For all the music loving party-people still in town during KU’s spring break, Monday night was a special treat. All the most hardcore bluegrass fans know where the party was last night; with Greensky Bluegrass at the Bottleneck. The Michigan based bluegrass band’s sound stretches wide, from their traditional bluegrass roots to acoustic indie jams and accurate, intense covers of songs from all other genres. The opener TinHorn Molly, and Greensky Bluegrass both played vigorous sets despite the small crowd, rewarding the most loyal bluegrass lovers with an intimate, exciting concert.
To start off the night, TinHorn Molly warmed the Bottleneck up with their classic Americana Blues, jamming out with all kinds of instruments. A standup bass, guitar and banjo provided the bluegrass base for jams to expand from. TinHorn Molly’s full, fleshed out set included a washboard, “squeeze box” (accordion) and “Vindicator” piano (baby piano). The band’s harmony came to an ear-soothing climax with the vocals that brought every song together and held the crowd’s attention from start to finish of the set.
A Monday night is usually relatively quiet, but much more so over Spring Break. When Greensky Bluegrass took the stage there was a meager crowd gathering on the dance floor with a scattering of listeners sitting back. But throughout their set the band collected a larger audience, and drove the shy handful of fans to shake and twist up and down the venue.
Greensky Bluegrass have unique, original styles in their bluegrass jams, but their instruments’ natural harmony and the dynamic construction of each song, including thrilling solos and driving choruses are reminiscent of The Band. Their Americana jams are the stuff of legends, leading the crowd on long, winding journeys through the band’s soul. The combined power of mandolin, banjo, guitar, and bass infused with the special sound only found in a dobro – or resophonic guitar – give this band a strong bluegrass sound. But beyond the expected styles of Americana and Roots, these musicians expand their sound to incorporate all kinds of genres. For last night’s show the band included a Pink Floyd cover in their impressive set. They even played “Regulate” by Warren G.
One apologetic crowd member said “Sorry it’s Spring Break,” and the band laughed it off. It seemed the audience was more unhappy with the lack of attendence than the musicians were. Still, it was a strong set of bluegrass jams and more, which the small crowd on the dance floor cheered and danced to. Both the opener TinHorn Molly and Greensky Bluegrass put their hearts into their performances and the crowd appreciated it. These bands deserved a better audience, but we are grateful to them for giving Lawrence some love during this quiet week.
Now for Previews:
Thursday night do not miss your last chance to see From Quiet Arms! The indie band has to call it quits after their singer moves away, so the band is playing one last show for Lawrence at the Granada. If you enjoy original, inspiring indie rock, this is a show you can not afford to miss!
As previously mentioned, Friday night has several good shows for music fans to chose from. Mouth’s show includes Parts of Speech opening for them, an appropriately named combination of bands.
Meanwhile Ashes to Immortality will be playing at the Bottleneck in the Summer Camp battle of the bands with 3 Son Green and Menage Twang. This battle should be a real nail-biter with this fantastic lineup going head to head.