Saturday, October 31, 2009


This outing was a trip to the local enormo-dome, The Sommet Center, for my first KISS concert. The show really started out on the plaza where thousands of painted faces walked by and I had to yell like a carnival barker for a ticket to be heard over the local rock radio station's display. Even after scoring a club level ticket, I still wanted to hang out outside and watch the Kiss fans shuffle in. Everyone from kids to hipsters to dedicated old fans made for some awesome people watching.

I eventually made my way in to catch a little of the opening band, Buckcherry. This was your basic hard rock outfit. With a shirtless and tattooed guitar player and lead singer, these guys just sort of lacked any qualities that would make them stand out. Their bland songs, including "Rescue Me", about the kid from the disturbing book "Boy Called It", just seemed like generic biker mosh rock. The crowd applauded graciously but it was obvious that most of them just wanted to move on to the real show. The only standout song for me was their rendition of Deep Purple's "Highway Star", which I guess is the NASCAR theme song for the season. Fitting that their best moment was someone else's song.

With the end of Buckcherry, a huge black curtain covered the stage as the crews made the transitions between bands. When the house music cut off the Beastie Boys to start Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll", I knew it was about time. Right at the conclusion of the drum solo, the lights went down and the Kiss army came alive. The WWF style intro brought the curtain down and the senior aged monsters got to it. It was funny to see one side of the stage hosting Gene Simmons, the huge spike ridden mutant stomping around like Godzilla and wagging his tongue about while the opposite side was home to Paul Stanley, the skinny star-faced guitarist who pranced around like Prince slapping his own behind. The Ace Frehley stand-in lead guitarist Tommy Thayer had some great stage moves, including playing between his legs and behind his head. Seeing this display, it was not hard to see where Spinal Tap got a lot of their ideas.

After a few crowd favorites and driving the "left versus right crowd response" battle into the ground, as well as a Gene flame spit, Paul let us know that they were "here to play classics, but classic doesn't necessarily mean old." We we treated to a couple of new ones from Sonic Boom, the band's most recent record. "Modern Day Delilah" was perfectly Kiss-ish and "Say Yeah" reminded us of Stanley's lyrical prowess with exhausting repeats of "Yeah Yeah Yeah!" leading right into "Dr. Love" which had almost an identical chord progression.

Obviously needing a break, the band went into solo mode, starting with Thayer. His Nigel Tufnel-esque solo went on and on complete with ten-finger tapping and head banging fervor. Next was the drum solo which was adequate, but nothing you don't hear from any other drummer you see these days. It was cool to see the elevating and rotating drum riser. Finally it was Gene's turn. He came out looking like a kid with a mouthful of medicine he didn't want to swallow and gave a solo of mostly feedback and effects on one note. He played most of it without even using his left hand. Then we got the blood mouth tongue trick that has made Simmons famous far more than his musical talent. His big finale was "flying" up to the lighting rafters and yelling basically about how great he is. I guess if you're going to be a rock star without any notable musical talent, you have to be an egomaniac with no shame. The show's big ending was the huge surprise closing hit "Rock and Roll All Nite" complete with explosions and tons of confetti.

After promising "the longest encore you've ever heard", Kiss broke into their greatest hits section, wowing us with such masterpieces as "Lick It Up", "Shout It Out Loud", and ending with "Detroit Rock City". During one of the songs, Paul went on and on about knowing all about southern hospitality, and then like a true yank, insisted we invite him into the crowd. Then he rode a zip-line to the soundboard section and played on the rotating riser. By the end of the night, the band members looks gassed. The running and crazy moves were gone and the drummer looked like he was about to pass out, barely making it through each song. All except for Paul Stanley that is. He was still going strong, screaming song titles and doing most of the singing with no problem.

I guess this show was about exactly what I expected. Lot's of firepower and flash over some pretty bad music. However the great atmosphere provided by the die hard fans more than made up for the lack of good art. This night was a lot of fun and I left realizing how it could be possible that so many people could love this band for so long. They sure do put on a great show.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lenny Kravitz

Tonight was a blast from the past as I went to see Lenny Kravitz at the Ryman Auditorium. I guess it was about 10 to 12 years ago I saw him at this same venue and it was awesome then, as it was tonight. I was a little apprehensive about going to this show as I haven't really liked his recent stuff. After realizing that this tour has been recognizing the 20th anniversary of the release of "Let Love Rule", I thought maybe the song selection would be right for me.

