Future Islands, Elliot Root blow crowds away at Live on the Green

Photos by Meredith White / Contributing Photographer

Story by LB Rogers / Contributing Writer

Article updated on Sept. 5 at 1:05 p.m. to correct The Lone Bellow member’s name from Brandi Charlie to Kanene Donehey Pipkin. Sidelines regrets the error. 

Bahamas and The Delta Saints cracked Saturday evening open at Lightning 100’s Live on the Green with a sultry bang. Bahamas breezy melodies were a cool opener to The Delta Saints’ swanky rock sound.

Dripping in bayou influence, the Nashville locals lived up to their name and set the tone for a night full of high-energy sets.  In their prolific “Butte la Rose” off their 2015 album “Bones,” they told an eerie story of a Louisiana town being hopelessly drowned by floods and appropriately dedicated the song to the devastation in Houston.

They played several other fan favorites and even covered a Tears for Fears song before promoting their brand new record “Monte Vista” with jams like “Sun God” and “Young and Crazy.”

Feeding off the energy from The Delta Saints, the crowd roared with excitement when a deep voice came through the speakers saying, “We are The Record Company, and we play rock ‘n’ roll,” followed by a mean harmonica lick.

Not keen on wasting time, The Record Company let the music do most of the talking, astounding the audience with their extensive instrumentation and even more extensive skill level.  Lead vocalist Chris Vos alternated between an electric slide and an acoustic throughout the set, playing both on his lap while belting out lyrics to songs like “Off the Ground” and “Give it Back to You.”

Before their infectious “Don’t Let Me Get Lonely,” Vos introduced the song, saying, “If you’ve been looking for a chance to start dancing and misbehaving, this is a good time to start.” The band then directed the crowd to help keep the rhythm by clapping along with them.  The Record Company closed out their set to a rowdy standing ovation.

Perhaps earning the loudest crowd of the night, however, was the act that followed when LP, a singer-songwriter from Long Island, New York, took the stage. Her unique and quirky vocals along with her effortlessly cool swagger warranted people on shoulders and pre-made signs from fans. She opened with a dark and emotionally charged fan favorite, “Muddy Waters,” which appeared on “Orange is the New Black” just last year.

LP showed off her dynamic vocal range in her song “Strange” and delivered its positive message of self-love and acceptance with a contagious grin.  In almost every song, the beautiful melodies were both sung and whistled by the ever-talented LP.  To highlight her musical chops, she alternated from playing the guitar to playing the ukulele to killing it on the harmonica.

Just when the audience was seemingly satisfied, LP ventured into the crowd to further connect to her fans as she closed out her set with “Lost on You.”

With the same lively spirit but an entirely different vibe, The Lone Bellow followed. This dynamic Americana group filled the Green with vivacious plucking of several different stringed instruments, foot-tapping beats and a fanfare of harmonies.

The Brooklyn natives opened with electric folk tune “Deeper in the Water” off of their brand new album, “Walk Into a Storm,” which they mentioned was produced by renowned Nashville producer Dave Cobb.

The hearty vocals of lead singer Zach Williams were deeply enriched by the warm harmonies of Kanene Donehey Pipkin, feeding off of each other in songs like “Green Eyes and A Heart of Gold.”  Their harmonies paired with Williams’ magnetic stage presence had everyone on the Green feeling like they were in church, and The Lone Bellow was leading the sermon. The group closed by promoting their Nashville-made album, singing its title track “Walk Into a Storm” while Williams entered the crowd and orchestrated participation in their newest song.

Theirs was an electrifying performance, but not quite as electrifying as the synth-pop band scheduled to close out the night.

Future Islands closed Saturday night’s music with an hour-and-a-half set of old songs beloved by fans and new songs off their 2017 record “The Far Field.” Samuel T. Herring’s dynamic vocals soared from light and airy to dark and growling on popular songs like “Seasons” and “A Dream of You and Me.”  His vocal style paired with Gerrit Welmers’s programming and keyboarding, and William Cashion’s electric guitar created a modern electronic-meets-classic-rock vibe, and the crowd ate it up.

The energy on the Green was buzzing as Herring introduced each song with poetic lines of self-love and social awareness.  His heart and stage presence, along with the strobe lights and steady beat, evoked dancing and even crowd surfing.  Fans found out that they could see Future Islands again and very soon when they announced that the set kicked off their upcoming six-week tour.

The spirit on the Green Saturday night was carefully sealed with a motivational message from Herring, who said, “The world is a scary place right now, the only way we’re going to figure it out is if we keep teaching each other the truth.”

Along with events on the Main Stage, the 615 Stage kept a good crowd Saturday evening.  It featured a variety of bands with diverse styles, pleasing virtually every ear in the crowd. The Nashville-native band Cordovas penetrated the crowd with their entrancing harmonies and ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll sound in their “Louisiana Hurricane.”  They left the crowd with their heads bobbing and their hands sore from clapping.

Another Nashville band, Paper Route, followed them up. They completely changed the vibe with ease as lead vocalist JT Daly’s alternative vocals glided over the band programming onstage as to fit their synth-pop sound.  

Changing the vibe still was The Voodoo Fix, the winners of Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem contest for a spot on the Live on the Green bill.  The “Back for More” singers proved themselves worthy of the spot with their gritty blend of rock, blues and funk.

Yet another Nashville-based band closed out the night on the 615 Stage to the biggest crowd the stage had seen all night; Elliot Root’s diverse and alternative rock sound seemed to resonate with everyone, feeding the band’s energy onstage.  Everyone swayed along to Scott Krueger’s smooth vocals, gliding over popular songs like “10,000” and “June, After Dark.”  The group closed their set by thanking everyone and grinning ear to ear at the huge crowd that had amassed in front of them.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Dan Donehey
    September 5, 2017

    Thanks for the great reviews. Not sure who “Brandi Charlie” is but the female singer for The Lone Bellow is Kanene Donehey Pipkin. FYI

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