There is a first time for everything and playing Buffalo for the first time shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but as the crowds gathered outside of the Riviera Theatre in Tonawanda, NY, it was a spectacle of sorts.
As I heard the crowds gathering in front of the venue, there seemed to be a buzz in the air. The Riviera Theatre is a wonderful place to get started in the area of Buffalo and just before the New Pornographers hit the stage, there seemed to be a buzz backstage as well.
The New Pornographers are one of those bands that are too indie to crossover, yet can be very appealing to the masses. Although, in order to be successful, it seems like these days you’d have to create the perfect pop song. According to John Collins, bassist of the New Pornographers, it’s the music that is important and the legacy that should last. Collins, A.C. Newman, Blaine Thurier, Dan Bejar, Kathryn Calder, Kurt Dahle, Neko Case, and Todd Fancey make up the collective known as the New Pornographers. They have been around more or less for a decade establishing a core audience since their Vancouver days, where the band first got together. Canada has always been a hotbed for artists and rockers alike, but the New Pornographers are just playing the same tune they have for years and they have a pretty mighty following to prove it.
Challengers, the band’s new album, continues in the success of 2005’s Twin Cinema. “More strings pop up in places you don’t expect,” says Collins of the new album. “We recorded our longest song ever for this album as well.”
The band’s previous album, Twin Cinema, saw the band peak on the billboard charts, thus making them an ‘almost’ Top 40 band. “Our label was very happy with it. In business terms, we debuted at number 44 with that album. So, it’s hard to say if we will break into the masses or not. We will continue doing what it is we do and that is creating music.”
“There are a lot of cool stylish bands up in Canada right now. I don’t know what is making it all happen, but there is something going on there right now,” concluded Collins. With Feist, Finger Eleven, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, among others, striving for the crossover, there could be a new revolution in sight after all.
With all eight members on stage, it indeed seemed like a music revolution. It was quite amazing to see the chemistry between the entire group flow so well. With all the instruments and talent flowing, could this be Canada’s next big band? Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene are the ones who may have started the trend of additional group members, but the New Pornographers are the ones who are going to push it to the top.
Writer: Robert Frezza