The opening band, K'NAAN, were an urban hip/hop pop group that was pretty boring and uneventful. The long winded spoken word poetry and boring songs were a disappointing opener that could have been a real rock warm up for Lenny. The point of an opening act is to fire up the crowd, not lull them into nicotine cravings and foot tapping anticipation. Weak sauce.

When Lenny finally started, the crowd was ready to rock with him. He came out with his trademark rock riffs and overtly sexual dance moves. Starting with "Freedom Train", the set rolled through old favorites like "Blues for Sister Someone" and "Mr. Cab Driver". "American Woman" provided a good chance to use the bathroom and get a drink. It was a bad song then, with the Guess Who, and not much better now. My Favorite part of the set was "Always On the Run", with one of the funkiest rock riffs ever recorded. The ever powerful "Are You Gonna Go My Way" closed the show and we swayed back and forth for the "Let Love Rule" love-fest encore.

It was good to see his longtime band mates still with him. Greg Ross on the lead guitar, the same afro sporting madman, is the most crucial part of this line-up. Still killing the solos and riffs, he is the perfect guitar man for Lenny's sound. You can really tell that they've been together since the beginning. The other longtime band mate, bass player Jack Daley, was great holding down all the old grooves. I really missed the cool chick drummer, but the new guy was solid on the skins with what appeared to be a 12 foot wingspan and a good feel for Lenny's trademark funk/rock sound. Rounding out the group with a 3 piece horn section and a keyboard player made this band a full rock storm that supported Lenny like a pile of bricks and mortar.

The "Let Love Rule" concept was a good idea. Let's hope he doesn't decide to pay tribute to twenty years of "American Woman", as that might not go over as well. Lenny sure does know how to rock, and as long as he keeps this band line-up together, he can keep playing "Fly Away" and even that will be a satisfying show for Lenny enthusiasts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Mars Volta

This afternoon as the excitement for this show grew, my awesome dad called and said he was on his way to the War Memorial Auditorium to sell an amp to the bass player of The Mars Volta, and would I like to drive down there with him? Um, of course. After meeting Juan and Jesse the bass tech and hanging out on stage while he checked out the amp, I asked if there was any way they could hook me up with a ticket. He decided not to buy the amp but my sweet ticket was waiting for me at will call. How great is Nashville?

As the show started, there seemed to be some technical difficulty with the guitar rig, so the singer, Cedric treated us to some impromptu poetry about Megan Fox and Guitar Center. Then they launched into their set and burned that place down for the rest of the night. For those who are unfamiliar, this band is sort of a mix between Guns N' Roses and Tool, for lack of many other comparisons. The guitar driven songs have multiple complicated sections and Cedric's vocal range and stage moves give Axle a run for his money. His boundless energy and rock star attitude were the center of attention, but he was just one spark to the power of the band. Omar on guitar made it look easy as he navigated through his epic numbers. It was hard to believe he was the only guitar player, making me wonder how one guy could make all that noise. As the composer of the group, he was locked in on every change and unusual time signature along with Thomas, the drummer. Man, this guy was a monster back there. He really is an elite drummer, able to keep the unusual beats with such intensity all while bouncing around like Animal. The rest of the members were good, but none of them stood out as irreplaceable. The bass and keys were adequate and the percussion seemed out of place and hard to hear most of the time with everything else that was going on.

As a new fan, I really wish I could say more about individual songs. Each one was unique and they all rocked equal ass. This truly was a great rock show. The crowd was a little small, but the fans that were there were intense and appreciative. I don't know what the deal is, but for my second consecutive War Memorial show, the band finished their last song, waved silently, and split leaving the audience standing in the house lights unable to believe there wouldn't be an encore. This and the lack of an opening act made the show seem short but the performance was definitely worth the price everyone else paid for admission. The Mars Volta is one of those bands that probably won't win a million grammys or have a hit on the radio but the lucky ones who hear them will love it. I'll go see this band every chance I get.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I got to the Exit In way too early, joining the other 10 people who thought the show might actually start around 9. On the plus side, I got the perfect balcony seat for what was about to unfold. It seemed like I had the right idea as the upper level filled up, only to empty onto the floor as the first band took the stage.

