After Stillhouse Hollow in the park, I moved over to downtown Nashville for the premier of Live on the Green with headliner The Toadies. This is the new "Dancin in the District" style, free live show downtown.
I showed up in time to catch the last 3 songs from a local opening Nashville band called American Bang (formerly Bang Bang Bang). Before tonight the only thing i knew about this band was that the lead singer dates a girl i've been in love with for 10 years named Evyn. I keep meaning to see these guys but always secretly hated them.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that these guys rocked hard. A four piece rock band, these guys played like they were on their way up. Although i know they've had much bigger shows before, they played like this was their chance to rock out the biggest crowd they've had in their home town. Fun upbeat rock for all listeners, they weren't trying to be anything other than some dudes with an opportunity to play for their home town and have fun. This is in direct contrast to the Toadies.
The Toadies started off their show with a big bust. They tried to pull of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" with some kind of saxamaphone playing the lead singing part. Everyone failed. From the sax man, to the drummer, to the sound man, to the Titans announcer across the river, this was a bust. And this was only the first 90 seconds of the show.
When they moved on to their own material, they pulled it off in a way only a band who has been famous since 1997, broke up for a few years, and got back together, can. The lead singer looked like his head could pop at any time from trying to hit all the "old" notes. The drummer looked like a robot just trying to remember all those parts he wrote when he was 23. At some point, the 2 portly guitar techs each picked up shakers and shook them in the microphone like they were a pivotal part of the 90's. Come on guys, just tune up.
I found myself asking, "is this the big hit?" before more than a couple of their selections. You know, "do you wanna die..." None of them were, but most of them could've been. These guys, unlike American Bang, played like they used to be famous and we should know who they are. Whereas the bang played like their next show will be bigger and better, the Toadies played like their next show was at the fairgrounds in Bowling Green. Time to hang it up dudes. It's been a great 5 years, 10 years ago.