NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — With an old-school rock sound pulling influences from bands like Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and America, Tedesco Knows Best has gone from playing an open mic night at their high school, to opening up for The Tubes at the Riviera Theatre last year.

Thomas Tedesco and Connor Best have been friends since bonding over music in elementary school. Shortly before the aforementioned open mic night, the duo played their first performance together — a very short set at Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls. It was shortly thereafter, however, that they began writing music and playing out more often.

“From there, we just started jamming together,” Tedesco said.

Tedesco and Best began performing as “Thomas Tedesco and Connor Best,” until they were asked if they had a band name prior to one of their shows.

The duo was slated to play a show at the now-defunct Kenmore venue Club 861, when the headliner asked how they should be advertised. The name was suggested by Tedesco’s sister at the dinner table, at a time when the group was still a two-piece. Since that night, the band has added keyboardist Collin Lacki and drummer Dylan Howard, but the name has stayed the same.

“It is a double meaning, because we have a great group of musicians in the band,” Tedesco said, as Best later regaled how often people come to the realization that the “Best” in Tedesco Knows Best actually originates from his last name, rather than just a description for the bandmates Tedesco plays with.

Last October, the group had the opportunity to open for The Tubes, famous for hits such as “She’s a Beauty” and “White Punks on Dope,” after the scheduled opener, Greg Kihn, could not perform that night. The Riviera Theatre’s Executive Director David Fillenwarth, having heard Tedesco Knows Best’s “All Around Us” EP, called the band’s manager — Tedesco’s father — to see if the band would be willing to open the show.

“To open for a band like that was really, really cool,” Tedesco said. “Roger Steen, the guitarist for The Tubes was watching our set and I know he liked it, and I got to talk to him after the show, and to (lead singer) Fee Waybill — it was just a really great experience all around and definitely something we didn’t take for granted.”

Though the band has a classic rock sound, Best said he also likes to draw inspiration from a variety of other genres, including heavy metal and pop-rock.

“My favorite all-time bands were Rush and Genesis, then I started moving towards heavy metal,” Best said. “I got introduced by my grandfather, actually, to Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid.’ He just dropped that needle on there and it was just an explosion of a lot of sounds correlating together.”

The band also creates video content, with several music videos on their YouTube channel, including a new release for their song “Sunflower Fields,” filmed at the Sunflowers of Sanborn.


Where you can see Tedesco Knows Best:

The Cave — 71 Military Rd. in Buffalo
Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7)
With special guests No Vacancy

Their dream lineups:

  • Thomas Tedesco
    1. Goo Goo Dolls
    2. The Gin Blossoms
    3. Bryan Adams
    4. Tedesco Knows Best
  • Connor Best
    1. Tedesco Knows Best
    2. Oasis
    3. Genesis

For more information about Tedesco Knows Best, visit the following links:

Music Monday #5 was filmed at the Riviera Theatre, a National Historic Landmark in North Tonawanda, founded in 1929. The venue is home to a well-maintained and regularly performing Wurlitzer organ and hosts a variety of live performances. For more information about Riviera Theatre or to purchase tickets to an upcoming show at the venue, click here.

Music Monday is a weekly series designed to showcase artists from Western New York and their work. To be considered for a feature, email Adam Duke at adam.duke@wivb.com.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.