When a friend of mine called me up to tell me that he was heading over to Hertel Lounge to catch some live music, I readily accepted - partially for the chance to catch a new music act, but also to see how Buffalo's newest music-driven club would look, feel and sound. Back in December I wrote how the club was, in another lifetime, once the stomping ground for Rick James (see here
Today the club is the perfect spot to catch an intimate show. The lounge is fairly stripped down in appearance and is really in a category of its own. That's because the lack of tables and chairs creates an atmosphere that is conducive to getting up close and personal with the band - something that is normally reserved for larger venues with standing-room only areas close to the stage. In this case the stage is only slightly elevated, and situated directly in the front window, leaving the rest of the lounge open for the audience (except for a couple of pool tables).
As for the music, we were fortunate that the Mick Hayes Band was in the house. I later learned that the band had just played in LA, and Stevie Wonder spontaneously jumped up on stage to join the band at NAMM (see video
on WNYMedia). What a thrill that must have been for the band, and what a nice "welcome back" it must have been to play at The Hertel Lounge.
These days there are a number of places to catch live music acts on Hertel, with all sorts of set ups and sounds. Hertel Lounge certainly adds to the flavor of the music scene, offering a great stage for musicians to play and a cool atmosphere for music-lovers to enjoy. I hope that they continue to attract a similar caliber of music talent, along the lines of the Mick Hayes Band. In the end, Buffalo has gained another great place to catch live music - now it's up to you to go seek it out.
1669 Hertel Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14216