Francisco The Man, Chrome Pony, Wildfront
The High Watt, Nashville, TN
February 11, 2015
Review by Beth McAllister
As a stickler for time, I sauntered into The High Watt at 9PM on the dot for the beginning of the amazing show I was so eager to see – only to discover that I had missed the entire first band, Wildfront. Words cannot express my sadness at having failed to catch the opening band (perhaps I need to get my eyes checked to be certain that I don’t misread start times again), but I cheered up with the knowledge that I was still able to catch Chrome Pony and the headliner, Francisco The Man.
Even though it was a Wednesday night, the venue had a good sized crowd who were only too happy to have a few drinks and hear some eclectic rock and roll music. The bartender, who had been working since 8AM, was even wide awake and watching the bands perform with enthusiasm.
When Chrome Pony began their set, they launched into it with the ferocity of a group that had more than four band members. Despite my good view, I became convinced that there was another guitarist or two hidden from my line of sight by the pillars in the room (fun fact: there wasn’t). The lead singer’s orange beanie hat that he sported was lost barely into the second song due to the eager movement on the band’s part as even they moved along to the music. Rarely did Chrome Pony‘s songs have transitions – the shock of the stop and go music electrified people’s nerves in a good, wake-up-and-rock way that was much needed after an exhausting work day.
Chrome Pony gave us our money’s worth after playing eight or nine songs in total, and when they thanked us for coming and wrapped up their set, it was almost amazing to realize there was another band about to step on stage.
Around ten o’clock, right before Francisco The Man took over the sound system, more people began to clammer into the room. More drinks were being sold, and conversations began to pick up.
When the California-based rock group stepped up, all but one were wearing casual t-shirts and jeans (the bassist sported a hoodie with the hood on, in a unique fashion statement). Slowly, they began to play their instruments. They eased the crowd out of their conversations and into the world of music with a pleasant nature, but once the attention of everyone in the room was secured the true rock and roll nature came out. Ethereal vocals accompanied structured, organized chaos as Francisco The Man strategically pulled us into their world.
After three songs, the group addressed the crowd for the first time.
“I know we probably smell like shit…we’ve been touring, so…”
We forgave them. After all, they put on a hell of a show.