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Billy Herring

Billy Herring is the lead vocalist/guitar player/banjo player for 1916. He’s also a Nashville-based tattoo artist.

DS Photo Gallery: A Vulture Wake, Stuck Lucky Headline Nashville Punk Rock Flea Market 6.11.22

I can confidently say this is the best punk event held in Music City at least since I began calling here home in 2013. Held at the notorious Further Farms just a short drive from downtown, and judging by the fact that event shirts, water and food had all sold out just halfway through the […]

I can confidently say this is the best punk event held in Music City at least since I began calling here home in 2013. Held at the notorious Further Farms just a short drive from downtown, and judging by the fact that event shirts, water and food had all sold out just halfway through the event, expectations were shattered and we had ourselves a party. All eight bands playing completely kicked ass, over 50 vendors set up camp and drew a crowd I would guess numbered well over a thousand people, and Denver-based nonprofit Punk Rock Saves Lives was swabbing people left and right for their bone marrow registry. Beer was drank and fun was had!

Indianapolis native Mike Muse of Amuse kicked things off with a solo acoustic set after the other 2/3 of a Amuse were unable to make it. Nonetheless, the acoustic set was a great precursor for what was to come. To close, the boys in SecondSelf hopped up to join Mike for a much needed and well-timed Skate or Die cover, much to the pleasure of the continuously growing crowd.

SecondSelf has solidified themselves as one of my local favorites over the past several years; they’re a great bunch of dudes that play hard, fast, killer punk rock, what more could you ask for. These dudes have something really cool going, and for Nashville punk rock’s sake, I hope it continues. I’ve caught these guys live more than almost anybody, and Nate’s guitar solos still nearly melt my face off on the regular.

Sugar In The Gas Tank were a somewhat last minute addition to the NPFM, but they offered a nice change of pace with their early 2000s blink 182-esque brand of pop punk. Their catchy riffs and upbeat tempo gave me flashbacks to my younger Warped Tour days and showed me a side of Nashville punk that I hadn’t seen in years, but was glad to have present.

I’ve caught Tank Rats a few times over the years, most recently a few months back opening for the Cryptics. And man do these guys bring some damn energy! The Tank Rats brand of Nashville street punk was on full-display with this awe inspiring performance. From the start of their set on, the atmosphere picked up and our Music City party was in full-swing, thanks in large part to the absolute mayhem that these guys brought to the stage.

Stuck Lucky holds a special place in my heart. They headlined the first punk show I ever attended in Nashville, and from then on, I’ve followed along to any local show these guys are a part of. A masterful blend of ska and punk that I have trouble drawing similarities to, and, like a fine wine, these guys have only gotten better with age.

Their mastery was put on full display during their set, which involved trombonist Will Carter hopping down in the crowd and straddling a stuffed banana mid-song.

Flummox was a great representation of the sheer diversity that the Nashville punk scene encompasses. We had West Coast skate-punk well represented by Secondself, pop-punk by Amuse and SITGT, ska by Stuck Lucky, and oi! by Tank Rats. Flummox was weird, but in all the best ways, and it’s hard to pin them down to any one genre.

Breaux! was the first of two acts that I was especially excited to see for the first time. I don’t know how I had never heard of these guys, but their performance made me reminisce about seeing A Wilhelm Scream in Nashville a few years prior. Lead singer Price Cannon entertained the shit out of the steady crowd that continued to fill the market, and they were an excellent predecessor for the punk rock mastery that was to follow, A Vulture Wake.

Now we’ve reached the main event, the band that I had been dying for years to see ever since I stumbled across Chad Price’s One Week Record in 2018, A Vulture Wake. When I found out about guitarist Dan Wleklinsi’s tenure in early Rise Against, this only added to my anticipation. To put it bluntly, these dudes know how to rock and exceeded everything I had expected.

There’s not too much to be said about this type of performance other than I would recommend these guys to anybody asking for a great punk show to see. Wleklinski can shred the hell out of the guitar, and I was in awe of Chad Price’s vocals for their entire set. If anything, look at that dude’s hair; worth the price of admission in and of itself.

Attached below are any other photos I got from the show (these make up the tiny percentage that did not come out as complete garbage). Feel free to peruse at your own leisure and I hope to have many more of these galleries up in the coming months. Cheers!

