"There isn't a much better sunset than in the City of Buffalo," said Rob Grabowski, drummer for Sunset City, and the band's youngest member, at 16. Along with Rob, there are four other guys inspired by our city's unique sunsets: Adam Bucella rocks the guitar, Tom Uhteg strums the bass, Don Spence also plays guitar, and Joel Shue is lead vocalist. Rob attends Maryvale High School, Adam goes to Medaille College, Tom and Spence go to Buffalo State, and Joel's at the University at Buffalo.
The band has an EP entitled "Happy Melodies for Sad People", which they categorize as rock, indie, and pop. The sampler consists of three original songs; "Donny and the Aviators", "Fabric and Fences" and "Terrible Liars End up on Missing Flyers." They get together in the creative zone known as Rob's basement, with Spence as the lyricist and the whole band working together on the music. The opening lyrics to "Terrible Liars" -- alludes to the band's name -- "Tonight at sunset meet me at the Atlantic/There's no need to travel the coast you know exactly where I will be/There's no need for maps just look to the sky, rely on instincts and your pride." Their newest song, "Raccoons," will be up on Purevolume's Web site soon.
Bruce Springsteen said recently, "Bands get formed by accident." This band originated with Rob and Spence around three years back. Many members came and went but eventually Tom, Adam, and Joel were added to the mix, being mutual friends.
Each member has a favorite band that's influenced them: Spence chose Northstar, Joel picked Spitalfield, Robbie likes the Early November, Adam likes Mae, and Tom went down memory lane with the Beatles.
The guys agree that while on stage they try to embody "The 3 Cs: Cozy, Comfortable, and Confident." You can see it when they play; March 12th was their latest show but only their second as a band. Sunset City appeared to be having a lot of fun together and the crowd responded enthusiastically by clapping, singing along, and just enjoying the show. Adam admitted "I feel relaxed and in control." Tom added, "I'm my happiest on stage!" Robbie joined in saying, "It's really cool to be able to get on stage for like 30 minutes and just focus solely on music, and to have everyone in the crowd listening and looking at you, and the only thing on everyone's mind is music ... it's a really cool feeling, nothing matters for 30 minutes to us except music."
Every band has its goals. Robbie wants to "make a living out of being a band," Joel wants to "continue having fun no matter what happens," and Tom wants to "get signed to a label and actually have a CD in stores."
Sunset City plays Friday at Xtreme Wheels Skate Park with Dawson, Jettason, and Poor Friend Me; April 23 at Medaille College with Bensin, Jinxed, and Woke Up In Vegas; May 20 at Xtreme Wheels with Adelphi and Houston Calls.
To see their Purevolume site, go to www.purevolume.com/sunsetcity.
Jessie Lewis is a junior at Williamsville East.
Local teen bands that have played gigs outside school can be profiled in Meet the Band. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org the name of your band, the names, ages and high schools of members and a contact phone number and we'll have someone interview you. Bands must provide their own photos.