No Circus, Jupiter One, Buffalo Gun
The Social, Orlando, Fl • Sept. 23, 2007
The last time The Wildbirds hit Orlando was just two months ago, and they were opening for (or blowing away I could say) Jesse Malin. Little has changed in the realm of the Wisconsin band’s popularity in that thime, but the impression the boys made on The Social must have been vast enough because this time around the guys have gotten top billing.
Honestly, the venue was not crowded by any stretch of the imagination, but those of us in attendance got the complete attention of four amazing bands, beginning with Oviedo’s Buffalo Gun.
The nod to the world of Southern 70’s got its evening kickoff with this young, local band of classic rock fans. The foursome had a pair of ladies giving backing vocals- which was a nice touch- and a lead guitarist/vocalist who brought the heaviness into the air of the club. Bradd Shapiro is a man to watch, a guitarist with the blues rock battalion under his belt and a voice to match.
Offering a taste of new wave in the midst of all things rock was NYC’s Jupiter One. These guys (and gal) were five in total, yet between them they handled at least seven instruments- including violin and flute.
Band geeks with good musical tastes assemble and form damn fine band. That’s the Jupiter One headline. Read it, know it, remember it, because their tunes are every bit as catchy as anything The Killers have done but without the pretense. Frontman (vocalist/guitarist/violinist) K Ishibashi has a Police-era (which is now again, I suppose) Sting voice which adds volumes to this band’s already illustrious sound.
If Jupiter One were good, No Circus were offensive in their skills. The trio is from my personal hometown of Deland, Florida (a small town known as much for making the redneck sport of muddin’ popular as it is for being just 20 minutes from the tourist trap of Daytona Beach), and they are unapologetically obsessed with classic rock a la Led Zeppelin, Free and Jimi Hendrix. Their take on these rock gods is sincere and their talents on their instruments proficient, but what really blows my mind about this band is their ages. These guys are 16 and 17 years old!
The singer/guitarist, James Killgallon, oozes sex appeal far beyond his years (which is kinda creepy) and he handles his axe like an old pro. It’s ridiculous how good this kid is! Just take one listen to “One of These Days” and you’ll be sold on this band forever, like I was! Their mind blowing 5-song EP can only be purchased from them directly, as a label has yet to scoop this guys up, so contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With such a hefty powerhouse of opening acts, it’s no wonder that The Wildbirds seemed a slight distracted- maybe even a bit intimidated. When last they played they exuded confidence and rockstar cockiness (which was amusing considering what sweethearts they all turned out to be), but this time around they seemed to hold back a bit, esspecially frontman Nicholas Stuart. Why such a tight band with such a solid setlist of songs should have felt anything but determined in their ability to rule, I don’t know, but it sort of adds to their charm. It makes them a bit underdog-ish.
Regardless of how they themselves feel that they played, I thought they sounded great. The set was short, at just 30 minutes, but they still managed to blow through “421,” and “Shake Shake,” a fine exemplary pair of pure rock ‘n’ roll tunes.
I love these guys, and the fact that they appeared to be a bit nervous about following up after a group of kids is just adorable to me. Rest assured, Wildbirds, you’re still the kings of southern-inspired rock and soul.
To see more photos of this show, and others, go to www.jencray.com.