Creating community through music: Why BJ’s is the perfect place to do so

  • Cooler, from Buffalo, plays a set at BJ’s. (Bethany Clancy/Special to The Leader)



Staff Writer

There was no better way to kick off the first night of Fall break than with a show at BJ’s. Last week’s show brought in The Slums: a rock band from Buffalo, No Prevail: a melodic punk rock band from Fredonia and Cooler: an alternative band from Buffalo.

The night started out with everybody in their Bills gear following the events theme for the evening.

As usual, it was a packed show.

These Wednesday night gigs attract the same kind of people: music lovers. Despite the dark venue, BJ’s has strangers feeling like best friends. It brings everybody from all sorts of majors and different groups together.

Chris Egan, a junior music industry major, is a regular at BJ’s shows.

“You feel like you’re in a different world almost. BJ’s is a safe space. Everyone here looks out for each other because Fredonia is a family,” he said. “The people at Last Call Entertainment make sure to put on a great show and make sure everyone has the best possible time. The three dollar mason jars are always a plus.”

Although he wasn’t able to catch all of the show, Egan had some very positive remarks about all of the bands that played.

“I came in late for Cooler and I was jamming a lot to the three songs I heard. They had a lot of energy and the crowd really responded to them. No Prevail was very impressive as well, I could tell that everybody in the crowd was really getting into them as well. They had some great instrumentals along with killer vocals,” he said. “Lastly, I could immediately tell why The Slums are a Fredonia favorite. I was instantly grabbed by their music.”

BJ’s shows aren’t just for Fredonians, though.

Sami Cappola from Eden, NY has also become a regular at BJ’s these last few semesters. She was a big fan of this week’s lineup because all three bands were different from one another, so it wasn’t like seeing the same band play three sets.

“I’ve seen The Slums and Cooler play hometown shows a few times in Buffalo, and when you compare the way the crowd reacts to them at home versus Fredonia, you can tell the excitement doesn’t just come from the friends that went to support them. People genuinely like what they’re hearing,” she said. “The crowd that BJ’s brings always seems to be able to have fun, no matter what genre or how well known the band is.”

Cappola went on to say how nice it is to get out of the Buffalo area for a show once in awhile, experiencing the same bands but with a different crowd.

“I’ve been to so many of Last Call’s shows over the past couple of years and every single one of them has brought a good crowd of people who seem like they’re going to enjoy the music and find a new band to support. Last Call knows what bands the crowd liked and keeps booking them.” she said. “Every time I see a band for a second time here, the crowd is always bigger and rowdier and the show is even more fun than the first time. I’m already looking forward to BJ’s Fest 2018. Bring some good Buffalo bands again.”

Egan, also a musician, talks about the music scene in Fredonia and how overwhelmingly supportive it is.

“The scene here is unlike any other. With being in a band I find myself overwhelmed with the amount of support the bands around here give to one another,” he said. “Fredonia is full of extremely talented musicians and they’re also some of the best people I’ve had the opportunity to meet. Last Call does a great job at getting really talented and crowd pleasing acts, they have discovered the perfect formula to put on a great show.”

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