Obligatory Heather Byrd picture by Sean L. Maloney
Damn, Next Big Nashville, you really kicked my ass. Hell, it's Tuesday and I called it quits somewhere around 4 on Sunday morning. I didn’t have any official capacity this year—no shows to promote, no bands to wrangle—yet it seems like I’m even more worn out than I was last year. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only part of my body that realized I wasn’t 18 anymore was my liver and it didn’t speak up until it was too late. Four days of showcase-core boozin’ and extraneous, lunatic behavior on top of my normal work week, regular responsibilities and general, lunatic behavior really took a toll on me—and I loved every second of it.* I’m definitely using my vacation days and stocking up on BC powders next year. It's just too cool of an event to be sullied by cubicles and hangovers.
Jason and Ethan, you guys really pulled it off this year and while there might have been a few snags along the way, you are definitely on the path to creating a world-class event. The scope of this year’s festival grand and awe inspiring—your attempt to fill the genre gaps from last year was admirable and the excitement among the festival goers was palpable. Even though it won’t show up in your ledger when you get around to balancing the books, your greatest success was rallying a clique-ridden city to unite in the name of all that is good, right and true about humanity—namely, booze and music. You also impressed the out-of-towners, of which there were many, all of them enthusiastic.
Admittedly I probably spent more time on the shuttle bus than at any one club or neighborhood, due in part to my overwhelming jones for some decent public transport in this town and the fact that I’m a credit-card-losing knucklehead, but I think that helped me get a good idea of who was at the festival and what they were thinking. Based on my rather unscientific research it seems like everybody was having a good time and nobody had ever heard of Lot 7 (or went there this weekend from what I heard). There were lots of repeat attendees, lots of new people and pretty much everyone is looking forward to NBN ’09. Also, it seems like the “Goldberg Bat Mitzvah,” appropriately themed Rock Out Rachel!, was quite the spectacle, even though it totally threw Features fans into a capri-wearing panic. Oy Vey—the nerve of some people!
As for the music, I’d say everything I saw was good to great to downright awesome, the latter adjective being reserved for Egon on Friday and the Jensen Kase set on Saturday. I caught few singer-songwriters (or “First Name Last Names” as Gold calls ‘em) that were pleasant if not terribly distinguishable from each other and a few indie rock bands that had potential but blurred together after too many late nights and puking on my notepad. Tiger! Tiger!, Kindergarten Circus and Howlies definitely top my list for rock acts and the Dynamites proved once again why they’re one of my favorite bands here in town with another razor-sharp set of hip-swinging soul.
All in all, a fantastic weekend filled with old friends, new friends, plenty of booze and lots of rad music—if every weekend was this fun I’d be a dead man by now.
*Momentary lapses of coolness on the shuttle bus not withstanding. See this week’s Scene for details or ask Zac from All We Seabees. He was there for the carnage.