The hard-core original rock act Stemm has been one of the best bands of any genre coming out of our music scene for well over a decade now.
The group's list of accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but here's a quick hit: the band's "Face the Pain" is the theme song for the Ultimate Fighting Challenge and is now heard in the Kevin James comedy, "Here Comes the Boom"; the single "Awake" is on the "Iron Man 2" video game; plus performances with heavy metal giants Korn and at the Mayhem Festival with Slipknot, Disturbed and Slayer.
Those are not only achievements to be proud of, but you would have to assume, they would be tough to walk away from. But, after 14 years, Stemm is calling it quits. Why? The band's open letter to fans on Facebook (www.facebook.com/STEMMBAND) is an eloquent piece that says it all. Here is a snippet, but it's worth taking the time to read it all:
"Over time our priorities have shifted until we found ourselves at the point were Stemm was taking the backseat more and more often. Stemm was never something that was meant to be a hobby, something to be left in the corner until more pressing matters were attended to.
"Stemm was well and truly a way of life. It was the focus, never a diversion. As a collective we agree that if the time to make Stemm a great band isn't available to all of us then nothing else will do. We will never settle for just OK. We owe at least that much to you all, the ones who have allowed us the great privilege of making this music for all these years."
To that end, the band will perform its final show starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the Town Ballroom (671 Main St.).
In a night that celebrates "friendship, good times and great music," joining guitarist/vocalist Joe Cafarella, guitarist Alex Scouten, bassist Mario Nobilio and drummer Dan Nelligan will be former Stemm bandmates Louis Penque, TJ Frost and Steven Crowl.
Whiskey Reverb and His Name Was Yesterday share the bill. Tickets are $10 advance (Tickets.com, box office and www.stemm.bigcartel.com), $12 at the door.
> Dollywatchers return
It's been a decade in the making – and it's sure to be a crowd-pleasing, hard rocking and very loud night.
For the first time in 10 years, the Dollywatchers – vocalist Terry Sullivan, bassist Kent Weber, drummer Howard Fleetwood Wilson II and guitarist Mikel Doktor – will reunite in their old haunt, Mohawk Place, for a one-night stand Saturday.
"It came out of the blue," Sullivan said earlier this week of the reunion show. "We really never broke up – it was just one of those things where everyone has a lot on their plates. People have had children, gotten married and just our lives in general. But we felt it was time.
"We wanted to dust it off and see what happens and it really sounds great. So we figured we'd come out and play one show and see where it takes us," Sullivan said. "We're basically having fun with it."
Doors open at 9 p.m. Saturday in Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.). Music starts at 10 with Sleepy Hahas, with a promise of the Dollywatchers on stage at 11 p.m. The $10 admission includes a free collector's CD and earplugs (while supplies last)! Expect to hear classic Dollywatchers, some solo Sullivan and even a new tune or two.
"It will be a good night of rock 'n' roll," Sullivan said, "and Buffalo needs that."