By Rosie Walker
February 12th 2017, The End, Nashville TN: The world was recently rewarded when the legendary Speedealer decided to tour again. Things had been quiet in their camp for a long time and everyone is excited to see them hitting the road once more. Along with space-loving Mothership and speed-driven Against the Grain, these three bands are out there crushing it. Nashville being one of the cities on this eleven-date run makes a lot of sense. Though it is the country music capital of the world, it actually supports all kinds of music, especially rock n’ roll. Nestled in Nashville’s “rock block” there is a dingy dive bar called The End. It’s a place where you will never see a cowboy hat or steel guitar. Told by the stickers on its dirty walls, this venue has catered to the rock n’ roll/punk/hardcore scene for over 30 years. A lot of greats have spilt their sweat on its tiny stage and last Sunday night was no exception.
It can be tough getting folks to a show on a Sunday night, especially if it starts at 9:30 PM. Yet, a small crowd gathered in The End’s dimly lit bar and excitedly waited for the first band to take the stage. Detroit’s own Against the Grain played first and proved quickly that they can live up to their name. They came out with such savage speed and sound, they made it clear that they are anything but generic. As they soared through their set, greats like Motörhead and the Clash came across as evident influences in their songs. The vigorous guitar work of Nick Bellomo and Kyle Davis highlights the band’s fresh approach to rock n’ roll. Unabashed energy and relentless intensity from each member made for an electrifying performance. Hailing from the mighty motor city, these guys don’t mess around. Being so rough and raw made it so right. No frills or theatrics were needed. Their ability to articulate groove and fervor in their sound makes them an awesome band to see live. It may have been a Sunday, but Against the Grain played as if it was a Friday night.
Though few in number; the crowd was glad to be there. After Against the Grain ripped and thrilled; Dio poured out over the PA and we waited for the magnificent Mothership to start. This rock ’n roll trio from Dallas TX strode on stage with such swagger and ease that you immediately knew they were born to do this. Influenced by classics such as Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple makes their sound timeless, heartfelt, and heavy. It was enchanting to see all three fellas deliver and delight by their genuine pleasure of playing. The band takes you to uncharted territories with their themes about space and the extraterrestrial, making their performance all the more captivating. Singer and bass player, Kyle Juett, invited us to head-bang in unison and everybody was more than happy to apply. As we all jammed out together it was clear that this band didn’t care if they played in front of 1 person or hundred people; they just enjoyed playing. Period. In tattoos, leather boots, and bell bottoms; Mothership is a band that reassures the world that rock n’ roll is here and here to stay. Let’s take a trip on the ship!
By the time Speedealer came on stage it was almost Monday morning, but the crowd stuck around and were ready to keep rocking. The End was the perfect venue for Speedealer. Being an anchor in the Nashville rock scene, it has seen the beginnings to a lot of great bands like The Flaming Lips and Mastodon. It is a place with such amazing history that it understands and reveres all classic acts, like Speedealer. The band has changed a lot over the years, but they came on that stage celebrating their vast and diverse catalog in a vibrant, compelling way. With their vicious sonic velocity, Speedealer sunk their claws into the crowd, proving they can still kick ass. Frontman Daniel Barron has only been in the band for eight months, but was magnetic in the way he portrayed the punk spirit. It was a privilege to watch these guys. They were pioneers and essential in cultivating the punk/hardcore/metal scene in Texas all those years ago. Members from the other bands were all watching Speedealer play their set. It was powerful to see all these talented guys attentively listening to a band they obviously respect. It is inspiring to witness so much affection in rock n’ roll.
These bands love to make music, they love their fans, and each other. The night charmingly represented just how much good music touches people and how truly timeless it is.
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Remaining Tour Dates:
02/14/2017 – Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern *
02/15/2017 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Blue Note *
02/16/2017 – Austin, TX @ The Sidewinder
02/17/2017 – San Antonio, TX @ Hi-Tones
02/18/2017 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links
02/19/2017 – Houston, TX @ Fitzerald’s
* = no Speedealer