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DS Photo Gallery: Dave Hause and the Mermaid, Jordyn Shellhart in Nashville, TN 8.17.22

I’ve been hooked on Dave Hause for several years now. It was Hause and Brian Fallon that both opened a whole new world of punk that I previously had no idea even existed. The folk/ Americana genre, comprised of Tim Barry, Dan Andriano, Chuck Ragan and the likes, that I have now come to love […]

I’ve been hooked on Dave Hause for several years now. It was Hause and Brian Fallon that both opened a whole new world of punk that I previously had no idea even existed. The folk/ Americana genre, comprised of Tim Barry, Dan Andriano, Chuck Ragan and the likes, that I have now come to love was completely unknown territory about 5 years ago until I made a monumental discovery. It was Fallon’s record Elsie and Hause’s single “We Could be Kings” that really pulled my heart strings and broke me into listening to anything that wasn’t hard, fast punk-rock.

The real game-changer for me was seeing Hause play the historic 95-person capacity Bluebird Cafe in 2018. Over the years, Bluebird has seen shows from notable punk greats Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift (I hope you pick up on my sarcasm here), as well as a wide plethora of other Grammy-winning artists. To my knowledge, Hause (joined briefly by Northcote) was the first punk act the grace the Bluebird’s historic stage. After a Brian Fallon performance there a couple months later (a show that still haunts me to this day for not being able to make), no other punk-rocker has played since. The raw intimacy grasped me and made me a fan for life.

This show differed in that Hause was joined by a full band rather than just his brother Tim, but the small-venue intimacy had not disappeared. This time taking place at the Basement with a rough capacity-estimate of around 100, Dave Hause and the Mermaid damn near blew the fucking roof off the place.

Nashville-native Jordyn Shellhart kicked things off and man was I impressed. She reminded me of the sheer cesspool of songwriter talent that calls Nashville home. After her performance, there seemed to be hope after all that something may come out of Nashville other than shitty pop-country and hot chicken.

So, we meet again Mr. Hause. This reunion has been long overdue but the anticipation made the performance even more worthwhile. In all honesty, when Dale Doback said “You sound like a combination of Fergie and Jesus“, he wasn’t talking about Brennan Huff; he was talking about good ol’ Dave Hause (I hope you get this reference).

In all seriousness, this had the feel of an old school punk show: the shoulder-to-shoulder audience packed into a literal basement dive-bar, running into old buddies from around town that I hadn’t seen in ages, seeing a songwriter hero of mine play 10 feet in front of me. This show was about as perfect as it gets, and only got better when fellow Nashvillian Will Hoge hopped on stage to close the set.

From a photography perspective, this was a nice challenge. Up until now I’d had little to no success shooting shows at small, dimly-lit venues, especially when my options are limited by the crowd like this one was. Overall, I’m happy with how these turned out and I’m happy to share them with whomever has made it this far through the article. As always, your time is much appreciated and help spread the word that Dying Scene is back and firing on all cylinders. Cheers!

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DS Photo Gallery: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, The Bronx, Pet Needs in Nashville, TN 7.5.22

I have a confession to make. Although I am greatly ashamed, and I’m probably going to be shunned by all of the Dying Scene faithful, I must admit that this was my first time seeing Frank Turner. I know, I know, the guy tours nonstop and frequents Nashville and the surrounding cities. Not to mention […]

I have a confession to make. Although I am greatly ashamed, and I’m probably going to be shunned by all of the Dying Scene faithful, I must admit that this was my first time seeing Frank Turner. I know, I know, the guy tours nonstop and frequents Nashville and the surrounding cities. Not to mention that I have been knowingly committing punk rock sacrilege by not having attended at least once, but, excuses aside, I finally made it. And man did it live up to all the hype.

Pet Needs, traveling from across the pond to the US for the first time, was a phenomenal opener. The Bronx reminded me why they might very well be my favorite live band. And Frank Turner was, well… Frank Turner. The dude was a true professional and was as classy and entertaining as I had heard.

Like I said, Pet Needs was enjoying their first trip to the states, and as soon as they started their set, they made me a fan. They’ve got some catchy tunes, most notably ‘Tracey Emin’s Bed’ and ‘Punk Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Up for Sale’, and guitarist George Marriott can down-right shred. In a way, they reminded me of some of the early English punk acts that made their way over to the states: the Buzzcocks, The Clash, etc. After seeing them live, I could not have thought of a better opener for the king himself.

I’ve seen The Bronx a number of times and my love for them grows with every performance. These guys are about as professional as it gets and they throw one hell of a party. What made their set even more exciting for me was when I realized former Offspring and current Against Me drummer Adam ‘Atom’ Willard was behind the kit tearing things up, all with an ear-to-ear grin for the set’s entirety.

Seeing my favorite drummer absolutely kill it was just icing on the cake. Seeing the Bronx is always a treat, but this most recent show was long overdue.

