East Nashville Underground: A Magical Reunion | Friday Preview

ENU Reunion

For a number of years, East Nashville Underground served as a quarterly, weekend-long, drunken get-together; a showcase of some of Nashville’s finest up and coming artists (many of whom have gone on to do some very impressive things since) that grew out of its basement beginnings to literally putting The East Room on the map. It’s been a little over two years since the festival’s final installment, but we often think back fondly, not only about the incredible music we were able to catch on such a regular basis, but about the community that formed around it. Yes, ENU was a nothing short of a family, and, as families do, they’ve announced a long-awaited reunion, set to take place over three nights (and one day) this weekend, Thursday Nov. 19 through Saturday, Nov. 21 at new east side hang The Basement East.

The “magical reunion” lineup is, naturally, stacked with a ton of blog faves, all ENU alumni.  We’re getting you familiar through a series of posts. We brought you a Thursday preview already, and, below, we’ve got the rundown on the Friday night bill, with Kansas Bible CoVinyl ThiefBuffalo RodeoThe GillsThe Future, and DJ Rate.  You can still get weekend tickets for $35 ($50 for VIP), or, while supplies last, you can get single day tickets at the door for $15. The show starts at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and the event is 21+.

Head below to get revved up, and have an awesome reunion weekend!


Pop infused and indie leaning rockers The Future have long been a favorite local act of ours, and conjure fond memories of East Nashville Undergrounds past. Still a fixture in the live scene, the group play out on a pretty regular clip, but nothing beats catching them while kicking off such a stacked, nostalgic bill. Their third LP (and best to date) Blood Moon dropped last year, so we’d expect to hear a new track or two by now, incorporated into their tight, dance-ready live set.


Originally from Pensacola, FL, The Gills have been Nashville based for several years now, and have been on our radar for just as long. They made a strong impression with 2012’s Motor Running, and seem to be drifting in a grittier, more alternative direction than their previous pop rock sound. The group’s debut full-length is due out in early 2016, and we have no doubt it’ll be one of the best local releases of next year. If you caught them at our recent Acme showcase, you know they’re hell of a live act; check out their latest single below!


A longtime site favorite, Buffalo Rodeo hail from the nearby musical hotbed of Bowling Green. When we first got hip to the buzzworthy young band, towards the end of 2013, their sound harbored a more indie rock slant, and they were fast becoming to the go-to opening act for some of our favorite local performers. In the two years since, Buffalo Rodeo have settled into a sweeping, psychedelic, layered, and surprisingly poppy style of their own, dropping their most recent (and best) EP to date, 123 Water, earlier this year. Boasting guy/girl harmonies, diverse instrumentation, and hypnotic melodies, Buffalo Rodeo are fast becoming the local band to keep an eye on, and are primed to become one of the next big ENU alumni success stories.


For this particular writer, Vinyl Thief were one of the first local bands I befriended at the press and artist mixer ahead of my first ever ENU, back in 2012, so I will forever associate them with pleasant memories of the old days of the fest. One of Nashville’s best indie acts, the electronic-laden, pop loving group amassed national attention last year with the release of their amazing full-length debut, Fathoms. Hard at work on new music, Vinyl Thief have dropped a handful of new tunes in recent months (check out a taste below), and have tried their hand at some great remixes and mashups. Save for a few high-profile outings, their local performance slate has been more limited in recent years, as their focus on touring has increased, so not only is ENU a great chance to get nostalgic, but also the band’s only Nashville date on the books right now.


A worthy and road-tested choice to headline, what makes Kansas Bible Co‘s set so enticing, is that the band recently reduced their ranks from 11 to 7, inevitably forcing them to tweak their sound (as evidenced by new single “Élysées 99,84″ below). Harboring a horn-laden affinity for psychedelic rock, the former Road to Bonnaroo winners and No Country Acme showcase alumni were one of ENU’s standout bands even back in the day, and the release of their LP Chicamauga and increased presence around town has only continued in the years since, propelled by their unmatched, energetic, and endlessly entertaining live show. If you regularly read this site, we don’t need to tell you: Kansas Bible Co are the real deal. Come see them do something new!


Whether you know him from the Boom Bap, or from any number of other dance parities, local events, and after shows, you’ve almost certainly encouraged DJ Rate before; he’s one of the hardest working DJs in town, and never fails to entertain or get the crowd moving. If your aim is to shut the place down Friday night, Rate’ll have your back with some quality hip hop and dance music.

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