Nashville's own Ramones style punk duo Jeff the Brotherhood started the night off. Their "less is more" approach worked well for their music while they took the opposite attitude towards their stage show. The addition of bright lights on the floor and fog machines, as well as prerecorded music in between songs made this twosome more than just a Franklin garage band. They rocked their songs out to their loyal followers as they climbed the teetering amp stack and bounced around the stage. The upbeat music was a nice surprise from these guys, who, at first looked like the rock and roll version of the Hanson brothers (the hockey players, not the mmm boppers). They set just the right tone for the rest of the night.

As soon as the second band struck their first chord, I could tell the night was still heading in the right direction. Turbo Fruits came on with a sound that was kind of a punk/rockabilly without being punkabilly. The singer's raspy growl and the constant overdrive made these chord progressions fit in with tonight's feel, instead of otherwise belonging at the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance. The non-stop bangin' drummer drove the set full steam ahead as the others mingled with the crowd. At one point, the guitarist/singer threw his guitar around a cute girl in the crowd and played a solo from behind her. Pretty good idea, as the guys continued to set a tone of crowd participation and chaos.

As I eavesdropped on the people around me relaying their past experiences with the headliners, I realized what storm might be approaching. Clues like the sound man covering the monitors with garbage bags and the drummer setting up on the floor in front of the stage indicated that this would not be your typical Exit In event. After taking for-ever to set up a small amount of gear, Monotonix started to make some noise. As the guitarist played a feed-back driven solo, the undersized singer and lanky bassist crowd surfed down to the floor topless in their short shorts and wild curly hair. With the continuing noise, they proceeded to drench each other and everyone else around them in beer and scum, completely emptying the trash can of all bottles, cans, and fowl bottom of the barrel garbage liquid, and then rolling around on the floor. As they broke into their first song, the crowd went ape. More bottles, cans and drinks of all kinds were thrown on the band and everywhere else. I could only think to myself, "this is gonna get out of control fast." As these Israeli Tasmanian Devils mauled us with their brand of thrash trash metal, the crowd formed a rugby scrum-like mosh pit around them. They seemed to encourage some pretty intense audience contact, brushing off drunk slammers with forearm shivers and stiff arms. As songs would end, the drummer would recruit fans to help move his drums all around the club. At one point, the guitarist had the bass drum on top of the bar while the drummer played the rest of his kit in the middle of the crowd. At another point, the singer sat on a stool held by fans and played a drum also held by fans all while spitting and shooting snot rockets wherever they might blow. As the singer dangled, then dropped from the balcony, a super drunk and drenched mosher got a little too fresh and they ended up in a tangled mess on the floor. A hush fell over the crowd as he manhandled this mutant while screaming "Don't f@#$ with the Israeli!" After the victim got a death glare and his friends dragged him away, the band went back into fun mode and regrouped on the stage. The singer demanded everyone sit down and shut up and stay seated while he sang alone. When the full band cranked back up, the crowd exploded back into pollution action and helped end the show with a sludge soaked, hunched over series of gut screams.

The crowd participation definitely made this show unique. The fans that had seen Monotonix before knew exactly what they could get away with and the newbies seemed pleasantly surprised to find that they could actually pour their beers on the band and it was okay. Honestly, I have never seen such a gross misuse of beer and liquor in all my life, nor such a musical act of depravity and recklessness. The amount of booze on the floor at the end of the night could have sustained an Irish slip n' slide. The great part about this show is that as indecipherable as the lyrics were, I saw people singing along like they were Beatles standards. The degenerates who perpetrated this melee were loyal fans. It was almost like they were obligated to be part of the show, like the band needed them. As violent and rabid as the scene was, when it was over, everyone hugged each other and the band like they were U2 finishing a stadium tour. What a great show. I recommend seeing this band not only if you get a chance, but every chance you get. Just be ready for a show like you have never seen before.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Allman Brothers Band/ Widespread Panic

Tonight was the long awaited double billing of Widespread Panic and the Allman Brothers. With bad weather looming, the show was moved from outdoor Riverfront Park to the Municipal Auditorium. The old barn was the perfect place for this show, if it had to be inside. The lax security allowed standing in the isles and smoking, making it seem like a show from the 90's. The sound was a little muddy but not terrible.

