Well gang, here we are, halfway through the 2015 Live On The Green Summer Concert Series. Just like summer, this year’s string of concerts is going by fast. Now it won’t be much longer before we are huddling up inside to hide from the cold as we come up with lackluster excuses for not going to shows. But that dreaded time known as winter is not quite yet upon us. There are a handful of outdoor concerts left in the season, and a few of those are set to occur this weekend as part of the 2015 Live On The Green finale. Tonight’s installment is an eclectic mashup of everything from Mexican flamenco music to down-home American rockabilly. Lightning 100 has done another fantastic job of creating a lineup that appeals to all Nashvillians and tonight will be no exception. Tonight the festival brings to the stage Civil Twilight, Kopecky, Delta Rae, Humming House, JD McPherson, and Rodrigo y Gabriela..
Following normal protocol, tonight’s show is free. Music runs from 5-11pm. Be sure to save your appetite and try some of the delicious food trucks that will be parked at Public Square Park. Hopefully the weather allows for a nice walk or bike ride downtown. But if not, parking at the Public Square Garage is just $5. There are also many other options for parking across downtown. VIP Tickets and backstage passes can be purchased here. Keep reading to find out more about tonight’s artists and head to LOTG’s site for any other questions, and remember, if you aren’t finished when RyG rap up tonight, the official afterparty goes until late in the evening at Acme Feed & Seed.
RODRIGO Y GABRIELA
The headliners for tonight’s installment are a pair of Mexican musicians known as Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero, or Rodrigo Y Gabriela. The duo got their start surprisingly in Ireland. They left Mexico in search for something different, and ended up taking residence there for some time while they crafted their own unique covers of their favorite songs, as well as their own compositions. And since their debut album Re-Foc, this has remained their approach. After achieving success in Ireland, the duo exploded onto the American and European charts and festival scenes. Many quickly latched on to their captivating style and well-executed acoustic duo performances.
Rodrigo Y Gabriela’s style can be described as a mix between the iconic American acoustic/folk-rock school of thought combined with their native Flamenco and Rumba influences. And with their interesting choice of covers, such as “Orion” by Metallica, this makes for a spectacular show. The duo format of Rodrigo Y Gabriela carried on through until they decided to try something new and record with a band. The album Area 52 was their first collaboration with other artists. They recorded it with C.U.B.A, a 13-piece Cuban orchestra. However it wasn’t long before they reverted to their traditional format and released 9 Dead Alive in 2014. This album was a 9-song journey in which each track was dedicated to a posthumous individual whose significance still remains relevant today. There’s no telling what Rodrigo Y Gabriela have in store for us tonight but whatever it is, it is sure to be an enchanting combination of every influence that has made them who they are today.
It is this writer’s belief that anyone who hears the music of Oklahoma’s own JD McPherson for the first time is immediately smiling over such a luscious and pleasant discovery. McPherson picked up the guitar when he was 13 years old. After playing in numerous punk bands in his home town of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, he began to discover the music of the 1950’s such as Buddy Holly and Little Richard. After college, he spent four years teaching middle school art and technology in the Tulsa area. However he was fired due to what he believes were his liberal teaching methods; running a mixtape club, teaching his students about Andy Kaufman, and playing them punk rock. Fortunately enough, his departure from teaching led to his success in songwriting. When his first album Signs and Signifiers was released on Rounder Records in 2010 it debuted number one on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart. The album was a feel good collection filled with nostalgic echoes of early 50’s Rock and Roll given a new life from this fresh face in songwriting. His new album, Let The Good Times Roll, was released earlier this year and is no exception to this modern psychabilly standard McPherson has set. Look for a high energy, dance-provoking set from JD McPherson tonight.
It wouldn’t be a Nashville music festival without proper representation of the bands and artists that make this city what it is today. Humming House are a Music City five-piece band that encompass all the different shades of what we know as “roots music”. They released their debut album Revelries in March of this year. But these were songs that songwriter Justin Wade Tam had been working on for years. Now with a final well-rounded lineup of musicians, Tam and his band have established themselves as a powerhouse of bluegrass, folk, and soul. They are pretty much all acoustic, with their percussion presence meager at best, but the sound they are able to create is astounding and strong, causing many to take notice. Humming House has garnered praise everywhere from Huffington Post to Consequence of Sound. Definitely make it a priority to support a local Music City outfit tonight and catch their set.
Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Delta Rae is a six-piece folk band with three siblings (Brittany, Eric, and Ian Holljes) comprising half of the lineup. They embody a warm and wholesome American roots sound with music that appeals to a wide variety of audiences. The band has seen much success in recent years including appearances at Lollapalooza and Farm Aid in 2014. They even did a collaboration with Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham in 2013. They released their second full length album this year entitled After It All. One of the most impressive parts about this group is their intense vocal presence, with numerous four-part vocal lines occupying a significant place on both their studio recordings and live performances. It will definitely be a spectacle to take in at their set tonight. Check out a sneak peak of such amazing vocal work below with the song “Bottom Of The River”, a tune with nothing but stomps, handclaps, and singing.
Another Nashville outfit tonight is Kopecky, formerly known as Kopecky Family Band. The group started while members Kelsey Kopecky and Gabe Simon were attending Belmont University. After finalizing a lineup for the group they released an EP and began touring extensively. They have been gaining attention ever since 2012 when they released their debut album entitled Kids Raising Kids. The single “Heartbeat” helped to establish them as a modern day Fleetwood Mac who are able to retain a bit of an edge that many Nashvillians search for. Since then, they have played a vast array of major festivals such as Bonnaroo and Firefly, providing yet another succesful face to modern day Nashville rock and roll. Their songs are irresistible pop numbers that still showcase the musicianship and talent the band possesses. They are now playing in support of their most recent release Drug For The Modern Age. The album is a continuation of what the band started with their debut; an array of infectious and catchy melodies about young love and adventure. Don’t mess up and miss this.
Civil Twilight are a four-piece rock band from Cape Town, South Africa but they now live in Nashville. Their center is the core of brothers Andrew and Steven McKeller. The two brothers grew up in a musical household and carried that influence with them as they grew older. Civil Twilight’s music has often been described as full of heartfelt vocals and definitive song structure. They draw influence from everyone from Oasis to Wilco, to even Muse. The band has seen their music used on shows like One Tree Hill and movies such as Terminator: The Sarah Connor Cronicles. They recently released a new album in July entitled Story of an Immigrant. When asked about the title track which evokes many shades of early 2000’s Radiohead, the band said, “We think musically it very naturally links our past with where we’re headed—and lyrically it’s in many ways the story of our lives, our band, and our journey.” It will definitely be a good start to the night to have them open up the festivities.