This weekend I traveled with my roommate to Nashville to experience “Music City.” We walked up and down the streets as the sound of country, blues and hints of rock and roll pored though every building.
We were only there for a couple of days so we had pre-planned what shows we were going to see. We ended up narrowing it down between two shows, a Finnish death metal band and a mix of a few up and coming indie folk bands.
Considering a death metal band from Finland was not really in our taste we decided on the group of indie bands, however, little did we know it would end up being a disaster.
Lately I have been finding myself in a variety of different places all due to the search for good music. This time around I have found myself in the basement of someone’s home that has been transformed into a local dive bar in the heart of Nashville.
Apparently this venue is a popular spot amongst the Nashville natives. It really presents itself with its own grungy feel through the remnants of band stickers and posters. This place was undeniably packed: filled to the brim with graduate school dropouts and the essence of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
It was dark, as expected, the soundman wore his hair up in a manbun and the stage was covered in a worn out Persian rug. Due to my height, or lack there of, I parked myself in the front row.
I was excited to see something new, and the fact that I was seeing a band for the first time in a basement should have been unforgettable.
As we waited for the first band I noticed an influx of cowboys in big hats and boots align themselves in a row of chairs on the stage. It did not look like any indie band I had seen before, and it did not appear that they would be playing indie. Who I assumed to be the owner took the stage and began to introduce the band of cowboy hipsters.
He stated that each one of them was from New England. He then began to share his loving connection to each one of them and the romantic story of how they all met, none of this the audience or I really cared about.
I then began to realize that this was not the band I had traveled to see. I began to pray that they would at least give me something that I could take home and write about. However, whatever was happening that night was not the indie show of my dreams, but a never-ending country open mike night.
It was my worst nightmare. Somehow I managed to make it through the first two rounds of country love ballads, but it was not long before I wanted to pull the plug on the sound, which from my position was not too far of a reach.
I was tempted, but instead of ruining the show for everyone else I decided to remove myself from the premise. Before I left I decided to find out who actually was playing that night.
The owner first directly ignored me and then was promptly rude. I left because there was nothing else for me there, and, in in all honesty, I was pretty angry.
If I was going to the venue to listen to open-mike country I probably would not have been as disappointed. However, I did not travel all the way to Nashville to listen to open mike county. If the venue had simply updated their online calendar, I would have gone to a different event and would probably be writing a very insightful view on Finnish death metal.