Words & Photos by Amber James
There’s your typical Christmas that happens around the rest of the United States and then there’s what a Western NY holiday season is like. I don’t mean the typical snowpocalypses that occur in the winter or the simple damper that is put on the season by the Buffalo Bills’ complete inability to make it anywhere past the regular season for the last seventeen years. (Dammit Carpenter!) But no, what I’m speaking of is the chaos and insanity that are the Every Time I Die Christmas shows. An annual tradition at this point that has expanded to there being numerous shows before Christmas that nearly instantly sell out.
This year, the first year with four shows in two days, the insanity was to an all new level. Those ETID boys managed to pull off playing a roughly twenty song set four times in roughly thirty six hours. I got a chance to experience the early show on the second day at the Waiting Room in Buffalo, NY. As soon as you walked in, you knew the night was going to be festive as a guy dressed in a Santa suit handed every person an enamel pin of a Christmas tree with an ETID ‘I’ tree topper.
With everyone prepared to be decayin’ with the boys, ETID started off their marathon length set with a couple tracks off of their most recent full length, Low Teens, ‘Fear and Trembling’ and ‘Awful Lot’. One of the standout albums of the year, these Buffalo boys proved why they’re constantly included as one of the best live acts out there as well. Having emerged on stage in full Christmas regalia with vocalist Keith Buckley decked out in a Santa suit complete with attached beard and the rest of the band donning Christmas sweaters similar to that of elves. Buckley and his band of helpers threw back ten years to playing tracks off their albums released in 2005 and 2007, Gutter Phenomenon and The Big Dirty respectively.
The rest of the night bred chaos with guitarist Jordan Buckley and bassist Steve Micciche launching themselves across the stage like only they know how to do coupled with them climbing on cabs and the drum set like an extension of the stage. Crowd surfers galore landed on the stage (but yet none of them attempted a stage selfie, I wonder why?) before diving back into the raucous melee of bodies.
Playing a good chunk of tracks off of Low Teens as well as the rest of their discography that spans nearly the same amount of time as the Bills’ playoff drought, they kept the energy and intensity at a fever pitch, Even as they closed out their set with a fan favorite off From Parts Unknown, ‘Moor’ you still had a pit going strong and people climbing over each other to reach the stage. If you ever have an opportunity to make it up to the lake effect snow covered tundra that is Western NY during the holiday season, make sure you include an ETID Christmas show on your list of things to do. Make sure you consume as many Gennys as possible as well then make your way down to The Pink afterwards (if you haven’t passed out yet, that is.)