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Excited crowd relives youth at Buffalo Tom

By Audrey Anderson

Hometown Weekly Reporter 

Buffalo Tom and their opening act, Dutch Tulips, braved the forecast thunderstorms to entertain a large crowd of enthusiastic music fans on September 9th at the Belleforge Arts Center in Medfield. The musicians managed to get through their performances, even though the afternoon started out with some troublesome weather.

Prepared with rain gear and chairs, the sold-out crowd of 1,000 started to gather around 2:30 pm for the 3:30 pm concert. Fans came from local towns as well as Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York, among other states, to see their beloved band and relive their mosh-pit glory days. The crowd enjoyed a special Velvet Voyage IPA from 7th Wave Brewing, ice cream treats from C&C Ice Cream, and tasty offerings from the Hot Dog Wagon. Music enthusiasts Jim and Sheila Winters, who grew up in Dorchester and Jamaica Plain and now live in Walpole, said they had fun memories of seeing Buffalo Tom perform at Boston's Rathskeller in Kenmore Square and also at the Hatch Shell. Maria Pace and Amy Gelpey saw Buffalo Tom often at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the mid to late 80s while they were in college. Later, they saw them at Boston area 90s clubs Paradise, Lillies, the Middle East, and Avalon.

After some rain, thunder, and a bit of lightening, the opening band, Dutch Tulips, uncovered their gear and got ready to play, delayed about one-half hour. Dutch Tulips formed during the pandemic and has played at the Boston Calling Festival. Their performance was unique, combining pop, rock, punk, a fabulous active stage presence, and great harmony. The band included Jack Holland on lead guitar and lead vocals, Michael Holland on bass, glockenspiel, and vocals, Matt Freake on drums, percussion, and vocals, and Justin Mantell on guitar, synth, and vocals. The synth and prominent guitar stylings added an 80s vibe to their music and felt fresh in the 21st century. Though the crowd could have listened to them for longer, it was soon time for Buffalo Tom to arrive.

Buffalo Tom started a bit sooner than scheduled, due to the lull in the rain, and also because more stormy weather was on the way. The band got together when they were at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the mid-to-late 80s. They have never disbanded, though they have taken long breaks when life intervened. They currently tour in the US, Australia, and Europe. The members of the band include Chris Colbourn on bass, Bill Janowitz, on vocals and guitar and also a songwriter for the band, and Tom Maginnis on drums. Bill’s family moved to Medfield in 1982, while Chris’s family moved there some years earlier. 

For a 3-piece band, they made a lot of sound with driving guitar chords, intense rhythms, and an alt rock flavor, as well as great vocals. Fans rushed to the front of the stage when they came on. They danced and sang and enjoyed every minute.

It was exciting to have these two accomplished bands playing in Medfield. The crowd logistics were handled well. A satellite parking lot at Montrose School was provided to supplement on-site parking, and a shuttle took patrons to and from the concert.

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