Nashville artist Tristen Gaspadarek and her band were high on my list of bands I had to see at this year's Secret Stages Music Discovery Festival. The band's set Friday night at Rogue Tavern was unforgettable, entertaining and fun, I walked away a bigger fan. Her latest album, Sneaker Waves is out now. Enjoy the video for "Got Some" and my personal favorite track, "No One's Gonna Know" while checking out my pictures from the show.
My 2nd performance of Saturday and 7th overall at this year's Secret Stages Music Discovery Festival was at Matthew's Bar and Grill for St. Louis, Missouri garage punk rockers Little Big Bangs. I needed something loud and raucous, and that's what I got. The band ripped through what seemed like 10 or more tracks in their short set, barely catching their breath between each song, ending their set in a big pool of sweat. Loud, fast, melodic, screamy, and sweaty, a proper punk rock show if you ask me. I'll be circling back for a longer listen when I finish with all the photos from the festival, because I liked the band's energy, and what I heard. Check out their track 'Bang' and my photos from their performance below.
When I arrived in Birmingham Saturday night at 7pm for the second day of the Secret Stages Music Discover Festival, I was greeted with dark swirling clouds overhead, a serious thunderstorm was moments away. I considered punting on the night, and driving back home to Huntsville. But, I had to see Future Elevators. After featuring their downright gorgeous 'Alabama Song' back in March, and then falling in love with 'Modern World', I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to see the band. I'd had other opportunities to catch a show, but the schedule on my end never seemed to agree with the band's gigs.
So, while I waited it out, I almost got smashed by a 20 foot barrier fence when a violent burst of wind ahead of the storm toppled the fence on a few folks checking out The Loudermilks. It spooked me because I was over-matched by the weight of the fence and force of the wind. By the time I gathered my wits, a few other bystanders had rushed over to help out. Thankfully, nobody was injured. And ultimately, any performances on the Main Stage were put on hold until the storm passed.
While waiting, I checked out Huntsville's own Seminole Strut at Rogue Tavern. And then, around 8:30, we were told Future Elevators would take the stage at 8:45. The long wait was over. Even though I was there to photograph, I took several breaks to soak in their fantastic performance. While their abbreviated set left off 'Alabama Song', I didn't walk away disappointed. Seeing them again is high on my list of things I must do, and it should be on your list too. Find 'Alabama Song' and my photos from their performance below.
Once again, the Secret Stages Festival in Birmingham, Alabama outdid itself. Tabbed as a music discovery festival, it's every bit of that for fans of new music. Aimless Skylarking exists for that sole purpose too, discovering and sharing new music is exciting. With a slate of 60 bands on the schedule over 2 nights, there was plenty to choose from -- rap, rock, metal, folk, alt-country, and R&B to name a few styles. I attended in 2014 and discovered several Aimless Skylarking favorites such as Adia Victoria, And the Echo, The Debauchees, and Memphis Dawls. Last year's lineup was stellar as well, featuring blog favorites such as White Reaper, Raindeer, Brass Bed, Dot.s, Eleven Year Old, Captain Kudzu, Holy Youth, Twin Limb, and Velouria.
As in 2014, I secured a photo pass and documented several performances of which I'll share photos all this week. The first act I saw was Nashville's Bassh. Energetic and fun melodic alt-rock, and far grittier live than their single, 'Body', would have you believe. 'Body' has over 100k Soundcloud plays so the band is on to something, and hopefully follow up tracks aren't too far down the road. Find 'Body' and my photos from their performance below.
All photos taken with a Canon 5d Mark III camera with a Canon f2.8 24mm-70mm lens, and a Sony A6000 mirrorless camera with a Sony f1.8 50mm prime lens.
After listening to Mothers' debut LP, When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired, obsessively for weeks, I had to hear the band live. That wish was finally taken care of last Saturday night at The Syndicate Lounge in Birmingham, Alabama. The Athens, Georgia based 4-piece headlined the show with Birmingham artist Helen of Coi and Los Angeles 4-piece Sego opening. Those in attendance were treated to an especially emotive and intimate performance by the band. I'm off to the UK in May for vacation, and hope to run across the band in London and also at The Great Escape.
I've not featured the band here at Aimless Skylarking before, but I have on the website's Facebook page. That changes today, stream their fantastic "It Hurts Until it Doesn't" while you check out my photos from the show.