September 14th started Tidball’s bi-annual Live on the Lot show. Tidball’s, a bar in downtown Bowling Green, Kentucky, has been hosting Live on the Lot since 2006, when it was originally named “Rock ‘n’ Roll Weekend.” There aren’t any sponsors for the show, but Tidball’s gave credit to their partners, Yellowberri, New Belgium Brewing, Ingen, Henderson Beverage, Papa John’s, Shoguns, and Pop’s Street Eats (who catered), for the event. The three day show acts as a small scale music festival for local bands to showcase their talents. Tidball’s picks out the bands that will get to perform, choosing a handful of local artists along with a couple of regional musicians. It’s great that Tidball’s offers newer bands the opportunity to get out there in something like a festival setting. On top of giving bands a place to start a fan-base, the show follows a week after Tidball’s hosted a show to raise money for victims of Hurricane Harvey. The second and third nights also included Alex’s Lemonade Stand, whose profits benefited a friend of John Tidball, who is fighting Leukemia. Everything Tidball’s offers to Bowling Green stands well with me. The first day’s show would feature one band, Morning Teleportation. Day two includes Aluxes, Menagerie, Floralorix, Peter the Freshman, Audiodacity, Waco Bell, and The Josephines. Finally, the last day would have Lazy Sunday, Plastic Friends, The Savage Radley, Dead Broke Barons, Black Bloods, Heron and Crane, and The Black Shades.
The first day acted as a kick-off for the rest of the weekend. For this show, Glacial Pace Recordings’ Morning Teleportation performed the start of not only Live on the Lot, but the promotional tour for their second album release, “Salivating For Symbiosis.” They are a very entertaining band to watch, even putting on a playful show for their sound-check. After a short wait to make sure everyone made it to the show, Morning Teleportation had no issues pulling the crowd to the stage. They started with a song off of their first album, “Expanding Anyway.” I’d call their sound a mix of psychedelic, with Travis Goodwin’s use of his keyboards’ galactic and nature based settings, and a prog-rock type of sound in all other aspects. They were joined by Troy Mimms, a member of FatBox, who played on a percussion stand, providing a unique addition of congas, bongos and chimes for the entire show. After a few intro songs, Matthan Minster of Cage the Elephant joined as a vocalist and guitarist. The entire group was very entertaining to watch with their high energy and large performance. Not a single member left you feeling bored. It’s incredible to me that a band with two albums so far can play at a venue for well over two hours straight. There was even a point where they had worn some of their fans out before they were close to done. Overall, they made for a fantastic kick-off and I was certain, a tough act to follow. “Expanding Anyway” and “Salivating For Symbiosis” can both be found here and here.
Day 2 started with Aluxes, a post-hardcore group of five, local to Bowling Green. The band recently released their first EP and played a few songs off of the album for Live on the Lot. They include their starting song, and my personal favorite, “Snowbird,” “Blooregard Q. Kazoo,” “Oh Baby, Explain Inertia to Me,” “Marble Hornets,” and “Little Man.” They also played “Could Be” and “Doctor DiMaggio,” songs separate from their EP. With no intention of discrediting anyone, they were a good band that may have been better received if their set had started a bit later on in the night when more people would be present. Start time aside, I enjoyed the show they put on and was happy to get a copy of their album. You can check out Aluxes with their music video for “Marble Hornets” on YouTube, and their EP on Spotify soon.
Another Bowling Green local group, Menagerie, followed Aluxes on the outdoor stage. They describe their sound as a mix of Americana, classic rock and folk rock. Their set was a very mellow/feel-good/rock mix of songs off of their EP of the same name and a couple other originals. A sound-check started them off using “Everything As It Should Be.” Their overall sound changed song to song and it kept them unpredictable and proved their range of talents as musicians. Their next song “Idle Hands” would be good for easy listening, but an upbeat almost rockabilly “Empty House” had show-goers dancing right after. The favorite was definitely “Jammer.” It’s classic rock sound provided the highest energy of the set and the audience, including myself, loved it. “Menagerie” and other live recordings can be found here.
A noise complaint from a neighboring business forced the originally outdoor set of the next band indoors. Floralorix are a reggae rock duo from Nashville, Tennessee. Up until Floralorix, we had only heard traditional variations of rock for Live on the Lot, so the reggae rock mix provided an unexpected change of pace to anyone who hadn’t heard their name before. “Am The One” immediately greeted listeners with the unmistakable reggae sound from Matt Daughtry’s guitar technique. But Samantha Joelle’s bass and hired drummer Chris Ross’ additions gave an extra rock sound that set Floralorix apart from other reggae groups. They gave each song multiple tempos that made the set entertaining to listen to and kept each song in your head several days later. I promise. “Rubbadub” is still playing in my head, even now. Floralorix‘s EP “Bloombox” can be found on Spotify and Bandcamp.
