This past summer ,I went to a show in Nashville with my best friend, Marissa. Before I get started on the show, I need to tell you the backstory on how I got to go. Marissa and I met our first day of college in our first class at MTSU (8am Survey of the Recording Industry. Great class & professor!) We both bonded over the fact that it was early in the morning & we got there a lot earlier than we needed to just to get closer parking. Marissa & I started talking some & then by the beginning of the spring 2018 semester, we both got placed on our organization's core team. That's when we started spending more time together & started realizing, "Hey, you're kinda sort of really cool to hang out with!" (Okay, well I thought that. She may still be trying to convince herself that I'm cool though!). Between classes and the core team, Marissa & I became really good friends. By the end of the semester, I was really sad that I wasn't going toe seeing her almost every day of the week! But, she was staying in town over the summer, so we did hang out some anyways.
In July, I got a text from Marissa asking if I had heard of a band called Knox Hamilton (I hadn't). She told me that she had gotten tickets to their show at the Basement East & asked if I was interested in going with her. If you know anything about me, you know that I’m not a super spontaneous person. The extent of my “spontaneanism” is picking up my sister from school & deciding to go get ice cream last minute or buying a bunch of stuff without knowing I need it (or without needing it at all) in the Target dollar section. The point is, I’m not the most spontaneous person you’ll ever meet. But something told me to go to the show with her, so I said yes. I was ready to experience something new & get out of my comfort zone (going to shows that I had planned in advance with artists that I’ve listened to a lot), something that I’ve been trying to do a lot more of lately.
So day of the show comes. Marissa & I went to Nashville & of course, me being me, we went around the street near Basement East & took some photos at murals on the same street (they turned out cute too!). We tried going to Five Points Pizza, but ended up missing them calling our name because we walked away a little (okay, a LOT) too far from the restaurant. We got to the venue & they were still soundchecking (after doors opened, which was odd, but also cool to see a soundcheck in action). It was pretty slow to begin with, just because sound check wasn’t over yet, but that meant that we had more time to talk to the people around us (which was great because I love talking!). Then the show started. Four acts playing, four acts that I’d never heard of before. It was all brand new.
Alex Di Leo was the first act to come up. Him & his band started playing & it was such an energetic sound! Their energy on stage got the audience pumped for the rest of the show. My favorite part of their set was when they brought floor tom drums to the front of the stage & finished a song by beating the drums to the end of the song. When moments like that happen in a show, I get reminded why I keep going to concerts: to get an EXPERIENCE.
After that, ELEL came out. They’re a Nashville-based band, so there were a lot of locals there to see them play. Y’all- this band is CRAZY cool. They have an eclectic style & unique approach to crowd engagement. Literally, the lead singer of the band started to do a half chicken dance thing on stage. I had never heard anyone with a style like theirs- refreshing and new.
The next person to perform was Brother Sundance. Everyone was VERY excited to see him perform, so Marissa & I were excited to see what all of the hype for him was about. However, when he came out, I was very disappointed. I can appreciate any artist because I know how hard it is to be one & the pressure that it can carry, but when I can tell that the artist has an ego, it makes me think of them differently. This artist is my age, so I thought it was really cool that he was getting somewhere with his career already, but I was not impressed with the performance himself. To me, he seemed like a hybrid between a wannabe Jesse McCartney & Eminem- two things which I would NEVER put together. I can see why other people enjoyed the set though, so I just stood there & head bopped my way through the set.
Knox Hamilton was the headliner, so they closed the show. To me, they had a very beach-y sound & it was both cool & captivating! We ended up leaving the show a few songs before the end of the set because I had work early the next morning & it was almost midnight, but overall it was a thrilling experience.
This show was something that I didn’t know I needed to go to at the time. At first, I was hesitant to say I could go. However, once I got there, I was SO glad I went. I discovered new music & met people that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to had I not gone. My best friend teaches me to not overthink everything & to just let go sometimes. We balance each other out (which is why I think we work so great together!). This show is an example of that. I felt like I wasn’t bound to any commitments or anything that night besides having fun (which is something that rarely happens because I’m convinced that a hamster runs my brain & there are a million things going on at once. That hamster? He’s just trying not to fall off of his wheel). I felt like a cool college kid on July 13, 2018, which is rare because most of the time, I just feel like a normal person (I don’t go to parties or do much stuff that “normal” college kids do. I stay at home & bake instead). I was listening to a podcast by Alisha Marie & Remi Cruz called Pretty Basic & they were talking about how a concert can free you up from anything in your life. You can discover new things about both the music & yourself just from a show. I was talking to Christian Carcamo, a member of Alex Di Leo’s band, & he said that to him, the show was “Inspiring given to the fact that nobody really knew about us, but halfway through the show people were so into it. Nashville is electric...we are really thankful for the Knox guys bringing us along for that tour, it was really something special.” To him & the rest of Alex Di Leo’s band, that show was the start of a tour, it helped them find new fans, & it gave them a new experience & memory. To me, it was a late night & early next morning that gave me an excited mind/heart to say “Yes!” more often.
LINKS TO THE ARTISTS: