By: Joseph Kathmann
It's hard to put into words what I just saw, but whatever it was I liked it. I liked it a lot. This show was an absolute blast to watch, featuring one of the most energetic and passionate crowds I have ever seen. Everyone was dressed up and having the time of their lives. Even though I suspect that a large portion of the crowd were not die-hard Here Come the Mummies fans, this crowd simply just loved music, and it set a new standard for what I hope to see from a crowd at any show going forward.
Opening for Here Come the Mummies was Japanese punk band Peelander-Z. This was a very odd choice for Here Come the Mummies, but it was also a sign of just how good this crowd was going to be. I'm sure none of them came to this show expecting to hear Japanese punk music, but the band was able to get them into their show nonetheless. There were some really weird antics throughout this 45 minute set, featuring a lot of signs, what appeared to be bringing random people from the audience on stage to play drums and guitar, and a flash dance party in the middle of the crowd. I wasn't too particularly keen on this set, particularly when their final song felt like it took about 10 minutes to end. I kid you not, their "big rock ending" to their set lasted 10 minutes. It was certainly a bit much, but the crowd didn't mind.
Following an awesome costume contest that featured some trees, (with lights) The Dude, and Colonel Sanders with a big bucket of chicken, Here Come the Mummies took the stage. Featuring their trademarked mummy garbs, the band began their set in unique fashion with a drum intro and march through the crowd similar to a marching band as everyone in the band had on various percussion instruments. The band opened with "My Party" and never looked back, tearing through a ridiculous 2+ hour set. The band had antics all throughout the show, and their antics reminded me of my days in college marching band and pep band, (hooooo!) so I was having a blast along with everyone else. The crowd was electric, dancing and groove through every moment of the 20+ songs. Sure, the songs are pretty shallow and nearly every one has to do with sex, but the crowd didn't care. Watching Colonel Sanders dance with his bucket of chicken was awesome, and even the trees were getting into it. I don't think I've ever seen trees move that much.
Ultimately, this was one of the coolest sets I have ever seen. This set was the kind of set I dreamed about coming to Nashville, and while there were definitely a fair amount of external factors that impacted and raised the overall vibe of this show, but the explosiveness and intensity of Here Come the Mummies was pivotal as well. I definitely want to see these guys again to see just how much of a role these external factors played, but as is this set is right there with Prophets of Rage for my favorite set during my time here in Nashville.
Check out a video of "Ra Ra Ra" below.
By: Joseph Kathmann
On a cold southern night in a tiny, packed, venue, Nothing But Thieves followed up their strong Lollapalooza set (which I called one of my favorite sets of the festival) with another gem. I cannot emphasize this enough: go out and see them right now. You will not get the chance to see them at a tiny club like Exit/In for much longer. The vibe of this small venue definitely helped to feed the energy of the band too.
First, though, was The Wreks. There was another opener, The Roads Below, but unfortunately I missed them because I showed up 25 minutes late and they only had a 20 minute set. While it was tough to really get a feel for The Wreks because they themselves only played for about 25 minutes, they did everything they could to convert some new fans in that short span. I think they did, because here's one person who wants to see them again. They clearly threw a lot of ideas against the wall, and while not all of those ideas stuck, the ones that did were quite impressive. I hope to see them again soon.
Then came Nothing But Thieves. They exploded through the gates with my favorite song of their namesake debut album, "Itch," and kept the intensity going through most of their short 55 minute set. However notice I said most there. There was one misstep in the exact middle of the set. During this brief 3 or 4 song interlude, the band slouched through a couple of their weaker deep tracks, and also trotted out a new song that took everything that made their debut album so great, and did the exact opposite. This new song was easily the low point of the show, but I am not at all worried about what this means long term. Because the rest of their set was just that good. Highlighted by their hit "Trip Switch" as well as "Painkiller," Nothing But Thieves successfully reminded me why I am so confident in their future. They were even able to turn one of my least favorite songs on their debut, "If I Get High," into a great and emotional ballad toward the end of the set. They may still only have one album to their name, but the quality of their music and already-refined live show makes them poised to take the music world by storm in short order. Check them out now before they're forced to play at larger venues.
2) Honey Whiskey
5) Graveyard Wedding
6) Drawing Pins
7) Six Billion
8) New Song (unknown name)
10) Excuse Me
11) Wake Up Call
12) If I Get High
13) Trip Switch
14) Ban All the Music
If you need more convincing, check out Nothing But Thieves performance of "Trip Switch" below.