A cover band out of Bowling Green followed Floralorix. Peter the Freshman covers rock songs from the 90’s. They opened with Eve 6’s “Inside Out” and continued with songs by No Doubt, Rammstein, Deadeye Dick, Depeche Mode, The Cardigans, Blind Melon, Garbage, and The Cranberries. My favorite from the group has to be “Du Hast.” Their vocalist and lead guitarist, Josh Hines, kept to the original very well. While that may have been my favorite, I’d say the crowd favorite was the group’s original rock medley, no contest. The song featured parts from “Everybody,” “Gonna Make You Sweat,” “Bye, Bye, Bye,” “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” “Wanna Be,” “Just A Friend,” and “Baby Got Back.” The song gave every member a moment in the spotlight, with female fronted songs being covered by their vocalist Jessica Kinser, most of the male fronted songs by Josh Hines, and the last two sang by the bassist, Seth Wilson. The fact they took requests definitely helped add to their appeal in the show. The medley was requested by Tidball’s ahead of time, and “It’s No Good” by a fan in the crowd. Some covers can be found on YouTube or their Facebook page, here.
Audiodacity proved to be one of the most unique groups I would see at the whole event. Immediately they stood out as each member was dressed in a semi formal look where everyone else had a casual rocker look. Even in the first song, they held their unique essence. Their opening song, “Infinite,” made it difficult to pinpoint exactly what genre the group would fall under. As did each of the eight songs following. They used trumpets, a saxophone, and split lead vocals between one of the trumpeters, Ben Jarvis, and the drummer, Adam Woodgett. Their genre seemed to be a mix of jazz, funk, pop rock, hip hop, classic rock, and rap, if you can imagine such a thing. Everything about this group stood out, from their look, their sound, their technique, their energy, their large theatrical show, and their bringing together of several genres into one nearly impossible-to-set rock sound. I’d say a favorite moment was in their very last song, “Hooked,” where Ben explained to those who didn’t already know, they were about to leave us ‘hooked.’ Ben then proceeded to rap a lot quicker than I would’ve expected from appearances, then Adam took over a verse at an equally impressive speed. The audience was pumped by the end and I think every person there was amazed with the group. If you’d like to give figuring out Audiodacity‘s genre a go, you can find their album “On A Roll” here or here.
Waco Bell were the first exclusively hip-hop group to play at Live on the Lot, but this clearly wasn’t their first rodeo. Within a quick sound check, the audience rushed in, sure to not miss anything. Waco Bell were definitely one of the more well known groups, where you could see the audience mouthing the words along to frontman Reuben Bynes. You could even spot the vocalists of Audiodacity in the crowd not hiding their impressed reactions. I think the best reactions came from their song “Type of Way.” It was quick to learn if you hadn’t heard it before so you could join everyone else singing along. I found Scott Gardner’s (plays keyboard) use of a sampler pad gave them an onstage advantage where you’d find mostly laptops in its place. I was impressed with Waco Bell and if you want to be as well you can find them on Spotify here and Bandcamp here.
Bowling Green locals The Josephines wrapped up Friday night’s show with an intense alternative country set. The Josephines took over what was originally Mona‘s time slot, but the replacement didn’t prove to be a lesser band. Every song was played with no shortage of energy, and each member put on a show individually. From a fast paced opening “Coal Mine Gone,” to their debut of a new song, “Boxes,” no moment from this band left the audience bored or wanting. Even to the extent of fans begging for an encore that, due to time constraints, we didn’t get this time. This may be the only group deemed country I’d love to see again- no offense to fans of country, it’s simply not my thing. I’d have to pick “Trucker Song” as a favorite from the set; I loved its lyrics, beat, and overall sound. Unfortunately, The Josephines‘ music isn’t available yet, except for “Coal Mine Gone” and a promo video for “Fireball” on YouTube. But I can promise when their music is available, I’ll be all too happy to find it.
Lazy Sunday introduced the third and final day with a short set of alternative rock/funk originals. They are a group of four from Louisville that, similarly to Aluxes, may not have gotten the audience they proved to have deserved. Most of their set was a mix of rock, a mellow, feel good kind of sound, and a cover of Tupac’s “Thugz Mansion,” contrary to the rest of their sound. Although I will admit, despite their very separate genres, it was covered pretty well. Two songs stick out the most to me, “One Wet Sock,” and “Nataraja.” “One Wet Sock” is a single off of Lazy Sunday‘s album of the same name. It’s another track that gets stuck in your head really easily. “Nataraja” was the last song of their set and lost the mellow sound to rocking out. It was a great way to end their set, going out with a bang. If you’d like to hear what they’ve got, you can listen to “One Wet Sock” or their EP “Middleman” on Spotify.
