New York City music fans have been watching Brandon “Taz” Niederauer shine for years, whether on Broadway in School of Rock or on any of the many, many, (many) sit-ins he’s notched with just about every band that came through the city during the last half a decade. Every time he’d pop up, he’d steal the show, leaving the audience—and, often, the other musicians on the stage—in a state of stunned disbelief. You’d walk out marveling about how great he was for someone so young, how wild it was that this cute little kid had gotten so talented at such a young age.
But the Brandon Niederauer that took the stage for a sold-out, headlining performance at New York’s Bowery Ballroom didn’t give off that vibe—far from it, in fact. Sure, he’s still just 16 years old, but Brandon has grown up before our eyes in both a literal and musical sense.
No longer is he that little kid that sits in and rips a solo. Now, he’s a nationally-touring bandleader with the stage presence, charisma, and singing voice of a seasoned professional many times his age. Even his already-prodigious guitar chops have evolved immensely over the years. Not content to just “play fast,” Taz continues to extend his playing in new directions, explore new creative dimensions.
All of that growth and maturity was on display at the Bowery, where he showed off some new original material while paying tribute to some of the many fantastic artists who helped shape his playing over the years.
NYC fan-favorites Fondude got the evening started as their notably fervent horde of fans packed the venue early. At 9:00, Taz company took the stage and kicked off the main event with a trio of original tunes: “My Revival”, “I Can’t Live”, and “Where I Belong”. His go-to rendition of The Beatles‘ “Blackbird” came next, taking detours through the Grateful Dead‘s “Fire on the Mountain” and Bob Marley‘s “I Shot The Sheriff” before returning to the “Blackbird” theme.
After shouting out one of his school teachers in the audience (yes, he goes to school like a regular kid) and leveling with her that his homework for tomorrow will be late (“She knows what I’m doing right now”), Taz led the way into Allman Brothers Band heavy-hitter “Whipping Post”, another high point of the evening.
He continued from there with rockstar swagger into “Dare”, “Paralyzed”, and “Let Your Soul Be Free”, thanking the capacity crowd as he took a bow and briefly exited the stage. Before long, he re-emerged for an encore, giving a nod to Jimi Hendrix with an appropriately hot rendition of “Fire”.
If you went to Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night hoping to see a raw, young talent, you didn’t get your wish. What took place on the Bowery Ballroom stage was a polished performance by a veteran musician with endless potential. Don’t miss your chance to catch this firebrand when he comes through your town on his voyage toward history.
For a full list of upcoming Taz tour dates, head here.
Scroll down to watch a selection of crowd-shot videos and view a photo gallery courtesy of photographer George Germano.
Brandon Niederauer – “I Can’t Live” – 11/13/19
Brandon Niederauer – “Love” – 11/13/19
Brandon Niederauer – “Blackbird” [The Beatles cover] > “I Shot The Sheriff” [Bob Marley cover] – 11/13/19
Brandon Niederauer – “Let Your Soul Be Free” – 11/13/19
Brandon Niederauer – “Fire” [Jimi Hendrix cover]
Setlist: Brandon “Taz” Niederauer | Bowery Ballroom | New York, NY | 11/13/19
Set: My Revival, I Can’t Live, Where I Belong, Blackbird > Fire on the Mountain (tease) > I Shot The Sheriff > Blackbird, Love, Whipping Post, Dare, Paralyzed, Let Your Soul Be Free
Encore: Yield Not To Temptation, Fire
Brandon “Taz” Niederauer’s collaboration with Ghost-Note, “Smack ’em”, was recently included on the November 2019 edition of our serial Spotify playlist, the L4LM Monthly Mix. You can listen to the full playlist below and head here to read why we selected each song.