Photos: Chris Besaw
Review: Kelly Besaw
Punk rock legends the Descendents with special guests A Wilhelm Scream and The Pavers played for a jam-packed crowd at Buffalo RiverWorks in Buffalo, NY on Friday August 3.
Buffalo natives and long-time friends of the Descendents, The Pavers, kicked off the evening. They played close to a forty-minute high energy set. The local crowd loved it. Lead singer Scott Reynolds was well-received. He is no stranger to punk music and has been on the scene since 1989. Reynolds got the crowd up and moving and ready for the next band.
Next up was A Wilhelm Scream. It was time to take a break from the traditional catchy punk sound and move to more of a melodic hardcore feel. The crowd didn’t seem to mind at all and it was clear that many of the audience members were big fans of A Wilhelm Scream. The band formed in 1993 and has undergone many renditions; with several lineup changes and band label transitions, A Wilhelm Scream has certainly evolved over the years. The current line-up consists of Nuno Pereira (vocals), Trevor Reilly (guitar and vocals), Mike Supina (guitar), Brian Robinson (bass guitar and vocals) and Nicholas Pasquale (drums).
The band was raw energy from the moment they hit the stage; belting out the songs while running wildly all back and forth engaging the crowd. The guitar work and drum cadence had a level of intensity that was impossible not to feel moved by. They opened their set with “Famous Friends and Fashion Drunks,” followed by “Me vs. Morrissey in the Pretentiousness Contest (The Ladder Match),” and “The Last Laugh.” Fans wearing Wilhelm Scream t-shirts lined the front of the house screaming the words to the songs, crowd surfing and having a great time. Mosh pits erupted during fan favorites, “Get Mad, You Son of a Bitch!” and the politically charged “I Wipe My Ass With Showbiz.” A Wilhelm Scream proved why they have withstood the test of time and have been putting out music for over 25 years. They ended their night with “The King is Dead” and left the stage and the crowd amped for headliners the Descendents.
It was time for the Descendents. This band has been around since 1977 and is still going strong. I was impressed by the love, loyalty and the diversity of their fan base. People of all ages flocked to the stage to get ready for the punk legends to play. Lead singer, Milo Auckerman, backed by Bill Stevenson (drums), Stephen Egerton (guitar) and Karl Alvarez (bass guitar) wasted no time getting right down to business. They played a lengthy set (39 songs to be exact) including “Suburban Home,” “Everything Sux,” “I Don’t Want to Grow Up,” Coffee Mug” and ended their first set with “Descendents.” The band left the stage very briefly and returned with longtime friend and lead singer of the Pavers, Scott Reynolds who sang “Fool” and “Dot.” Milo grabbed the helm again and ripped through an eight-song encore that included fan favorites “’Merican” and “I’m the One.” The Descendents ended the encore with “Smile” before leaving the stage for the second time.
The crowd started to disperse even though the house lights never came on. Some looked confused. Then, all of a sudden, the band was back onstage starting a second encore. They treated the delighted fans to another three songs “Fighting Myself” and rarely played tracks, “Good Good Things” and “Pep Talk.” An incredible end to a monumental evening of music. The Descendents’ music, stage presence and overall vibe are totally positive. Their live performance is lighthearted and just a good old fun punk rock show.