Tuesday night, I arrived to unexpected lines at First Avenue – I was kind of surprised so many people were out on an election night. While in line, I overheard people taking about The Dead South’s show in May at the Entry and what a great show it was. I was sold on The Dead South when I first heard “In Hell I’ll Be in Good Company” on You Tube and couldn’t wait to see them in concert. The Dead South more than exceeded my high expectations.
I entered First Avenue and couldn’t believe the number of people there. Due to the lines and a snafu with my photo pass, I only caught part of the last song by the opening act – Black River Revue. I have never heard Another Brick in the Wall played by a Bluegrass band, but Black River Revue did it and did it very well. I regret not being able to hear their entire set, but based on crowd response they were great.
The next band was The Hooten Hollars. They are a 3-piece band, but sounded much bigger. They are described as a high-energy blues-rock band know for hard-traveling and wild live shows. They definitely lived up to their billing. Kellie Everett played the baritone and bass saxophones hard and powerful. I can definitely see myself listening to their CDs and playing the air sax. Andy Rehm brought a steady, pounding drum and sang vocals. Rounding out the trio was John Randall playing guitar and singing his “demonically-tinged-vocals”. I was really blown away with The Hooten Hollars. If you haven’t seen or heard them, they are definitely worth a listen and put on a great show. The crowd gave them a huge ovation at the end of their set.
People continued to file in before The Dead South started. It got so crowded, walking through the audience was near impossible and getting shots of the band was even harder. I don’t recall seeing First Avenue so packed for a show. The Dead South delivered and delivered big. They sang, drank, danced and laughed as if they were part of the audience. Their folk/bluegrass blend was very enjoyable to listen to and the quartet looked like they enjoyed playing as well. Lead singer Nate Hilts has a smooth, melodic voice and is well suited for their style of music and is a pleasure to listen to. The band was upbeat and enthusiastic and the crowd loved them.
Overall, it was a fantastic night and The Dead South put on a super show!!