We’ve already told you that the beloved Road To Bonnaroo is over. But, a revamped contest titled Road To Roo similarly pits local bands against each other for the chance to win a spot to play the fest this year. The competition consists of five battle-of-the-bands style events which will take place at multiple venues across Nashville, ultimately resulting in one winner from Tennessee (unlike three winners from previous years) to earn the coveted spot. A couple weeks ago, Lightning 100 announced the 16 bands selected to compete in this year’s Nashville competition, and after last week’s showcase, four bands have already advanced (OJR, Roots of a Rebellion, Jess Nolan and Heavy Sole). The second half of the first round takes place tonight (March 10) at Acme Feed & Seed featuring; Daphne & The Mystery Machines, Stagolee, Omega Swan, Cosmic Coast, Kid Freud, Carey, Trenton, The Cold Stares.
The specifics of this competition are slightly different from previous years. Four winning acts will be picked tonight, bringing the total number of winners for the first round to eight. These eight advancing winners will play one of two Nashville semifinals, which will feature four bands each, on March 16 at Exit/In and on March 22 at The Basement East. Two winners will be selected from each of the semifinal events to perform in the Nashville finals at 3rd & Lindsley on March 31. The Nashville winner will then face off with other Tennessee regional winners in the State Finals at Mercy Lounge on April 4. Similar to the previous format from Road To Bonnaroo, the winners will be selected by a combination of fan and judge voting.
Got all that? We know it can get a little confusing, but just to re-iterate, all you need to know right now is the first round of the contest ends after tonight’s show at Acme Feed & Seed, and the eight band bill is being presented to you free of charge! Read on for more info on the performers, and get to Acme on time to be part of the voting process. Hope to see you there!
DAPHNE & THE MYSTERY MACHINES
A powerful Americana alt-folk five piece, Daphne & the Mystery Machines have been kicking up dust in Music City for a couple of years now. With a big sound, including some bitching strings, D and her squad are ready to make the acquaintance of an ever growing audience. After some airplay on Lightning 100, expect them to wow with supportive fans tonight.
What started as a blues duo in Starkville, Miss. has morphed into a local rock ’n’ roll five piece that is a mainstay in East Nashville musician circles. With three records under their belt, including their latest, The Latest Craze, Stagolee might be the most seasoned band on this bill, and thus Roo ready, but you can decide for yourself when you cast your vote.
No strangers to No Country coverage, Omega Swan meet at the crossroads of blues, heavy metal, and garage rock, and they’ve been building a name for themselves locally, and around the nation with their unique brand of alien party rock. They even caught the attention of music directors at Showtime, who recently put two of the band’s songs (“Alien” and “Diggin’”) in popular series Shameless. Backed by their growing rep and epic live shows, the power trio are certain to rattle the windows at Acme tonight.
Electro space funkster Cosmic Coast is the brainchild of Nashville via Knoxville artist Jonathan Edwards, and represents one of the more eclectic acts on this bill. Growing in popularity after sharing stages with names like Railroad Earth, Boombox, RJD2, and Moon Taxi, CC is ready to show everyone he’s not only ready for the headlining spots, but ready for The Farm as well.
Garage pop power trio Kid Freud released a kick ass EP, The End, this summer and if it’s any indication of what is to come, we are all in for a huge treat tonight. Like so many bands in Music City, KF are ready to show everyone that they are the cream rising to the top, and, if they’re in this competition, you know that’s no bullshit.
Coming off the release of their debut, self-titled EP earlier this month, Carey have already managed to secure a SXSW nod and have been popping up on more bills around town. After seeing them perform at our Acme showcase last fall, the reason for their early success are clear. If you aren’t familiar with Carey yet, tonight is an excellent opportunity for you to get acquainted.
Yet Another band that we’ve been grooving to for a while now, Trenton is the live moniker of gifted performer and songwriter Ryan Courtney. His 2014 release Ghost Runner was produced by Grammy winner Joshua D Niles, and showcases Trenton’s ability to dance through genres effortlessly. See what all the fuss is about for yourself, and enjoy a taste below.
THE COLD STARES
Formed in 2008, after founders Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins had spent time in other bands, The Cold Stares write character driven blues rock ’n’ roll songs. This two piece also has a huge sound with vibrato to spare. Without a third member, it makes you wonder, “how’d they do that?”
Daphne & The Mystery Machines, Stagolee, Omega Swan, Cosmic Coast, Kid Freud, Carey, Trenton, The Cold Stares will perform TONIGHT (Thursday March 10) at Acme Feed & Seed. The show is 21+, music begins at 7 p.m., and it’s totally FREE!