One way I discover new music is to show up early for gigs to see the support acts. Over the years I've discovered and become a fan of many bands I might not have heard had I'd not shown up when the doors opened. And, I've never understood how people can roll in right as the headliner takes the stage, it just seems like a waste of money to me. Plus it seems like those late comers are always the one shoving their way up to the front, pissing off folks who got there early and tossed out an anchor right in front of the stage. There has to be a special word, other than asshole, for people like that, I just don't know what it is.
My latest discovery was the support act for Benjamin Booker at the Bottletree in Birmingham, Blank Range out of Nashville. I usually do a bit of research before attending a gig, checking out the support acts' music, history and the like, but it slipped my mind this time and I went in blind. I walked away a fan after their electric set.
The 5-piece band has a great retro sound, a roots rock band with keys, not to mention tons of energy. Incredibly animated bassist Aaron Wahlman shuffled all over the stage in high water jeans and Chuck Taylors, while guitarist Grant Gustafson bent strings with abandon. But we couldn't take our eyes off keyboardist Jon Rainville because he looked incredibly like my nephew. Anyway, their 30 minute set was impressive, and it had to be considering who was to hit the stage next. After their set, the boss and I met a few members of the band, had a bit of fun with Jon about the resemblance, and even bought some vinyl from their merch table.
The highlight of their set was the irresistible track, 'Scrapin'. It's available on 7 inch on their Bandcamp page, and my Song of the Day, stream it below.