Of Montreal has solidified a well-deserved reputation for being a band best enjoyed live—not just for their intense light effects and dancing characters, but also because of Kevin Barnes’ engaging onstage presence and captivating antics. And the Athens-based group’s latest Nashville appearance did not disappoint, with dog costumes, crowd-kissing, and one ephemeral image of Donald Trump.
On Monday evening, City Winery Nashville was graced with the presence of Ben Sollee and Mother Falcon, who performed the second show of their collaborative tour The Fall Migration. Ben Sollee, cellist, singer, composer extraordinaire, took the stage with a “super-band” of 14 (ish) musicians: himself, drummer Jordan Ellis, and the members of Austin-based orchestral band Mother Falcon. Together, they opened the show with “Something, Somewhere, Sometime” a track off Sollee’s 2010 album Dear Companion. In addition to being a talented musician, Sollee is a passionate environmentalist. The aforementioned album, Dear Companion, is entirely dedicated to the problem of Mountaintop Removal coal mining.
Ben Sollee and Mother Falcon performed their 90 minute set with a conversational fluidity. It seemed as if these acts had been playing together for years; it was incredible how such a large group of musicians could be so perfectly in sync. The “super band” lived up to the name, producing a full sound which filled the cavernous room.
Though a large portion of the show had both acts on stage, each took their turn in spotlight. A highlight was when Sollee played a few songs solo, accompanied by a drummer using a wooden box as an instrument. Even on a seemingly empty stage, Ben Sollee is a captivating performer – his charismatic personality translates to his music. He kept the crowd engaged by telling stories between songs. From following a redhead to California to crashing a karaoke bar with his bandmates, he created a personal connection with his audience. The crowd even convinced Sollee to reenact the night in the karaoke bar by playing their reggae cover of Prince’s “When Doves Cry”.
Lake Street Dive graced Nashville with their presence yet again this past Saturday at the beautiful Ascend Amphitheater. Unfortunately for the Lake Street Dive fan, however, they were only opening for Grace Potter. Luckily the group drove a large and enthusiastic crowd that showed up early. Despite their position in the set, Lake Street Dive owned the stage and played a fantastic hour of music.
This Thursday, October 8th, you have the opportunity to see an incredible live performance. Glass Animals will be playing at Marathon Music Works. I can assure you this is a show you don’t want to miss.
I saw Glass Animals this summer, back home in DC at the 9:30 club. It was the night before my 21st birthday and I look back fondly, knowing that was the last time I ever had to wear unsightly X-es on the back of my hands. Glass Animals really brought their A-game that night. I often use the term “high-energy” to describe exciting concerts, but that doesn’t even begin to cover it. This British band relies heavily on synthesizers, creating a dream-like atmosphere at their shows. Dave Bayley, the lead singer, is the stand-out member of the group. He gets so into the music, the intensity and passion are just infectious.