As a general rule I don’t like to review shows that I’ve worked, especially since if I’m running sound it can be a little hazy for the first two or three songs while getting the mix right. However the show I witnessed last night deserves, nay, needs to be documented in some form or another.
Greenville has a long-lasting love fest with Atlanta’s Today The Moon Tomorrow The Sun, and all of their hard work really payed off when they ended up bringing two other regional bands with them for support, instead of going the “safer” route and going with locals. Everyone involved knew that this bill would work out well, and it was a great testament to putting faith into something and seeing the payoff.
Chattanooga’s Moonlight Bride took the stage a little around 10:30, and I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. I had seen them play 3 times before (CMJ, Chicora Alley and in JJ’s in their hometown). The first two times I saw them play competent and enjoyable sets, but when I was on their turf they really surprised me. The well-demeanored band I thought I knew transformed into a different beast entirely complete with lead singer Justin Giles crowdsurfing while handling vocal duties and handing off his guitar to a fill-in for said activity. Last night wasn’t quite as crazy for them, since it was only their second time in Greenville but they definitely showed the audience why many, many other regional bands and promoters love them so.
For fans not familiar with the band, the first thing that comes to mind is a more shoe-gazey Arcade Fire, which there is not a damn thing wrong with in my book. The band definitely delivered a powerful set which won them some new fans in the area, which is great seeing as how they are one of the nicest bands I have come across in a while. Whether is was soaring and lush riffs, or pounding on spare floor toms, the band definitely made it’s presence known.
Next on the bill was Octopus Jones from Myrtle Beach, who are in the same boat as Moonlight Bride about slowly winning new fans in the area. I’m proud to say that last night may have been the night they broke through in Greenville finally. The band sounded as powerful as I’ve ever seen them live without sacrificing any of their signature danceability, and there was definitely their fair share of dancers in the front. One of the set’s highlights (or lowlights if you are in the band) was somehow the bass drum mic working it’s way into the bass drum with enough frequency or velocity to actually puncture it, rendering it useless by the end of the set. Octopus Jones really seem to be blowing up lately, and I’m glad we’re all getting on board with them. And speaking of blowing up…
Up next was Atlanta’s TTMTTS, and I really can’t say anything about them that hasn’t been said before, so I’m not even going to try to do them justice. I’ll just say that in a conversation earlier in the week about regional musicians who should be blowing up nationally, I told someone I was in the “if TTMTTS don’t get big there is no God” category to which she said “I think we’re ALL in that category”. I had just seen the band in Columbia a few weeks prior, and knew I was in for something special after that set, so it was good to see them back on my home-court.
The cool thing about seeing the band live so many times is seeing their set-list evolve. I remember when W I L D F I R E came out, the band would lead off with the title track and now I’ve seen it work it’s way into the middle of the set and seen “Oh Black Gold” work it’s way further and further back as well. Their crowd here has become so endeared with the band that if you had been drugged and dropped someone in the middle of the show, there would be no way for them of them knowing that it was a random Thursday night at 1am when the band began their set.
Despite guitarist Cregg Gibson’s technical difficulties (it’s funny how sometimes you never really appreciate somethings until they’re missing from the mix) the band performed like the tried and true road warriors they are. About mid-set the band slowed down the tempo a bit so drummer Jeremy could rest his hand, as he has been playing on a sprained tendon and has the brace to prove it. Even though I love to “dance” as much as the next fan to their signature fuzzed out, synth driven sound, the slower song did provide a nice mid-set breather.
Some of the set highlights included the Moonlight Bride’s merch guy being hoisted overhead to crowd-surf, and the band playing a new song for the crowd. Which from the crowd’s reaction, you couldn’t tell at all. But perhaps my favorite part of the night was when the band was being cheered on for an encore, Cregg Gibson taking the mic and telling the crowd they wouldn’t play more until he saw someone buy a piece of merch from both of the other bands. That truly speaks volumes of the love and comradery between all the acts on the bill more than anything I could ever dream of. My only critique of the set was their lack of inclusion of their song “kairos” (which I probably vocalized to Lauren a little more inebriated than I would have liked), but it was in order to play a song for another fan who’s birthday it was, so I guess I can forgive them THIS time haha. My apologies to the band for not having snapped a pic of them as well, but it was simply too crowded to get one worth posting, which is a good thing!
Like I said originally, I’m not a big fan of reviewing shows I’m working, but I felt it needed to be done as everyone in attendance knew they had all left and seen something special. For those lucky enough to be reading in Myrtle Beach the same line-up will be playing at Stool Pigeons tonight with our good friends The Winter Sounds, and then they’ll beheading down to Savannah to play the No Control festival held by our other good friends in CUSSES the next day.
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