As the world awaits the fate of music venues, music halls like Babeville are still in the process of reinventing themselves until news of bridge funding arrives.
In the meantime, numerous shows have been bumped up until 2021, operation routines have been buckled down, and occasional live performances are aired online. A number of these live online performances are the result of local bands not being able to travel to gigs – so what better way to treat a hometown audience than with a free, live, virtual show?
Yes, the Buffalo natives are getting restless, which means that it’s time to feed them some more live music, even if that calls for doing it virtually. And what better local band to rally behind than Lazlo Hollyfeld? The chill instrumental performance will get everyone in a hypnotic state of mind, to break the blues set on by our current state of world affairs.
Of course curiosity got the best of me, which led me to interviewing the event promoter, Jeff Garbaz of A Garbaz Production.
How do you pull off a free virtual concert?
We are going to have a virtual tip jar, but this is primarily of labor of love.
It’s a low budget approach and if people are generous with tips, that’s great if not we are fulfilling dreams either way.
What does Babeville think about that?
When Anna (at Babeville) asked me, I said “We all just wanna do what we do, man!”
Is this more about the musicians or the fans? Or the business in general?
This event at Asbury Hall is great for music fans and everyone involved. It means a lot to me because my normal gigs, which are directing camera crews for large video screens and recordings at big festivals and concerts across the country, Europe and the Caribbean with some of the biggest names in the business, have all been shut down due to Covid.
You’re an old hat at this?
I’ve been doing that since 2002, with talented musicians like BB King, Weezer, Lou Reed, Crosby Stills Nash, Bob Weir, Flaming Lips, etc. more than 45 Grammy award winners in many genres.
With all the places I’ve worked, I’ve always considered Asbury Hall at Babeville as beautiful a concert hall as any anywhere I’ve ever seen, and it’s easy to visualize doing a show there.
And Lazlo Hollyfeld?
The guys in Lazlo are my friends. We go way back, before their first gig at one of my productions “Trip the Lights Fantastic ” in the early 2000s. Thought they were a perfect fit for Asbury Hall.
What Babeville’s initial reaction?
Anna at Babeville was receptive to the idea and I feel like this event has a buzz.
How does COVID play into all of this?
Since the Covid I have had to “pivot” and improvise, with distancing and no crowds, I had to focus towards streaming and film making.
Has that changed your outlook on the industry?
It has been rewarding taking raw ideas, and with the support of my girlfriend, family and friends, developing them into reality. On the filmmaker side, I’m working on several other projects.
One is a show I am producing about beer in Buffalo, its history leading up to the present day microbrew explosion in WNY. It is directed by filmmaker Stephen R Powell. I am working on a documentary on Griffis Sculpture Park with Eric Crittenden and Doug Sitler. Eric is also co-producing all the live streaming events.
How are you handling the filming end?
As far as filming bands, I decided to use the resources and logistics I had available to try to make something out of nothing. I put a big video screen in my back yard in June and made a stage. I have streaming live from there, with Buffalo’s best. Scott Molloy performed at one and we made plans on doing a creative live broadcast with Lazlo, which is how they came up for the show at Asbury Hall.
Who is your team?
My family will be behind the cameras and I’ll be directing. Eric Crittenden will be producing. One of Buffalo’s best lighting designers, Ryan Bress will be lighting them up, we have Kenny Maggs and Jesse Rejewski on sound and we have all worked together on so many gigs through the years.
Is everyone excited?
We are all friends and the vibe and energy makes this production all kinds of fun and it’s great to be excited again about doing what we do. We all just wanna do what we do, man!
Being cooped up and having few live options, this idea has taken off and is something we all are stoked about.
On Thursday, August 6 Lazlo Hollyfeld will be streaming live from Asbury Hall at Babeville at 8pm.
Check out Lazlo Hollyfeld on Soundcloud