Who: Avi Buffalo
Renee McMahon Avi Buffalo played the Sasquatch! Music Festival on Sunday, May 30 at the Gorge.
Where: Yeti Stage
"It's been a long tour," said Avi Zahner-Isenberg, frontman of Sub Pop's Avi Buffalo, during his mid-afternoon set, Sunday. "You could probably tell."
Actually, it felt more like the band were playing together for the first time. The festival gear and mix could have accounted for the accentuated squeek in Zahner-Isenberg's voice, but there are no good excuses for the awkward and clumsy moments that prevented the set from ever taking off. Between songs, Zahner-Isenberg fell into a grating pattern of saying, "thank you guys so much for having us" (at least 10 times), announcing the song that they were about to rip into, and then pausing, and taking a minute or two to tune. It put a stop to any momentum before it could get started.
But the band's rough set was not without promise. The highlight of the set came during the too-short jam at the end of "Summer Cum." Zahner-Isenberg's guitar playing--more like tinkering and noodling at this point-- is reminiscent of King of Leon guitarist Matthew Followill's playing on his bands first two records. KOL's ascent from playing sparse festival sets (Lollapalooza 2003) to headlining the Gorge (July 17, 2010) was contemporaneous with Followill's development as a guitarist. It would be no surprise if Avi Buffalo's career trajectory--if not pointing toward arenas--hinged on Zahner-Isenberg's progression as a guitarist as well.
Ironing out the kinks between songs wouldn't hurt, either.
More photos after the jump.
|Renee McMahon|Renee McMahon Renee McMahon Renee McMahon