On a cool November evening Nikki Lane and Clear Plastic Masks (both calling Nashville home now) took to the stage at The Woodward Theater. The Woodward Theater has a natural sound quality that most venues often lack. At one point during the show Nikki was having trouble getting sound out of her guitar, but yet with no microphone and no sound coming through speakers you could still hear it. The Woodward Theater also has a balcony reminiscent of the old Southgate House.
This cool November evening lent itself to warmth as Clear Plastic Masks took to the stage first. For the past three years they have called Nashville, Tennessee home. They are a straight up and down rock and roll band. There are no frills with these guys. They are simply rock and roll. It was non-stop raucousness for an hour, with maybe a break in-between songs just to take a drink say thank you, and introduce the next song. They jammed and they made quite a first impression on a lot of folks, and they are a band I will definitely be checking out in the future.
Nikki Lane brought to the stage a mix of old and new songs. Songs from the latest album, and a preview of some songs that will be on her new record all in told made for one hell of a two-hour show. Her songs come from life experience true and honest to their core, in the style of any country song, but add in the band and here were with straight up rock and roll grooves backing her whisky, gravelly, yodel of a booming voice. With the rock and roll groove behind her she sang and told stories, and quite honestly just had fun. No going through the motions, no hey happy to be here’s, how bout instead throw in a “f” bomb or three, as in “HAPPY TO F’n BE HERE!” That is Nikki Lane, and that is her style. She ain’t yer typical radio country or bubble gum pop artist. Rather, she is the girl next door with a whisky bottle in one hand, giving the bird with the other, and all the while flashing the sweetest smile. In one sentence she can be brash, honest, and caring. She seems to be excited to be just living out her dream on a stage in Anywhere, USA.
Her live show is packed with energy from start to finish, whether it be from her or the band, but most likely from both, and they make sure to bring the loud. The band pounds and drives the melody while she sings her songs about “misbehavin’.” She may sound like Wanda Jackson, but she is carving her niche in the Nashville scene and doing things her own way. Nikki may be a long way from South Carolina, but on stage that seems to be just as comfortable. Maybe home can be anywhere just as long as you are comfortable. I highly recommend her album All or Nothin’, and recommend checking her out if she passes through your city. This cool November evening had a bite in the air and the music shared in that bite as well. Check out Clear Plastic Masks and lookout for Nikki Lane as she is on tour through February.