The Dead South and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band packed ‘em at Thursday’s show at Riverfront Live. I arrived towards the end of the opening band’s set and had to park in the overflow parking lot across the street. This is the first time in all of my years attending shows at Riverfront Live that I’ve seen such a packed show. To see that a show bring this many people out on a Thursday night, I knew I was in for something special.
It was great to catch the Big Damn Band at Riverfront Live once again. Despite not headlining this time, Reverend Peyton and company put on one hell of a show. I’ve always wondered how such a big sound comes out of a 3 piece band. Reverend Peyton demonstrated for the crowd how he uses his thumb to play the bass line while his fingers take care of the guitar work playing both parts at the same time. Oh yeah. He also sings as he does this.
The Big Damn band played some of their favorites, “Ways and Means,” “Pot Roast and Kisses” and ended their set with the always crowd pleasing “Rattle Can.” During the last song, “Washboard” Breezy set her washboard on fire, which is something that has to be seen to be believed.
I was pretty excited to check out The Dead South for the first time live. I only discovered them a few months prior and instantly became a fan. When the band took the stage, the sun had already set and the stage was lit with an eerie glow. Tons of fog and smoke slowly wisped around the outdoor venue. Fans erupted in cheers as the rough and gritty bluegrass group took the stage.
The band consists of guitar, mandolin, banjo and cello players. While that may sound simplistic, The Dead South do a tremendous job of making a powerful job that takes bluegrass into strange and exciting new directions. There were older and younger folks at this show. Punk and straight laced, country and metal fans. It was like a melting pot of every fan of every music genre under one stage.
The band was neatly dressed in an Amish meets Tombstone look as they led the crowd into a frenzy of foot stomping, booty shaking tunes that firmly told the crowd that this isn’t your grandpappy’s bluegrass. While I’m still new to this band and can’t remember every song that was performed, I will say each and every song was played with the same intensity as the last. From start to finish, The Dead South held and captivated the audience for the entire evening. Each member is a master of their instrument and had their moment to shine. As a metalhead, I never thought I’d be so excited to hear a banjo solo.
If you haven’t checked out The Dead South yet, put that on the top of your to do list for this weekend.