The Allman Brothers started the night off right. Having to wait on my big friend to meet me for his ticket, I arrived pretty late, missing some of my favorite numbers. The first full song I got was "Soul Shine", the classic feel good ballad. Other highlights were former Brother Johnny Neel and Widespread's J.B. sitting in for Bob Dylan's "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" and Jack Pearson appearing on "You Don't Love Me" to close the show. The best moments came when Derek Trucks was driving the jam. His slide and guitar tone fit in with the long running style of the Brothers and the connection between he and his uncle is unmistakable. You can really see how they propel each other dynamically. Butch carried most of the drum core, with the percussion seeming unnecessary and Jaimoe basically comatose. The epic version of "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" whipped through peaks and valleys and really showed that Warren Haynes is the Dickey to Derek's Duane. His bland solos didn't seem to inspire as much, but his ability to nail the classic Brothers guitar lines was crucial. This generation's version of the Allmans is still going strong, even if it's only a few originals members. The younger guys add an important energy and the veterans bring the deep feeling. As long as Greg and Warren can sing, they'll be a perennial must see.

The lights went down and the heads went crazy as Widespread Panic took the stage. With the energy really strong in the audience, the band's opening song selection was a little lackluster, but by the third or fourth song, the crowd recovered and was in full Panic swing. I was interested to see Jimmy Herring on guitar for the first time. His addition to this band is a huge move, making the long jams a little more interesting. He, J.B. and Jo Jo, as well as returning visitor Johnny Neel, carried the rest of the flat-line rhythm section who seemed to be robots, never really straying too far from the script. The spastic nonsensical percussionist loved to take his solos, which he takes every show giving the rest of the band a little break. At one point the drummer even put on a drum machine and smoked a cigarette while the old guy banged and tinkered aimlessly for what seemed like an hour. It was a good substitute for a set break, leaving an opportunity for a bathroom stop and a drink. The incredible light rig added an intensity to the show that kept my interest for most of the night. It was by far my favorite part. The set closing "Chili Water" went out with a bang and the encore was brilliant, I'm sure. I'd had enough and left to beat the rush.

As someone who doesn't much care for Panic, I wonder how this show ranks with the hard core fans. There were some strong moments but other than Jimmy Herring standing up and playing interesting solos, this seemed pretty similar to the other shows I've seen. The devout spread-heads gave some insight with huge reactions to certain songs, but as with most jam bands, the true fans will cheer for just about anything.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rounder Records 40th Anniversary Celebration

It's always a pleasure to see a show at the Grand Old Opry. Tonight was a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Rounder Records with performances from an eclectic mix of their artist catalog. The night's line up is as follows: Minnie Driver, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Bela Fleck, Irma Thomas, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Alison Krauss and Union Station.

After being told that we were participating in the PBS filming, and doing some staged applause, Minnie Driver's band started things off. Her non-unique set of chick singer/songwriter material had me wondering if she would be on Rounder if she wasn't a moviestar, even after she said she'd been a musician longer than an actress. Her stage presence was a little awkward and her mumbled chatter between songs made her seem shy and intimidated. However, when she stepped over to her mark to be filmed as host of the evening, she read those lines and improvised like a pro. That was more her element. I love that Minnie Driver, but stick to the movies.

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas were an energetic New Orleans band that got the mostly long in the tooth crowd up for at least a song. These guys, as well as the soul legend Irma Thomas were fun to watch, but probably would have been much better at a smokey bar in the gulf. The t.v. volume and mix put sort of a damper on what should have been a huge sound from both acts. I did enjoy Irma's rendition of "you can have my husband but leave my man alone", a song she performed as an audition for the label when she was a teenager. She really can belt it out, and her veteran band was smokin'.

Bela Fleck played a couple of his new "African" songs solo and then was joined by dobro sensation Jerry Douglas for their usual duet selection. There might not be a better banjo player than Bela on Earth. His music has never been my cup of beer but I can respect his undeniable talent. I guess that goes for Mary Chapin Carpenter as well. I know there's a market for her, I'm just not it. Neither was the old guy next to me who actually fell asleep with his head back and his mouth open. To be fair I think he could've been more drunk than bored. He slept for a while.

Alison Krauss was brilliant as usual. Her angelic voice sounds great even when she's just talking to the crowd. Union Station was solid featuring Jerry Douglas. Their short set went from "songs about bad things" to sentimental ballads that made the lady in front of me cry. Pretty good stuff. After sitting through some more Hollywood production, which included a cruel Robert Plant tease, the whole lot of performers came out to encore with a medley of standard gospel tunes including "will the circle be unbroken" and "down by the riverside".

