Friday, October 19th, 2012
Stevie Stone, Zombie Spaide Ripper, P.R.E.A.C.H.
Nashville Center Stage
It's always great to hear that Strange Music is making it's way back to Nashville, so when Stevie Stone announced a show in Nashville, I certainly wanted to get out and show my support for him. After having seen him at the Nashville Hostile Takeover stop back in July, I knew that the show was gonna be great, and I'm always up for hanging out with my fam. The venue was one that I had never been to, so I was also excited to check out this new-to-me venue.
I arrived at the venue a little after 9:00pm, since that was when the doors were supposed to open. I'd gotten in touch with Stevie on Twitter a couple of days in advance and offered him some Faygo cupcakes, and he'd agreed! The security guards initially gave me some hassle since I hadn't bought a VIP pass, but eventually the promoter for the show came outside and let me in so I could deliver them.
Stevie was there doing a sound check, and he immediately came down to greet me. He gave me a big hug and was so friendly and happy to get the cupcakes! haha He also briefly mentioned that Prozak and his crew had shared some of the ones I'd brought to them back in July, which was so awesome! He also ended up taking a photo of the cupcakes and tweeting it, just like Prozak had :-) On my way out, he gave me another big hug and thank you, then went back to continue with the sound check. Boy, Strange really has some nice gentlemen working for them :-)
Me and Stevie with the cupcakes
I got a wristband on the way out, and took my big tote bag back to the carn. When I got back, they were only letting in people who had purchased the VIP passes, and were allowing them to have some time inside before the doors opened for general admission. So I passed the time by chatting with the people around me in line. When I got up to the security check and they looked in my purse, they made me take out my pill bottle and pour it out. It was clearly only filled with Advil, Tylenol, Aleve and some cough pills, but they wouldn't let me bring it in! So I had to walk it all the way back to my car (which was parked across the street at the Cannery Ballroom...probably a quarter mile walk). When I got back, I had to wait in the security line but eventually I was able to go inside. For the moment, the party seemed to be on the outdoor smoking patio, so I met up with a bunch of my homies and we hung around there until the show started.
Honestly, so many people came and went across the stage through the course of the night that I wasn't able to catch everyone's names. Some went on when I was outside, and others I just never heard them say their name. But I did my best to get photos of everyone, and I ended up catching at least a little of each set.
The first guy (whose name I didn't catch), was pretty entertaining, and really loved that the crowd was having so much fun. At one point, he said "This shit's like a T-Bone to a dog, and I'm loving every inch of this steak" haha.
The next group to play was locals Monster Squad (AKA Project Assassins). They're a very entertaining group, and have opened for ABK in the past when he's been through town.
Next up was Yung Staxxx, who is also a local performer. This was the first time I'd seen him, and he did a great job. Toward the end of his set, he called P.R.E.A.C.H. up on stage to do a song with him, which was great. P.R.E.A.C.H. gets a lot of love in Nashville, so that song brought in a lot of people from the patio to take the set out with a bang. Afterward, I mainly hung around the patio for a while, so I missed the next couple of acts.
When it was time for P.R.E.A.C.H.'s set, almost the whole patio emptied and came back inside to watch. I've seen P.R.E.A.C.H. twice before...once opening for ABK, and most recently opening for the Hostile Takeover show...and he's been fantastic both times. This time was certainly no exception, and he wowed the crowd with his quick, powerful rhymes.
P.R.E.A.C.H. has such expressive eyes, and you can really tell when he's angry, or happy, or intense. He did a great job of pulling everyone in and getting them hyped for the rest of the show. Here's hoping that we'll see bigger things out of P.R.E.A.C.H. in the future.
So there we all were...venue full, everyone hyped for a great show, ready for Stevie Stone. Then, this random dude came onstage.
He sounded awful, and everyone just kind of looked at each other wondering if he was serious or a joke. But he proceeded to sing three whole songs, so apparently it wasn't a joke. He threw out a few t-shirts, the first of which I almost caught, but the guy next to me ended up getting it. Well, once the guy threw out another t-shirt and the same guy caught it, he gave it to me. I was excited because I thought maybe it was a Strange shirt or something, but it was just a shirt from that dude's label. He also started to throw some CDs into the crowd, but people actually dodged them instead of trying to catch them hahaha There was also one other random dude who performed after that guy, whose name I didn't catch.
I was camped out up front at this point, and it was already after 1:30am. Some of the people I'd been hanging out with had left since they had to work the next morning, but I was going to tough it out. The next act was Zombie Spaide Ripper, who had two guys with him who all came out in silver masks to start their set. They ended up being very entertaining, with very choreographed and almost robotic synchronized movements. They also made good use of lighting to make things seem more dramatic about their performance.
They were pretty entertaining, but given how late it was getting, I was just ready for some Stevie Stone!
By about quarter til 2:00am, it was finally time for the main event. Unfortunately for Stevie, the venue had emptied out quite a bit due to the show being so late, but the people that were there were excited and ready for a good show. When he was finally announced, he came onstage with lots of flashing lights and a large puff of artificial smoke filling the stage...a much grander entrance than most people I've seen recently! He started off the set with his newest single "Momentum," which was high energy and had him dancing all over the stage!
After that, he went directly into 808 Bendin', which is another great song, which made the crowd go wild. I love the way he moves and jumps around the stage during 808 Bendin'...that was one of the main things that drew my attention to him during the Hostile Takeover show I went to. The way that he moves and the stage presence that he has makes him very unique in my option, and very entertaining. Later in the set came Get Buck, where you could feel him feeding off the energy of the crowd, and it showed in the performance.
Toward the end, he grabbed a stool and sat down, bringing the energy down briefly for My Remedy, and sang with his eyes closed through most of the beginning of the song.
At the end of the set, he bid the crowd a farewell, but fairly quickly came out to his merch booth to greet people. I hung around with some friends, and once the crowd cleared a bit, we all got him to sign some posters for us. He was very friendly with everyone, and seemed genuinely glad that we'd all had a great time. And then at the lovely time of ten minutes til 3:00am, we all made our way out of the venue and headed for home.
Look who swiped a Zombie Spaide Ripper sign!
I had a blast at this show, and was glad to see that Nashville has another great venue that's open to this type of show. It was nice to see a good mix of local artists as well as nationally touring acts. The crowd that he drew was very diverse, and everyone seemed to have a great time. I guess that's what happens when you're STRANGE!