The Midnight ride their synthwave in Buffalo


Thomas Tedesco

The Midnight performing on stage at Babeville’s Asbury Hall on Sunday, March 20, 2022.

Thomas Tedesco, Vice President

A synthwave came through Buffalo on Sunday night.

No, synthwave is not an extreme weather event, or anything associated with the current craziness going on in the world, but rather it is a subgenre of electronic dance music, more commonly known as EDM; a genre that is becoming one of the fastest growing sensations of 21st century music.

But who is responsible for bringing these synthwave stylings to Buffalo? Enter, The Midnight.

Now at the halfway point of their 2022 North American spring tour, the Los Angeles-based duo took to the stage at Babeville’s Asbury Hall firing on all cylinders.

Their 17-song set consistently kept the audience engaged throughout the night with hits and fan favorites such as “Days of Thunder,” “Sunset” and “Gloria.”

The group’s primary members, Tyler Lyle and Tim McEwan, are essentially jacks of all trades when creating the band’s music. On stage however, Lyle handled lead vocal and rhythm guitar duties, while McEwan anchored down the musical foundation on drums and with various samples.

The slick production that is a trademark of the group’s sound translated well into a live setting.

While the synthesizers and samples reminiscent of 1980s pop and new wave music are a focal point of their music, it was also augmented by guitars, bass and a saxophone.

Saxophonist Justin Klunk proved to be a key component to the band’s show as each of the numerous saxophone solos was met with a particular enthusiasm from the audience, specifically during the song, “Vampires.”

Multi-instrumentalist, Chris Kuffner provided razor sharp lead guitars, as well as additional synths and bass. After Lyle mentioned it was Kuffner’s birthday, the audience joined in unison to sing “Happy Birthday” to him.

If there is a secret weapon in the live band, it must be Lelia Broussard. Primarily the group’s bassist, she also contributed harmony vocals that blended well with Lyle’s voice.

Broussard also took the lead vocal on the song, “Jason,” and contributed various guitar and synth parts that were integral to the performance.

The lush musical textures stood up as a great backdrop to Lyle’s smooth vocals, almost becoming one.

The idea of becoming one and identifying with the audience was something that Lyle said he and the band hoped to achieve during the show.

“We just want to show some love for the real America that is good. It’s for the poor, the working class, the hard-working people in this country that make it good,” Lyle said on stage before performing the song, ‘America 2.’

Similarly, the band was thankful to be performing live on tour again after having to stay off the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We didn’t know if this would ever happen again, so we are very glad to be here tonight,” Lyle said to the audience.