The television aspect sort of hindered this show's rhythm. With each act only playing 3 or 4 songs, it seemed as though the sets were over just as they were getting good. The fact that there was just as much wait time as there was show time made it hard to sit still and pay attention. It should however make for some great public T.V.

Huge thanks for the ticket hook up.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Duncan May and the Resonators

Tonight was a trip down to Franklin for a show at The Pond. This little club has been open for a few years now and has grown into a nice little place to see a band. They have a pretty fancy sound system and if you're lucky, there might be a competent sound engineer. Might not, but the vibe is laid back and the staff is cool.

Adam Livingston (from Boom Ticket, as we were repeatedly reminded) did the opening honors with an acoustic solo set. It was interesting to hear his Boom Ticket songs stripped down to sketches. With a guitar amplified by microphone, the sound was about as bare as you can get, but Adam still managed to deliver his earful. The addition of Curt Redding on the djimbai drum for the last half of the set gave a vital rhythm that seemed to make the songs make more sense. With covers of The Beatles and the Chili Peppers mixed in, it was a good set and another different way to see Adam perform.

It's good to see Franklin rock legend Duncan May is still at it. His most recent ensemble might be his best yet. The Resonators, minus vacationing Percussionist Tony, excelled in delivering Duncan's tricky funk tunes. Drummer Curt and Guitarist Scott Hall have mastered May's style of songwriting. The band stays tight through all of the trademark stops and starts and melodic curve balls. With songs ranging from upbeat funk, to smooth love songs, to latin based feels, there was no shortage of room for Duncan to thump that bass and Scott to take his machine gun solos. And with Curt's drumming versatility, these transitions are seamless.

The second set included Adam Livingston (from Boom Ticket) on sax for a nice version of crowd favorite "Chimichanga" as well the ever silky "Sweet Thing". It was a good mix of older songs and newer ones from the new upcoming record. Adam had the almost impossible task of keeping up on these complex songs without rehearsal, but he did a pretty good job. There was a classic moment where a false ending totally fooled the audience and Duncan chuckled while the crowd applauded before he broke back into the song. It's great how these guys always seem to be having a good time, even if the attendance numbers aren't as high as they should be. I'm glad these guys play around town regularly. You can pretty much count on a good show whenever these guys show up at their next local dive.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Them Crooked Vultures

Not to be outdone by his Led Zeppelin cohort, John Paul Jones aligned himself with two rock icons. Them Crooked Vultures is the resulting collaboration between Jonsey, Dave Grohl, and Josh Homme. This being only the group's tenth show together, and their first on the U.S. tour, it is clear to see that these guys are worthy of the "supergroup" brand. There was a large amount of curiosity in the audience leading up to the show, as these guys haven't been together long, nor have they released any recorded material, making the mystery of this show even deeper. Most people I talked to had only seen shoddy video snippets on youtube.

After cheering for roadies for what seemed like forever, the crowd went ape as the lights went down and the trio finally took the stage joined by second guitarist Alain Johannes, also of Queens of the Stone Age fame. They greeted us with waves and promises to play some new music "as hard as we know how." And then that's exactly what they did. Dave Grohl kicked into a combustion of noise and frenzied light with an extended intro on the first song. This sensory combination continued through most of the show, with hard hitting songs one right after the other. Not much stage banter to speak of, other than thank you's and song titles. When Homme introduced the band, John Paul Jones received an enormous standing ovation, way larger than any other member. I mean why not? John Paul Jones playing his trademark walking bass lines on monstrous distorted basses in our town. He was also featured in a piano solo, on organ/foot pedal bass, and with a key-tar. Dave Grohl was an absolute beast on the drums, reminding us of his early exploits, as well as the rock power that Foo Fighters have lacked in recent years. Good to know he still has it. He has lots of it. Josh Homme was the perfect front man for this outfit, using his complete vocal range and battering us with his huge riffs on his many guitars.

The music itself was really heavy on the Queens influence. People expecting a Foo Fighters or Zeppelin show might have been a little addled, especially if they weren't familiar with the less popular Queens. The songs were forcible and dynamic, including a few with extended guitar jam type sections that really took off into pandemonium. The only breather moment came mid-show with the lounge style ditty featuring a guitar-less Homme crooning and Jonsey on the aforementioned key-tar. The last song was an epic number with multiple peak and vally sections that sent the crowd into a final frenzy. Then they waved, said thanks and walked off, and before the drunk sweaty crowd could demand an encore, the lights came up and the house music came on. I guess when you've only been a band for a number of months and you just played an hour and a half of brand new material, you just might not have an encore to play, no matter how bewildered the audience appears to be.

