Archives For Cannery Ballroom

Around the time they played The Basement in late April, you’d have been hard pressed to find a radio station playing anything by The Lumineers,and for good reason, as their debut album had just been released at the beginning of the month. By the middle of June, however, they were nearly ubiquitous, the buzz-band on the mind of tastemakers and musical novices alike. It was no surprise then when they sold out their upcoming August show at the Mercy Lounge within a matter of hours prompting an upgrade to the Cannery Ballroom, which subsequently sold out a few hours later as well.

On the surface, it’d be easy to pinpoint a catchy, fast-rising single with perpetual radio and TV commercial play as the reason for The Lumineers meteoric rise, reminding many of the seemingly overnight emergence of bands like Local Natives and The Head and the Heart. No doubt, “Ho Hey” is a great song that has turned many of us into Lumineers apologists in Nashville and all across the country, and specifically here in Nashville. They are a great band full of unrestrained talent and grace, but it’s the depth of their self-titled debut album that indicates they might have some staying power beyond their burgeoning fanbase. The album, certainly among the best released in 2012 so far, is the first since Mumford & Sons’ “Sigh No More” that I have personally put on repeat for months on end. Apparently, the same appears to be the case for the rest of Nashville as their show at The Cannery Ballroom Tuesday night turned into the 2nd largest sing-along I’ve attended, behind only Mumford & Sons’ concert, nee revival, at War Memorial Auditorium in November 2010.

The Lumineers navigated their way through their entire 11-track album, to which it seemed the entire crowd knew all of the words to. Playing those tracks alone would have made for a very good show, even a great one. However, the additions of unreleased tracks such as “I Ain’t Nobody’s Problem” and “Eloise”, a well-placed cover of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and The Band’s seminal “The Weight” featuring several members of Old Crow Medicine Show are what helped the performance nearly reach its zenith moment. But just when it seemed the show might be over and as the Old Crow boys left the stage following the first song of the encore, The Lumineers made their way deep into the crowd and set up shop in the middle of the room, right next to us, standing on stools and chairs, for an acoustic version of “Darlene,” a foot-stomping tribute to all things love featuring percussionist Jeremiah Fraites with easily the best glockenspiel performance that we’ve ever seen.

It can’t be understated how difficult it can be for a band to draw the collective embrace of a crowd by simply playing the songs they know so well let alone the attention of a packed house for new songs that the majority of people may have never been heard. But The Lumineers have the energy and exuberance that envelops their fans and unwraps a shimmy and a frolic out of even the most flat-footed concert-goer. While the music industry can often have trouble supporting the rapid growth of a band like The Lumineers, their resplendent personalities, polished songwriting and seasoned stage presence indicate they certainly will be around for many, many shows capable of dwarfing their already impressive performances.

- Brad Hughes
The first time we saw Dawes, there couldn’t have been more than 100 people crammed into the Mercy Lounge. Sunday night, they packed the 1000+ capacity Cannery Ballroom and delivered exactly what both the veteran and rookie Dawes fans expect: a night of pure, unadulterated rock and roll with all of the emotion that so many bands in America hope to cover up with smoke and lights. On the contrary, Dawes consistently delivers one of the most refreshing live music experiences touring the United States today, and Sunday night was no exception The evening opened with the unique personality of Simone Felice, whose brothers (The Felice Brothers) also carry a genetic disposition towards menacing facial expressions and potentially distressing lyrics. The especially dark opener, “New York Times” met squarely with our expectations based on our familiarity with Simone’s former band of brothers as did the deceptively twisted “Shaky” despite its seemingly fun lyrics like “C’mon and shake that country ass!” But it was the sequence of covers from The Band that closed Simone’s sequence that set the tone for the night’s headliner as Simone and his ensemble paid tribute to the late Levon Helm with “Atlantic City” and “I Shall Be Released,” which featured the accompaniment of Nashville favorites – and fellow Gentlemen of the Road tour guests – The Apache Relay.
The scene was set for Dawes to bring out their own special guests, as an extra microphone was placed rather inconspicuously in front of bassist Wylie Gelber, who has no singing credits on the band’s albums. Indeed, it would be Deer Tick front man, and Taylor Goldsmith’s close friend and cohort from side project Middle Brother, John McCauley, who would join the band for “When My Time Comes” and “Million Dollar Bill” sandwiched around Deer Tick’s “Baltimore Blues No. 1.” Simone Felice himself would even make a brief cameo adding backing vocals alongside Griffin Goldsmith as Dawes would close their encore with the radio hit “Time Spent in Los Angeles.”

But it was the tracks in between that are what make a Dawes show so memorable. It was Taylor Goldsmith’s guitars on “Fire Away,” the reference to playing in Nashville where Taylor claims “we all know each other already,” and the heartfelt line of “… pile on those mashed potatoes and an extra chicken wing” that really engaged the Cannery crowd this Sunday night and left us anxious for their third album, which we understand recording for to begin next month.

Dawes has certainly benefitted in Tennessee by playing premier spots – opening night of Soundland 2011 at War Memorial, opening for Mumford & Sons w/Apache Relay at the Ryman this past spring, and just the night before in Bristol with the Gentlemen of the Road tour – but its simply at these shows where they continue to win over music lovers. And if all that wasn’t enough, Dawes, along with The Apache Relay, Simone Felice, Nikki Lane and a cast of others made their way down 8th Ave for a late night after party at The Basement that lasted until at least until 2:00 in the morning. We couldn’t be more excited to see the growth Dawes has made as a band and to see the amount of hearts they continue to win over in Music City. Count us among the many who have been completely won over.

- Brad Hughes

After forgetting our Grimey’s purchased tickets at home, Cause a Scene made it to the Cannery Ballroom, pumped for our first Tallest Man on Earth experience, in time to catch the last two songs of openers Strand of Oaks. Strand of Oaks presented themselves as a rocking duo with heavy drum rhythms, consistent guitar riffs, and the potential for an energetic set of creative and original songs. We were disappointed to have seen such a small sampling of their music, so we’ll keep an eye out for their next Nashville appearance, but we couldn’t wait for Kristian Matsson to take the stage.As you probably already know, Kristian is not the world’s record holder for vertical growth – he’s not even close to the tallest in the room (no, the tallest in the room managed to find his spot directly in front of us) – but without a full band and no light show or smoke to enhance the stage, it’s not the visual performance that brings one to a Tallest Man on Earth show, it’s the opportunity to see a man and his guitar as a single entity, a simple pairing that rarely fills the Mercy Lounge, let alone the packed Cannery Ballroom on a Monday night.

From the time he opened with To Just Grow Away until he closed his encore with The Dreamer, Kristian kept the crowd focused on every single note. With his quiet demeanor, his light banter with the crowd between songs led the bustling crowd to a near roaring wave of conversation, but no soul in the room dared to speak over the Dylan-esque voice of our Swedish friend. The attention of the crowd wasn’t lost on Matsson, as he graciously stepped aside as the crowd repeated the final lines, “in your eyes, babe” from the chorus of The Gardener.

While Kristian’s show was certainly minimalistic – he only briefly altered the visual experience by sitting at his baby grand for two of the fifteen songs – the soothing, rhythmic sounds of man and guitar and his enchanting lyrics could transport the blind from the running of the bulls in Pamplona to dealing with the loss of a loved one amongst the roses and jasmine.

Matsson would again graciously accept the admiration of the crowd with deep bows at the edge of the stage more likely found after a show at TPAC than at Cannery as he left for the night, but it was Cause a Scene and a thousand of our friends that couldn’t have been more appreciative.

No video from the concert, so here’s one of our favorites, King of Spain, on Later with Jools Holland from last year: