Best Thursday At Canalside Opening Act Ever. Ever. Ever.
The crowd for 7/18's Thursday at Canalside was late arriving, mainly because of the heat. While it was packed as normal when Los Lonely Boys went on around 8, it was about half of what it normally would be when things kicked off at 5:15. Too bad, because many missed what might the greatest opening act EVER EVER EVER in the Canalside or even Thursday at The Square concert series...Randle & The Late Night Scandals.
I wasn't sure what to expect when they hit the stage. You hear some opening acts and instantly think "Unless they make some changes, this will be the biggest gig they ever get." But as soon as Randle & Co hit the first note, the place was just blown away with the best original high energy R&B I've heard in a long, LONG time. Randle, err, Amanda, their lead vocalist simply rocked...knows how to command a stage, having on one-one presence with the audience without delaying/talking too much in between songs. She reminded me of a wispy-almost-tipsy Marisa Tomei. With a geat voice.
Also commanding the stage was a female alto sax player, who very simply fronted a band that sounded soooo close to James Brown's Famous Flames. THAT good. Thanks to Kimberly Young-Mason. She made me wanna go home and get my sax out of the basement.
In doing more homework on Randle & The Late Night Scandles, I found that they recently went through a few changes in the line-up, adding a new drummer & keyboardist, and playing with a percussionist for th first time ever at the Canalside gig. The result was incredible! You can just tell when musicianians belong together...and as the drummer said to me afterward "Man it seemed to just be flowing of the stage..just flowing!" He was so right...one gig together, and these guys seemed like they were made for each other. So if you've seen Randle before and were less than impressed...see them again with this new lineup. You will be blown away!
Buffalo is the land of 1,000 bands. Lots of lawn fete's and festivals that need groups to fill time. And it's soooo nice to see a band for the first time and feel like a) they have a chance at being something special, and b) they are GREAT musicians who care about their craft, not just about being on stage in front of a ton of people looking to be stars.
If Randle & The Late Night Scandals are playing near you, go see them! And these thoughts ae not just mine, buy verified by the sound guys and production people who have seen nearly every Thursday show since the Square/Harborside/Canalside concept started. They just might have been the best Thursday opening act EVER EVER EVER.
Though there is one thing. Maybe they need a name change? I kept calling them Randle & The Late Night Rascals on the air. Am I the only one to do that? And is it "AND" or "&" after "Randle". Doesn't really matter...as long as it keeps "flowing off the stage!"
Check out Randle & The Late Night Scandals on Facebook