I hope this band sticks around for a little while. At least long enough to put out a couple of records and build on their obvious outbreak chemistry. It was cool how the music was so unfamiliar to everyone. With no singing along, and no huge cheers for radio hits, the crowd was almost forced to focus on the music, which I think the band enjoyed too. This is the kind of show that you never forget. Three legendary powerhouses in one band in an awesome venue in Nashville Tennessee.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pork Chop Express

Tonight I found myself at the good old Boro Bar and Grill for the infamous Pork Chop Express. Fathers hide you daughters and mothers hide yourselves, no one is safe from these X-rated rockers. It was good to be back at the Boro after over 10 years, still the same smokey, loud hole that it's always been. And after tonight, it's just a little dirtier.

The openers were Nashville based reggae/ska outfit Paradise Daze. They started off with typical reggae, playing the same 2 chords and repeating a chorus about how we need to "love one another". I was glad to see that as the show went on, they picked up the tempo and really showcased what they could do, as they were pretty good players. The 2 part vocal harmonies were spot on even with the rapid fire lyrics. I was impressed by the bass player's ability to take the bass line, play pretty much the same line through a whole song, but still keep it interesting. His P-bass/Ampeg rig sounded really good and shook the little Boro to the core. It was fun to see Daze try to out-filth Pork Chop with a couple of their own dirty songs. As raunchy as they were, a couple of dirty songs is no match for the degenerate headliners.

Pork Chop took the stage, joining their mini blow up dolls and sheep. After at least three minutes of looking at the bar waiting for them to turn off the house music, they introduced themselves and gave a nonchalant promise to "rock our balls". And rock them they did. The dual guitar attack and hard hitting Music Man bass riffs were tight and well delivered, anchored by the solid drumming of Curt Redding. Chris Mac did a great job laying down rhythm guitar for Randy Boen to shred solos over, all the while remembering all the polluted words. The great part about this band is that aside from all the filthy sexual lyrics and inter-song banter, the songs are quality rock songs. With intricate changes and multiple sections, these guys are no joke as far a songwriting is concerned, however contaminated they may be. That's not to say that the comments between songs and the vocal content aren't a very entertaining, as well as important part of the whole spectacle. The seasoned Pork Chop fans spent a fair amount of time gritting their teeth and pulling at their collars, while the poor patrons that were just looking for somewhere to swill fancy beer were often wide-eyed at some of the comments from these apparent sleaze fiends. Jeff Taco's deadpan delivery is enough to make anyone spit out their no-name micro-brew. By the end of the show, the "earmuff" crowd had thinned out, leaving the handful of dedicated fans to enjoy the last 2 songs, which were among the most vile, as well as clever selections of the night.

It will be interesting to see where this band goes. Will they stay with the consistent juvenile sex shtick, or will they take it to the next level, hell bent on offending and captivating the universe? With the talent these guys have, they could do both. Well. Hopefully, the universe will stick around to catch the whole show.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

This evening was the 5th installment of Live on the Green, and live it was. Tonight's crowd was easily the biggest I've seen so far at this event and they were ready to boogie.

As I arrived, The Dynamites were just getting ready to take off. They started with a few minutes of funky noodling and asking the crowd if we were ready, I said are you ready, to get down? The answer clearly was yes. They introduced their chairman, the incredible Charles "Wig" Walker and he came out and got it going. The band had great energy, and Walker owned the stage and the crowd like a preacher at a tent revival. This act was a good opener for the night, much like a little brother to the headliner.

The Dap Kings started their set much the same way, with a little more energy. By this point the large crowd was feeling it. When they finally introduced Sharon Jones, she came out on fire, and stayed lit all night. What a performer. Just about every song had a story or a sermon or even dance instruction, as she showed us moves like the "funky chicken"and the "mashed potato". Another highlight was the song about fishing for "fresh bass" in which she brought up someone from the crowd and acted out the whole process. A ten minute song and dance about fishing? From a five foot lady? What a show.

The band included a 3 piece horn section, which was right on, along with the rhythm section which was tight and effectively just behind the beat. They were a perfect balance to the force that was Sharon Jones, laid back but powerful all night. It's good to see free live music back in Nashville, even if only for one more week.