There’s not a whole lot that I could write here that would be new to anybody reading this. This was Frank Turner‘s 26th show in the last 26 days (on the road to 50 shows in 50 days – editors note: you can see our coverage of the New Jersey show here and listen to our interview with Frank from just before tour was announced here) and show number 2653.

I haven’t been at this whole concert photography thing for too long, but I’m gonna go ahead and label Frank and the rest of The Sleeping Souls as the most photogenic group in punk. It was hard to get a bad picture of these guys, and that’s saying something for a guy who takes photos that are normally 90% complete shit. Thanks to these dudes, this was the most fun I’ve had watching a show in a long time

Down below is the full gallery from all three bands. Had a lot of fun with this one and it would be much appreciated if you took the time to check these out. Until next time, Cheers!

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DS Photo Gallery: Less Than Jake, Bowling for Soup in Nashville, TN 7.25.22

If you saw my last gallery on Frank Turner, The Bronx and Pet Needs, I was quoted as saying, “[The Bronx] may very well be my favorite live band”. Well I lied … kind of. I forgot about a group of ska-loving punk rockers from Gainesville that played a pivotal role in my musical upbringing. […]

If you saw my last gallery on Frank Turner, The Bronx and Pet Needs, I was quoted as saying, “[The Bronx] may very well be my favorite live band”. Well I lied … kind of. I forgot about a group of ska-loving punk rockers from Gainesville that played a pivotal role in my musical upbringing. I’m not gonna say that the Less Than Jake dudes’ performance topped that of the LA guys in the Bronx, but I’m content having a two-way tie for first on the list of ‘Nathan’s Favorite Live Bands’.

This was a fun show. It’d been almost five years since my last LTJ show, that one being across town at the Mercy Lounge with the Red City Radio boys. This was my first encounter with Doll Skin and Cliff Diver (both of which I mentally labeled as ‘will see again’), and although I am very familiar with Bowling for Soup from my early days of investigating pop-punk, I had never caught a live show of theirs either. So other than reacquainting myself with Less Than Jake’s live set, this was an evening of firsts.

What stuck out most from Doll Skin‘s performance was the sheer chaos and havoc that lead singer Sydney Dolezal rendered during their set. The images here do little justice as an accurate portrayal of the set’s intensity. They are one of few opening bands that I’ve seen that achieve this level of crowd engagement and attentiveness, which speaks volumes about this band’s live show.

Cliff Diver was an excellent opener for the two headliners because their style was a mix of what drew fans of both headliners to the show. They had the early 2000s pop-punk sound that fans of BFS would love. On the other hand, at times they also had a more traditional ska-punk sound that those who came for LTJ could appreciate.

And one other thing … man, can Briana Wright sing!

There seemed a clear division among those attending that I somewhat alluded to earlier. You had those attending for Less Than Jake (the crowd I would lump myself in with), and those who came for Bowling for Soup, and there was not much overlap between the two groups. Between LTJ’s set and BFS’s, the crowd huddled up near the stage was an entire new set of faces.

Although BFS’s glory days may seem to be in the past, these dudes can still hold their own and there’s still a pretty large group of followers who all still have the same question: Are they bowling in order to earn soup, or on behalf of soup?

There’s not much I can write here other than if you haven’t caught the Less Than Jake guys live, you’re probably in the minority of readers of this site, and you need to see them immediately. I’ve seen bands where their stage antics are gimmicky and their humor distasteful, but what could possibly be gimmicky about a damn toilet paper cannon?

In all truthfulness, you could see the sincerity of the performance from each and every member on stage. They were all genuinely having the time of their life up there.

As always, your time and attention here are very much appreciated. Check out all these rad bands, and I’ll have more galleries up in the coming weeks. Until next time, cheers!

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Flummox

Verb:

flum·mox /ˈfləməks/

• to perplex (someone) greatly; bewilder.

Nashville, TN

Jordyn Shellhart

By the age of 16, country-pop singer Jordyn Shellhart was a published songwriter and major label recording artist with an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry under her belt. Born in Wheatland, Wyoming, and raised in Santa Rosa, California, Shellhart started writing songs at ten, but it wasn’t until she picked up the guitar three years later that she became serious about making it in the music industry. Her songs eventually found their way to Rick Barker, Taylor Swift’s former manager, and the pair began to craft a game plan for the young artist. In 2008, she inked a publishing deal with SeaGayle Music, and began balancing high school with a burgeoning music career. Shellhart released her all acoustic, bare bones debut, In a Room, the following year.