If you think the local music scene in Buffalo isn’t as big as it once was, Fernway’s show at Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St., on Wednesday night reveals that it’s alive and well and better than ever.
With a show featuring local post-hardcore act Of Night And Light, indie rock group Previous Love, alternative four-piece Darling Harbor, and pop-rockers Ghostpool, local alt-rock quintet Fernway rocked the bar with a set that featured songs from their debut EP An Ache For Distant Places, which dropped last Friday.
Before Fernway got on stage, the packed bar had people chanting each name of the group’s members. Once onstage, the cheering got even louder, almost as if these guys were We The Kings or Paramore with the amount of praise. The band started off their set with “Wishing Well”, the nearly three minute opening track off of An Ache For Distant Places. Each member shined on the rest of the songs off of the EP, including “Bottled Up”, “Reflections”, which got a lot of applause from the crowd, and “Headspace”, the first single off the EP.
Some of the biggest surprises of the night included their two cover songs: “Time To Pretend” by MGMT and “No Roots” by Alice Merton. Their version of the MGMT classic was quite shocking, with the well-known synth riff being played by Brett on his guitar. You had to be there to hear what they did. Now their cover of “No Roots” was stupendous. My jaw dropped once I heard that familiar bass riff coming from Tom’s fingers. I was stunned by how Fernway turned this dance-rock song into something that the band could’ve made. The breakdown in the song defiantly got the crowd bumping. If the band ever appears on a Punk Goes album, that’s the song they have to cover for it.
A lot of fun happened at the show. During a break between songs, Travis Allen got on stage, holding multiple copies of the EP in his hands (note: prior to this, Allen bought 10 copies of the EP from the band. The EP costs $5.) He then started tossing out to the crowd the 10 copies he had, even tossing out some copies of local emo acoustic artist Milo Duhn’s EP Incongruity. People also stage dived, immediately getting tossed out of the venue (Mohawk has a no state diving policy, much like every venue in the city.)
Overall, there’s one thing that I learned from this show: the local scene isn’t dead and it’s Fernway who is leading the cause. The show the other night was incredible and made me happy that I’m glad to be a part of such a wonderful scene.