Trapt | Mercy Lounge | Nashville, TN
This Friday, we're flashing back to September 20, 2017. Alternative hard rock band Trapt played a one-off show at Mercy Lounge (the same small, intimate venue that The Wonder Years recently played at), with support from three impressive more or less local acts.
Opening Nashville based band, Hogan's Goat, had fans shouting and singing along right from the start of their lively performance. Although the opener, they could surely drawn a decent crowd on their own. This five piece group, made up of vocalist John Salmon, guitarists Donovan Bettise and Thomas Banks, bassist Aaron Stoner, and drummer Wayne Michel, radiated the pure, organic desire to simply rock.
Their set included the bands single "Shit Kicker"-- while a straight up hard rock track, John's deep, powerful vocals added a distinctive feature to the groups over all sound. They were enjoyable to watch, and it's likely that this group would be more energetic on a larger stage, given the fact that Mercy Lounge is on the smaller side.
With each song that Hogan's Goat dove into, their musical style lightly ebbed and flowed between southern rock and heavy, hard rock, complete with swelling guitars, crashing drums, and a clear sense of integrity and pride in the music that they were creating.
As MojoRose took the stage, the momentum that had been created by Hogan's Goat continued to build. With one of the audience members announcing that they had traveled from Chicago for the show, it's undeniable that MojoRose are on the right track. As with Hogan's Goat, MojoRose seem to have a dedicated following.
Their music is encased in blues infused themes, enhanced with their own personal spin. Lead vocalist, J. Parker West, channeled classic rock inspiration yet added a modernized layer-- the bold, rhythmic guitars paired with his steady, slightly rugged voice, made for an enjoyable show, and the red stage lights added to the overall ambiance and intimacy of the small venue.
Heavier in sound than the previous two bands, EMERGE garnered a substantial response from the audience, which varied in age from seemingly early twenties to late fifties / early sixties. During their set, a fan called out that they had traveled from Chattanooga for the show, which is where EMERGE are from. It's clear that they have cultivated a generous following in their city who are happy to travel to see them.
Vocalist Jared Jones has an animated stage presence, which added to the quality of their set. EMERGE's performance was headliner material-- fist bumping audience members as they left the stage, their focused and appealing performance set the tone for the remainder of the concert.
Opening their set with "Still Frame," Trapt's charismatic front man, Chris Taylor Brown, wasted no time and immediately jumped into the performance. Shifting into their second song, "Bring It," the crowd was tame yet seemingly enthralled by the band.
They played a variety of tracks, including "Who's Going Home With You Tonight?" "Contagious," "Stand Up" and, of course, 'Headstrong". Trapt's evidently polished live performance can be credited to the fact that the group has been around since '97-- it's safe to say that they know what they're doing.
The clean transitions between songs, coupled with the smooth crowd interaction, gave their set an orderly, mature vibe. They're sure to impress both old and new fans alike --- if you haven't see them yet, you may be pleasantly surprised.