By: Derek Jung
Celebrating their debut full length debut release, Dawg Yawp took the stage at MOTR Pub a little after 11 on a comfortable fall Friday evening in downtown Cincinnati. The reasonably small bar was packed to capacity for one of the most hyped new bands in the city, and one that's also has been receiving notice from NPR's Bob Boilen amongst others. I've been following the band since I saw them perform during an intermission at MusicNOW Festival this year, and their performance this summer at Bunbury was one of our favorites of the early afternoon acts.
The band performed pretty much every song off the new album, many of which were teased on their EP Two Hearted earlier this year. Tyler Randall's sitar playing was just what the shoulder to shoulder crowd needed. It was hot, stuffy, and sweaty in there, and songs like "Lost At Sea" conjured up images of traversing seas of sand in the deserts of northwestern India. It was a special atmosphere and the excitement was palpable from both the band and those gathered to see them.
Since it's only the duo on stage, songs like "Can't Think" and "Dawg", which have electric guitars and percussion, take new forms live. Guitarist Rob Keenan spends much of his time on a sound board, pressing buttons that hold sound samples for each instrument that can't be played live. On one hand, it's unique and different, but on the other it's a little boring to watch him press buttons. While their gracious nature evokes a lot of good will from the crowd, especially in Cincinnati, I want to see them work on their showmanship, and I think - unpopular opinion time - that having live backing musicians would be a fantastic addition to their set and give them the freedom to expand their songwriting moving forward.
All things considered, it was a great showcase of the album, and they have a bright, successful future ahead of them.
Check out a live performance of "Can't Think" from WNKU's Studio 89 below.
What a polarizing show. On the one hand, Prophets of Rage is a clear and obvious cash-grab. Their "edgy" message can be summed up as "Donald Trump is bad. So we're doing this." and the openers were absolutely terrible. We'll get to those, because despite these major shortcomings, it has been a LONG time since I've had this much fun at a show. Why? Simple. Because Rage Against the Machine is THAT good. Even though B-Real left much to be desired and Chuck D was just average, the instrumentation of Rage's Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford more than made up for it. Basically, this is Rage Against the Machine's show, and fortunately for all of us all the members of Prophets of Rage knew it.
The night started out slow. Opener and total unknown Wakrat was hugely disappointing, and couldn't find the "edge" they were trying to deliver and instead were just downright offensive at points, with one of their big songs being a clear and obvious anthem for school shooters. After the lackluster opener, we saw the remains of the once-superstar band AWOLNATION. (Author's note: I am currently providing the merch for AWOLNATION) All the stories about Aaron Bruno are true. Sadly, there is little talent nowadays with Bruno and his band, as it can basically be summed us as "Aaron Bruno screams uncontrollably for 45 minutes" with the sole bright spot of the set being the obvious, "Sail." At least during "Sail" Bruno allowed the rest of his band to come out a bit versus trying to drown them out with his terrible vocals like he did during the rest of the set.
But I knew all I had to do was bide my time, and fortunately I was not disappointed. After opening with the lackluster and predictable "Prophets of Rage," the crew tore into a cover of "Guerrilla Radio" and never looked back. The explosive 18 song set was capped by a surprise appearance by Nashville locals Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys) and Matt Shultz (of Cage the Elephant) during the encore to play a cover of Rage's Kick Out the Jams and featured a host of Rage covers, as well as a few Cyprus Hill and Public Enemy covers. Prophets of Rage even played a few covers of other bands, including Beastie Boys popular "No Sleep Till Brooklyn." This was also the problem, however. Despite a fantastic set, the entire show felt incredibly superficial. Like I said before, the banter was simple, and even Tom Morello failed to incite any sort of rebellious mood. The only time the group was edgy was when it performed its famously edgy songs. Yes, "Killing in the Name Of" is still one of the most controversial songs of all-time, but its authors have clearly sold out to the establishment. Fortunately, the instrumentation of Rage Against the Machine was so good that I didn't care.
1) Prophets of Rage
2) Guerrilla Radio (RATM Cover)
3) Bombtrack (RATM Cover)
4) People of the Sun (RATM Cover)
5) How I Could Just Kill a Man (Cypress Hill Cover)
6) Take the Power Back (RATM Cover)
7) Testify (RATM Cover)
8) DJ Lord Break
9) Sleep Now in the Fire (RATM Cover)
10) Calm Like a Bomb (RATM Cover)
11) Bullet in the Head (RATM Cover)
12) Shut 'Em Down (Public Enemy Cover)
13) Know Your Enemy (RATM Cover)
14) The Party's Over
15) No Sleep Till Brooklyn/Fight the Power (Beastie Boys/Public Enemy Mashup)
16) Kick Out the Jams (RATM Cover) (with Dan Auerbach and Matthew Shultz)
17) Killing in the Name (RATM Cover)
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary (debatable) guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here: