Salvador Dali Parton (featuring Winston Marshall [Mumford & Sons], Justin Hayward-Young [The Vaccines], Gill Landry [Old Crow Medicine Show], Mike Harris [Apache Relay], and Jake Orrall [JEFF The Brotherhood])
Various Venues, Nashville, TN
October 27, 2013
Review by Matt Hall and Philip Obenschain
Photos by Jake Giles Netter
Several of us No Countrians were checking out various shows around Nashville on Saturday night, but we made it a point to at least stop in to see what all of the hullabaloo was about with Nashville’s newest supergroup Salvador Dali Parton and their epic six show run through town that night. As we told you last week in the preview, these 5 talented musicians got together last Thursday to write the songs. They practiced the material on Friday and, on Saturday, they performed six identical sets at venues across Nashville.
In what have been little more than a publicity stunt (or an excuse to get free beers all over town), we caught their first set at The High Watt, saw them again at Exit/In, and then wound things up with their final show at fooBar. You can check out our full rundown of exactly what happened, below, along with some badass photos from Jake Giles Netter which will clearly be stolen by every other publication in the country.
The Guardian, Billboard, NME, and several other heavy-hitters picked up on Salvador Dali Parton ahead of their performances. Between the combined reach of those rags and the star power of STP’s members, we didn’t know what kind of crowd to expect. So, of course, we arrived at The High Watt way too early (nothing can get Nashville to a show at 6:45, apparently). The one advertised venue performance of the night that was totally free and not part of another show, we would have expected a packed room. By the time the band took the stage, donning Halloween costumes (Hayward-Young as a monk, Marshall in drag, Orrall as a knock off Karate Kid, Landry as a rabbi, and Harris as Gene Simmons), attendance had picked up a bit. Though we had an idea of what we were in for, much of the audience, especially the obvious Mumford and Old Crow fans, probably weren’t clued in to The Anal Beatles (a similar, prior one-off group which shared 3/5 of STP’s members), and reacted with an equal balance of confusion and giddiness. True to expectations, Salvador Dali Parton’s sound wavered somewhere in the territory of sludge and stoner metal, droning on with calculated, borderline satirical aggression, and taking a cue from early hard rock bands on the ’70s. Hayward-Young, who sang lead, took the stage in a full hood, donning a knockoff lightsaber, launching into what would be a surprisingly rehearsed set for such an impromptu project (they are professionals, after all). Orrall, normally a frontman, took over drumming duties, and proved to have some impressive chops, especially on a drum heavy tune towards the end. Harris played bass while Landry and Marshall, the latter primarily known as a banjo player, handled guitar duties. Through the six song, 20 or so minute set, the “joke” aspect of the whole thing began to disappear; sure, five established (and some quite famous) musicians were performing sloppy stoner metal in Halloween costumes, and clearly having a lot of fun in doing so, but, in a way, isn’t that what rock and roll is about? The group ended with a hardcore punk track, a perfect chaotic finale to a weird, fun, first show, before jetting out to make show two.
By the time we arrived at Exit/In, a line was around the block and halfway to Café Coco. Based on the crowd at The High Watt and the fact that punk/JEFF fans would be in full force at their de-facto home away from home, we expected a crowd, but we did not expect a line like that. This is Nashville, man. You can roll up late to the biggest show in town and walk right in (usually spouting any name you want because there will be one of those on the guest list anyway) without breaking stride. Alas, the novelty brings Nashvillians out in droves. For No Country’s next event we are going to have The Muppets performing Slayer (details to be announced). Within minutes of the band’s arrival, it was clear that some additional beers had been consumed in the short transition from The High Watt to Exit/In. Winston now donning a fur coat, smeared lipstick, and “distressed” fishnet stockings arrived to the biggest applause, and the churning sounds of angry psychedelic sludgy doom metal (with occasional pockets of twang) took over the rock stereotyped crowd. Unlike the show at The High Watt, this show seemed packed and ready for some fist pounding rock, which would make sense given that most of them had just paid $15 to have their faces later melted by The Wans, Reignwolf (who absolutely destroyed), and J. Roddy Walston & The Business. About 20 minutes later, SDP finished the same set from The High Watt and quickly packed up their belongings to head west to The Stone Fox, Springwater, and a house party. It would be several hours and god knows how many beers until we caught up with them again.
The advertised sixth show remained a secret until the very last minute, but, fortunately, we got wind of it and were able to make it to fooBAR just in time for Salvador Dali Parton’s final show ever- just six hours after their first. Drunk, tired, and disheveled from an ambitious (and surprisingly on time) tour of the town, STP delivered the same set once again for an extra rowdy and extra excited mix of diehard fans and fooBAR patrons who happened to wander in. Though they ended with more or less the same performance, highlights included slow dances with audience members (and a few friendly dude to dude kisses between Marshall and said audience members), climbing on instruments, and one pretty good prank from Jake Orrall. Orrall, who had been making announcements via megaphone all night long, announced that a surprise seventh show would take place at Third Man Records at 2 a.m., with free live records (all shows had been previously announced to be recorded) going out to all attendees. We tossed our skepticism aside and headed to Third Man just in case, only to discover that the announcement was nothing more than a drunken prank- you got us Jake. Still, Salvador Dali Parton had one epic, debaucherous, rock and roll run of a night, and we’re happy to have been there for half of it. Only in Nashville.
Gallery continues below: