car and walked past the long line of fans patiently waiting.
As is the case with many large scale performances in new venues, there were small setbacks. But it’s not the bumps in the road that make or break the show; its the music and the fans. After a minor 30 minute setback due to the late arrival of the front barricade, once the line started moving it did not stop. After arriving inside, I went and got my bracelets and was led through a pair of double doors that popped us out in front of the stage just to the right. I had been to River Works before, but what had followed was totally unexpected. The spacious roller rink and two floor bar area had been transformed in to a mini festival arena for the night’s shenanigans. The sound was outstanding. 150,000 watts of sound were rammed in there and the bass sounded about as crisp as one could hope for. As we made our way towards the back, we got the full view of the production, which was next level. Full production shows like that hit Buffalo only once in a while, and this was up there with the best of ’em. The staggered lighting board flashed logos and images all night long while the surrounding lights and lasers wavered to the beats. The 2,200 capacity venue gave party goers enough room to breathe and dance on their own without any troubles, and the crowd was eating out of Terravita’s hands as they warmed up the decks for the rest of the night’s performers.
As Sabrina and I made a lap around the venue, I couldn’t help but notice how easy it was to get a drink from the bar as there were almost no lines, certainly a great start to the evening. While the event sold really well, the venue’s spacious areas still allowed people to relax and hang out if they wanted which was a nice change of pace. At this point, Terravita, who was our first interview of the evening, had just finished laying down a proper opening set highlighting several tracks from their new EP The Fallen and had the crowd primed as they handed off the mixing duties to Dirtyphonics. The Dirtyphonics set was the perfect follow up, bringing a different style of energy and sound to the rapidly growing crowd. By this time, we had made our way to the VIP area that was on the second floor balcony that wrapped around the venue. As Dirtyphonics mixed through remixes of tracks like ‘Disarm You’ by Kaskade, the the energy of the crowd vibrating as one could be felt even all the way upstairs. The sea of fans all bouncing to one beat is a sight I’ll always love witnessing, and it was in full effect here.
Immediately following Dirtyphonics, fans were ushered right into Slugz City as the man Snails stepped up to the decks. The lighting boards began flashing visuals of snails, cities and the like as the signature Vomitstep sound emanated from the speakers. It was about 11:00pm and Safe In Sound Buffalo was in full force, as the crowd swayed and the bass continued to rattle the chest cavities of its willing recipients.
At midnight, the headlining act Borgore took the stage starting off with the title track of his album #NEWGOREORDER. The opening song was the perfect intro for the rest of his set. He played a range of material from his catalog, from the 2010 track “Nympho,” all the way up to his latest release “Daddy ,” and even included an unreleased feature track. Songs like Knife Party’s “Centipede” and dubstep classic “I Can’t Stop” blasted through the speakers, effectively deafening the front row audience. But it’s not just the song choices that were lit: Borgore’s visuals only added to the whacky party atmosphere in the room. During the track “100s,” Daddy himself got in front of the stage to rap the track in front of the most bad-ass visual display: A Lisa Frank kitten with wings. Finally at the end, Asaf surprised the crowd by playing a Lamb of God metal track close to the ending of the night.
All in all, Safe In Sound Buffalo was a huge success, and had attendees talking about it all weekend long. Requests for more shows at River Works flooded in, and outside of one very small, logistical issue, there were next to no complaints about the night overall. Buffalo was in need of a show like that and MNM Presents, River Works, and Safe In Sound exceeded any and all expectations. Here’s hoping for the festival’s return next year, although I’m sure it won’t take much convincing on anybody’s part. Also, be sure to check out the two interviews with Terravita and Borgore, and check out the gallery of photos from the event courtesy of C.P. Abbott Photography!