Recap : NBN presents SOUNDLAND

MOKB Presents co-Captain, Josh Baker had a chance to attend a couple days of Next Big Nashville’s SOUNDLAND Music Festival last week/end. He fired back some random thoughts on what he saw while he was there. You can see a whole mess of photographs from the festival here.

Heading into Nashville’s Soundland Festival, expectations were low and hopes were high. Soundland organizers are on to something with a new emphasis on quality over quantity. We were seldom torn between two competing shows, all of the venues were close and easy to navigate, PLUS every band we saw was nothing short of inspiring. This new group of young, energetic Nashville creators are breathing substantial live back into the burgeoning rock (read: non-country) scene in Nashville.

My Quick Highlights…

Tiger High
1. Tiger High
We took a flyer on Friday night, not really knowing any of the bands, and went to hang with our good friend Grimey at The Basement. Tiger High took the stage and instantly blew us away. By the end of their 30 minute power set, the parking lot swooned with label reps and media folks wanting to know what the hell just happened. The band is from Memphis, TN and after further investigation, I found that this was only their 6th show ever. I can tell you, this band is going to be on an MOKB Presents show in Indy really soon. Tiger High gets our pick as the best band at the festival.

2. Alabama Shakes
Third Man Records was about to explode when Alabama Shakes took the stage. Not sure what to say here other than it was pretty epic. Soul-infused but very garage. There were A LOT of labels there to see them- was like a feeding frenzy.

MP3 : Alabama Shakes – You Ain’t Alone

Alabama Shakes live at Pegasus Records

3. Andrew Combs
We fell in love with Andrew when he opened our Levi Lowrey in Indianapolis last winter, but seeing him with a full band (backed by Caitlin Rose’s band) was something special. Whiskey-drenched, heartfelt folk twang that will make your momma cry.

MP3 : Andrew Combs – The Dark End Of The Street (James Carr cover)

4. Caitin Rose
Caitlin’s show had The Basement bursting at the seams. Literally, you could not move. She focused on new material from her forthcoming record on ATO. She has this Drew Berrymore esque cute and beliveable quality makes every song just that much more believable. She is heading out on the road with Hayes Carrl this fall.

MP3 : Caitlin Rose – Shanghai Cigarettes (live on

5. Foster The People
Delivered a high energy set at the 12th and Porter outdoor stage to close for 1500 raging fans. Start to finish, they lived up to the hype and delivered a dance rock set that would make Cut Copy fans swoon.

6. Anais Mitchell
The day one surprise with the lovely Anais Mitchell who performed at the Station Inn. Acting on a tip from our friends at Thirty Tigers (who have impeccable taste), we fell head over heels in love with her whimsical on-stage personality and and uniquely inspiring folk songs. She gave us a quick 35 minute set of from her latest folk opera Hadestown (which featurse Justin Vernon, Ani DiFranco, and Ben Knox from The Low Anthem.) Additionally, she performed 2 amazing new tracks that will be featured on her forthcoming release, on Thirty Tigers.

7. Ghostland Observatory
Cannery Ballroom maxed out to capacity with a line around the block at 11pm. Ghostland took the stage and delivered a 90 minute explosive set of new material and crowd favorites that inspired pumped fists and glow stick orgies.

I also saw…
Jeff the Brotherhood (rawk!)
Those Darlins (always fun)
Cults (meh)
Rich Robinson (meh)
Royal Bangs (meh, which was weird as they’re usually great live)
Black Belles (a little over done with the all black witch outfits)

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