The last time Eternal Summers, the pride of Roanoke, Virginia, were in the WNY area, they were playing a show with Bleeding Rainbow at The Bug Jar in Rochester. Back then, Bleeding Rainbow (then Reading Rainbow) had just recently added a new member, upgrading from a husband/wife guitar/drums (respectively) two-piece to a trio. At the time Eternal Summers were a similarly svelte rock and roll duo consisting of singer/guitarist Nicole Yun and drummer Daniel Cundiff. Now, just under a year later, as if part of some competition between the two bands, Bleeding Rainbow has added a fourth member (doubling in size in only a year) and Eternal Summers have added a third, bassist Jonathon Woods. If this trend continues it is possible that the two bands could become full-fledged orchestras in under a decade.
But this time Eternal Summers were without friends/fierce competitors Bleeding Rainbow – they’d be meeting up with them the next day in New York to begin their tour together – and instead joined at Buffalo’s Soundlab by two local openers, Bryan Johnson & the Family and The Sleepy Hahas. Bryan Johnson & co. were first up, bouncing around the stage and playing their brand of goofy, surfy pop-rock songs. Lyrically they’re light and easy, touching on topics as diverse as girlfriends and going to the beach, but their playing is tight and the vocal harmony work was especially impressive. Next up were the somewhat less breezy Sleepy Hahas. Don’t let the name fool you, not a smile was cracked let alone a chuckle during their set. The serious young band went about their business in a well-rehearsed fashion, playing songs that often sounded like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple getting in some kind of drunken musical fistfight.
Eternal Summers took the stage shortly afterward (for a Soundlab show the pace was almost surreally speedy and efficient), keeping the banter to a minimum but politely going through their set of songs, mostly from their new album on Kanine Records, Correct Behavior. From the beginning of the set it was clear that the addition of the third member has helped the band to greatly expand its sound, allowing Woods to hit that fuzz pedal and give Yun some space to really shred. Album standouts like ‘You Kill’ and ‘Wonder’ translated especially well to the live setting. All members of the band gave solid performances, but it was often Cundiff who grabbed most of the attention with his machine gun fills and effective high-hat work. He basically resembles some kind of bearded, longhaired drum robot on speed. It’s pretty impressive. All in all it was a nice night out and a warm welcome for Eternal Summers. Here’s hoping add even more members over the next year and come back soon!
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