Road to the Sphinx: the Buffalo breakdown
Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Updated: Sunday, March 3, 2013 16:03
Eight local bands, sweaty palms, deep breaths and anxiety are at an all-time high. The next 15 minutes will help determine the future and these are regular conditions for competition time.
Last Wednesday night, After Dark Entertainment hosted its Road to the Sphinx competition at Xtreme Wheels Skate Park. The 55-city showcase arrived in Buffalo with representatives from Sumerian Records in an effort to potentially add to its roster as well as to award an opening slot for the closest Summer Slaughter Tour or All Stars Tour date.
“We’re interested in making Sumerian more diverse,” said Vincent Nguyen of Sumerian Records. “We’re looking for a band with talent and I’m definitely seeing a ton of talent here in Buffalo tonight.”
Much to Pennsylvania band Skylime’s joy, its individuality and element of diversity caught the attention of the Sumerian Records representatives. The Bradford, Pa., group earned the title of Buffalo “Road to the Sphinx” finalist and will compete for the regional championship in hopes of advancing to the national round in Hollywood.
With eccentrically titled tracks such as “Geppetto Rape Boogie” and “A Redneck’s Rebuttal,” the Pennsylvania rockers brought something new to the Buffalo music scene. The elements of ska and dance in their music mixed with vocalist Rich Bisker’s passionate screams were surprising.
“It’s absolutely amazing that we had this opportunity,” Bisker said. “We didn’t know what to expect coming into this, but I’m glad we decided to take a shot.”
Regardless of how nervous the bands seemed they all put on performances that exceeded expectations.
Deathcore band A Future Corrupt’s vocalist Ethan Fingold commanded the stage during the band’s 15-minute set with his demon-like gutturals. Fan favorite “Captain America” brought brutal bass drops and crushing riffs into the competition and kept the crowd head banging. Currents, a djent/metalcore band, brought the mosh pit on stage for its encore. The well-known group had the opportunity to play last, and vocalist Darren Silver brought excitement by jumping into the crowd while bassist Joe Mosey kept the energy flowing on stage by pounding his feet during the breakdowns.
Even fairly newer groups The Creator, The Architect and A Breath Alive delivered energetic performances that kept the crowd moving and begging for more songs.
“We were obviously nervous but extremely excited that we had this chance to play for Sumerian,” said Tony Avino, vocalist for The Creator, The Architect screamer. “Seeing the crowd so into our performance made every minute worth the nerves.”
Rochester favorites Vanity Strikes along with Gretta Moire and Led By The Blind of Buffalo also used their time wisely. While the crowd reaction was not as strong, these bands put all of their talent on the line for the chance to live their dream.
The local bands needed their audience to be present and the skate park was definitely filled with a supportive one. The music scene has a well-conencted atmosphere where everyone knows and supports one another. That atmosphere consistently allows the local bands in Buffalo to survive.
“Bradford has a smaller metal scene with heart,” Bisker said. “I can see the same qualities in Buffalo every time we play here.”