Plastic Friends are an alternative rock group from both Nashville and Bowling Green. The group gathered attention quickly with very catching rock intros and a good beat. A nine track set featured mostly songs off of their full length album, “Information,” which can be found on Spotify and iTunes. Plastic Friends appear to have already found their sound, playing in such a way that if you knew of them, you’d be able to name their songs. I find that a lot of bands that are still at the local level haven’t necessarily achieved that feat. The songs alternated between punk and rock, but they were each the works of Plastic Friends, and I expect we’ll see more from them.
Slough Water Records’ The Savage Radley were initially a group of two from Murray, Kentucky, but for Live on the Lot, played as a group of four. They are a female fronted delta/folk band that held the attention of the outdoor audience for a rocking and upbeat yet mellow eleven tracks. My favorite was a track available on Spotify, “Gone.”The vocals in the song are reminiscent of Florence Welch along with the folk rock instrumentals that made it a great song. When asked where we could hear the rest of their music, The Savage Radley said that their music could be found on their personal site, here.
HomeGrown’s Dead Broke Barons wrapped up the outdoor portion of Live on the Lot. They were entertaining on a comedic and musical field during their sound check. Plugging in their instruments but not having them set up, along with jokes of being a vocalist and haunted house cast member left the audience in higher spirits before the rock bluegrass trio began their set. They used instruments unique to this show, a mandolin, stand up bass, and a harmonica in addition to their acoustic and banjo. They advertise to bring the best of string music wherever they go. Songs like “Railman,” “Johnson Family Massacre” and “Johnny Gunslinger” kept their promise. I loved how interactive these guys were with their audience. Dead Broke Barons were a great group to end the outdoor portion of Live on the Lot. Their songs can be found here.
Black Bloods were the first indoor group for the last day of the show. They wasted no time filling the venue with their high energy. The first line of their introductory “Strange” caught the attention of every member in the audience, between its lyrics and the volume and power used to project it. Their first five songs were played as an alternative rock three piece group, with their sixth and crowd favorite, “Goodbye Neighbor” used as an opportunity to introduce their newest guitarist, Jordan Hunter. Their entire set was full of enthusiasm and the group would not allow any less from their audience, asking how we were and accepting no less than energetic cheering. Black Bloods are still Bowling Green local, but their charisma, energy, and overall theatric behavior tell me they’re ready for much larger shows. Their music isn’t available yet, but they promise an EP to be released within the next couple of weeks.
Heron and Crane followed Black Bloods with no less enthusiasm. Before the set even began, the audience felt a good sense of amusement from Menagerie‘s shared vocalist Collin Hancock’s wardrobe choice- a very shiny golden jacket that demanded your attention. It made the perfect segue into the group’s rock track “Golden.” A rhythmic track “Vagabond”showed the strength of bassist David Stites and drummer Riley Finwood as a team and had the audience out of their seats and dancing. The last night of Live on the Lot shared the date with one of the member’s sister’s birthday, and became the opportunity to sing a mix of Happy Birthday and a song off of their EP (Drat) called “Red and Blue.” The group also informed us that a new album is in the works after their highest energy final song, “Back and Forth.” Heron and Crane can be found on Bandcamp.
The Black Shades came back from a four year hiatus to end 2017’s Live on the Lot. Frontman Chuck Falcon broke the quiet of set-up joking that several people had called him “Fred” that day. (Check the gallery to see why.) Their set pulled tracks from their two EPs “Told Ya So” (2012) and “Army of Infants” (2013) along with their full length “We Are The Black Shades” from 2010. They identify as an indie/garage band trio, but I’d add Americana, given their introductory pop punk/rockabilly based “I Got You.” Every one of the nine tracks they followed with was upbeat and kept the audience out of their seats. “I Picked A Fruit (Psychopath) was my favorite from an amused standpoint, given its name and lyrics “She’s crazy, and did I mention not right?” I loved the show The Black Shades put on, from playing guitar behind their head, to jumping around a very limited stage and wailing on guitar sprawled on the ground. It was the best way to close Live on the Lot, though I wish we had gotten a longer set than ten songs. The last day ended significantly earlier than the two previous. But if you’d like to hear The Black Shades, you can find them here.
Tidball’s and Bowling Green’s local talent put on an amazing festival. I wasn’t sure they’d be able to hold up to the kick-off show put on by Morning Teleportation. But every band featured gave their all to prove their selves, and it was an amazing weekend for it. A huge thanks to Tidball’s for the opportunity they give to local bands, and to each band involved for showing us what Bowling Green’s got.
See other pictures from Live on the Lot 2017 below!