The 2015 season of Live on the Green launched with a fantastic start last week, boasting memorable performances from Lord Huron, Shakey Graves, and Elliot Root. Keeping the ball rolling on the annual, free, outdoor fest, which now takes place over four weeks, we continue TONIGHT, Aug. 27 at Public Square Park with Cold War Kids, J Roddy Walston & The Business, and Houndmouth.
As with last year, this season culminates with an epic three-day finale beginning Sept 10, boasting the addition of a new second stage, the the remaining weeks will feature performers like Ben Folds, Moon Taxi, and Passion Pit in the coming weeks. Per usual, LOTG is free and all ages, and music will run from 6:15 p.m. to 11 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m., and there will be plenty of food and beer vendors on site to meet your needs. Parking is just $5 at the Public Square Park Garage below the festival site, and various other garages and street parking options are available on the surrounding blocks. Finally, if you’re looking to up the ante on your LOTG experience, VIP tickets and backstage passes are typically available for purchase, however the former are SOLD OUT for this evening (better get a jump on the upcoming weeks if you want to snag premium tickets). Find out more about this week’s installment below, and find out more about the entire season on Live on the Green’s site.
COLD WAR KIDS
It’s been over a decade now since Long Beach bluesy indie rock poets Cold War Kids first got together to blow minds with their badass debut record, Robbers & Cowards. If, for some reason, you haven’t listened to that release, we’ll take a moment to pause and let you get hip … did you check it out? Than you know our praise isn’t just hyperbole. The LP won over legions of fans and earned critical accolades, and the group have remained strong since, churning out some other quality releases and becoming a live juggernaut, plus a festival staple. The only knock on them has been that they burst onto the scene so white hot, that they’ve been trying to recapture the magic (to a degree, the newer records are still tasty) ever since.
It wasn’t until last fall’s Hold My Home, that CWKs managed to fully encapsulate the energy and inspiration of their debut once more. A couple of lineup changes in recent years seems to have helped them find their original stride, because they’re making the most cohesive, focused, and effortless yet ambitious music of their career to date. Of course live has always been the way to enjoy the band best, but we definitely recommend giving the group’s full catalog a whirl as well. With five albums’ worth of material, in addition to some EPs, you never know what to expect, but, what we do know is that you don’t want to miss the band’s return to Nashville after a stellar showing in February.
J RODDY WALSTON & THE BUISNESS
No stranger to No Country coverage (read this post or this post), J. Roddy Walston & The Business first caught our attention in 2010, with their self-titled sophomore release, which starts off with an absolute barn burner titled “Don’t Break The Needle” and really never lets you go for 37 total minutes. Walston’s roots are firmly planted in the country/gospel traditions of his hometown of Cleveland, TN, but when you add his amazing backing band to the mix it’s more bar room, up-tempo, frenetic rock n’ roll; enough to attract any of you if given the chance, but their stage presence will surely seal the deal. To say they leave it all on the stage is an absolute understatement. J. Roddy and all in attendance will be a hot sweaty mess by the end of the set. Now signed to ATO Records, JRW&TB are still burning down the house with their 3rd release Essential Tremors, and once you see them live tonight, you’ll understand why we try to cover/see them any chance we get. We can almost guarantee they’ll leave you with that ‘holy shit’ feeling when the dust settles tonight at LOTG.
Another band we’ve had the privilege of covering before (read here or here), Houndmouth honed their alt-country, indie pop vibes in New Albany, Indiana (near Louisville). Their sophomore full-length, entitled Little Neon Limelight, came out earlier this year and was produced by Dave Cobb, the super producer who helped Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson attract Grammy and national attention. No strangers to the festival scene, Houndmouth not only made their debut at Bonnaroo and Forecastle, but have also played Lollapalooza and Newport Folk Fest, among others. Of course now they can check LOTG off their fest list as well, since they’ll be kicking off another installment of 100% free tunage tonight downtown.