Continuing the 10th anniversary celebration of one of their more diverse albums, ‘Division,’ Knoxville rockers 10 Years stopped by their second TN home in Nashville to treat fans to some songs that haven’t been heard live in a long time and some for the first time. Helping whet the appetites of the growing crowd at The Cowan were local boys Sleep for the Weary, Lafayette, LA originated but now Nashville based The Other LA, and Chattanooga/Nashville alt rockers EMERGE. All three of these bands served as a crucial reminder to never sleep on the opening bands. Get to shows early, you never know when you’ll discover your new favorite band!
Sleep for the Weary wasted no time warming up the crowd with their straight forward, driving rock song “Golden Towers.” Much like the rest of the openers on this bill, Sleep for the Weary had this very polished sound and stage presence that made them the perfect choice to open this alt rock showcase. As a sucker for a good cover song, my personal favorite from them had to be Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You,” (yes, that song from Reservoir Dogs). With heavy feedback driven guitars and this brooding, building ambiance that hits a crescendo mid song, their version would definitely feel right at home in a David Fincher movie. Fans of Chevelle should do themselves a favor and check out Sleep for the Weary. Look them up on all of your preferred social media sites and find their music on most streaming apps.
The Other LA were up next and took the energy in the room up a level with their pop-tinged flavor of rock. Sounding very much like a perfect blend of their Facebook listed influences, Evanescence, Flyleaf and Paramore among many others, The Other LA had one distinct thing that set them apart from those influences and the bands they shared the stage with that night . . . lead singer Aria Fowler’s soaring five octave range vocals. Backed by the beefy riffs and biceps of Gerardo Prudhomme on guitar, the rumble of bassist Mckenzie Lee and what appeared to be Animal from the Muppets or possibly an octopus on drums (Johannes Greer is a beast on the skins!), Aria’s angsty, yet angelic delivery really shined on their latest single “Speak Soft.” The Other LA really seem poised to take that next step in their young career and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them as support on a major nationwide tour in the near future. Check out The Other LA on all social media and their latest single on Spotify.
Rounding out the openers were Nashville based rockers EMERGE. Speeding up the pace and thickening up the riffs, EMERGE brought the heavy. Led by the dual guitar assault of Jared Jones and Coty Green and double bass drumming of Jeff Jones, they were a force to be reckoned with. Blending elements of Sevendust, Alter Bridge, Staind and other prominent alt metal heavyweights, EMERGE blazed through a crushing and melodic nine song setlist that included some new tunes set to be released this spring, one of which, “Watch Me Bleed”, can now be heard streaming on all major platforms. Not to be outdone by Sleep for the Weary, EMERGE also busted out a cover tune by paying homage to noted influence Sevendust via their song “Praise.” Much to the surprise of everyone, including the band, Gerardo from The Other LA emerged (get it?) from backstage to play the part of Morgan Rose and Clint Lowery on the backup screams. EMERGE recently wrapped up in the studio, prepping an April 12th release of new material, and they just announced an album release show at Songbirds South in Chattanooga, TN. In the meantime, tune into their Facebook and Instagram accounts for updates.
Lead singer Jesse Hasek, founding members and guitar players Brian Vodinh and Matt Wantland, bassist Chad Grennor and new drummer Luke Narey, collectively a little band from Knoxville, TN called 10 Years, finally took the stage to celebrate and perform one of their most well-loved albums, ‘Division.’ Thanks to the devotion of a fan base not unlike that of the Grateful Dead (well, maybe slightly less patchouli), a 10 Years show is more like a family reunion than a concert. Familiar, smiling faces lined the barricade ready to lead Jesse astray on a verse or two. Jesse, clad in his white jacket and tie, and the boys launched right into “Actions & Motives” and methodically made their way through the entire ‘Division’ album song by song, including fan favorite “Beautiful” and both “Planets” and “Planets II” which until Jan. 19th in Atlanta had never been played live (if the internet is to be believed). Following “Russian Roulette,” Jesse jokingly took the chance to apologize for screaming directly into someone’s mouth and the resulting spit transfer. As the set moved along, one of the highlights for me had to be the emotional sing-a-long during “So Long, Goodbye,” when the band, under smoke filled spotlights, stopped playing and Brian thumped his acoustic guitar to keep the time. A 10 Years show is never known to end on a somber note, so after wrapping up “Proud of You,” the last track off ‘Division,’ the band stuck around to energize the crowd with four more fan favorites, “Fix Me,” “Wasteland,” “Shoot it Out,” and “Novacaine.” As per usual, the gracious band made themselves available to fans after the show for quick chats, selfies and hugs.
10 Years are currently sailing the open waters with several of their rock brethren aboard the Carnival Valor for Shiprocked 2019, after which they take their Division 10th Anniversary Tour onto some more southern and Midwestern dates through early February and the end of March.