TVD Live: The Bright Light Social Hour at 12th & Porter, 10/26

Bringing simmering Texas rock n’ roll to Nashville’s 12th & Porter last Wednesday, The Bright Light Social Hour emphatically performed a set that was as surprising as it was fun. Surprising because of the seamless melding of eclectic sounds by four Central-Texas white dudes, and fun because these guys completely own the stage while they do it.

Unsurprisingly, they’re progressively gaining more and more attention in their hometown of Austin, but the enthusiasm in their music is strong enough to draw crowds from across the nation. Currently on a tour spanning across the states, TBLSH are branding every listener with their infectiously heated sound.

Honestly, I hadn’t heard of the band prior to the show, but after seeing them perform I can’t take their album off repeat. Each song is seasoned with blues and soul influences that represent a similar authenticity as Stevie Ray Vaughn’s blues catalogue. But that’s just the foundation; whether subtle or in-your-face, the band combines tons of ideas from dance and hard rock. Their performance of “Detroit,” a lusty jam about a one-night stand, was stadium worthy. The energy of their music is transcendent live, with the amplitude of every note accentuated by the enthralling musicianship of its performers. By the time the song reached its final epic stretch, every head in the audience was banging.

The similarities to SRV don’t stop there; lead guitarist and singer Curtis Roush laid down incredible guitar solos that would make any blues enthusiast proud. However, he’s talented in more than just blues guitar. “La Piedra De La Iguana,” an extended psychedelic jam, featured hopscotch solos between Roush and keyboardist/vocalist A.J. Vincent that evoked the same sultry steam as the Texas deserts. I could almost see waves of heat as A.J. furiously played his keytar.

TBLSH’s music is built for fist-pumping, foot-stomping live performances. Each hit of drummer Joseph Mirasole’s drums is accented by bassist, vocalist, and lead moustache Jack O’Brien’s bass lines, creating a deep punch that insistently beats your chest. “Bare Hands Bare Feet” is as anthemic as tunes by Kiss; people in the audience shouted vigorously with the band: “Let’s build a city/Bare hands, bare feet, bare hands, bare feet!” Combine that attitude with enraptured dance rhythms, such as on “Shanty,” and you’ve got the basic idea of the alluringly magnificent live experience that is a TBLSH concert.

Hopefully these guys will be around again soon; seeing as they opened for Nashville’s catholic Uncle Skeleton, another show featuring the two doesn’t seem out of the question. Uncle Skeleton is planning a massive 2-disc vinyl LP early next year, and if it sounds anything like their excellent headlining performance then it’ll be a must listen. In the meantime, you can grab a copy of TBLSH’s album over at their website.

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