Words: Bryce Murphy Photography: Haley Sousa
It was a night of pulsing indie pop rock with touring bands Summer Salt, Okey Dokey, and Breakup Shoes at Rec Room, an intimate, neon-clad venue in downtown Buffalo. Starting off the show was Breakup Shoes from Phoenix, AZ, who describe themselves as a band of “sweet phoenician bois making sweet tunes 4 ur sweet ears :,)” on their Spotify page. They got the crowd warmed up and dancing with their bouncing rhythms, spacy west coast guitar riffs, and warm and passionate vocals that cut through and serenaded the crowd. Lead guitarist John Macleod and bassist Derrick Lafforthun even switched instruments on stage halfway through the show and demonstrated their versatility as musicians. Their set featured songs from their 2019 EP “So Money, Baby” as well as their newest single, “Last Date” that just released on Valentine’s Day.
Next up from legendary music city Nashville, TN was genre-bending Okey Dokey, whose tunes feature elements of funk, jazz, classic rock, and a little bit of southern twang. Their stage presence was high-energy and fun, yet casual, with comedic banter and shenanigans among the band members in between songs. Lead singer Aaron Martin had all the swagger and presence of a traditional front man like Mick Jagger, yet he was still very personable and friendly with the audience. He got the crowd to sing along, dance, and even join hands in a circle and swing together for one of their slower songs. Their set only got better as they went on, all in a crescendo leading to Martin walking through the crowd, and ultimately climbing up to dance on the bar before returning to the stage to finish the set.
After a long night of swinging and dancing, Summer Salt took the stage to end the night with a finale of Cali beach vibes and flower power. The stage was decked out in potted flowers, daisy chains, and beach accessories. Beach balls floated through the seemingly endless sky, illuminated by plastic neon light flowers, to the soothing, angelic falsettos of lead singer Matthew Terry. Drawing influences from the Beach Boys, Joao Gilberto, and 1960s pop, Summer Salt delivered a relaxing performance that took listeners on a tropical journey. The band played songs from their latest full-length album Happy Camper, as well as tracks from their fan-favorite project “Driving To Hawaii”, “which had iconically represented the basis of all Summer Salt lyrics”. The root of their message is “trying to slow down and enjoy the ride of chasing what appears to be an unattainable pipe dream” (via Summer Salt’s Spotify page). And they certainly delivered that message to the young Buffalo audience on a cold Thursday night, even if it was with a grain of Salt. Unfortunately, all remaining tour dates have been postponed, so make sure to follow Summer Salt on Social media to stay up to date on their future tours and projects.
Summer Salt Social Media
Instagram: @ _summer_salt_