Ethan Ives (left) and Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest perform at Live On the Green.
Morgan Yingling | © NowPlayingNashville
Nashville’s largest free outdoor concert series, Live On the Green returned for its second week Thursday night, August 16, with a stunning lineup of musical performances. Now in its 10th year, the Lightning-100 sponsored event at downtown’s Public Square Park was flooded with a sea of anticipating fans ready to absorb what the evening’s artists had to offer.
Winding down from the festival circuit, along with a major U.S. and Canadian tour in support of their 2017 release “Floral Canyon,” Nashville based, husband-and-wife duo *repeatrepeat — Jared and Kristyn Corder — have returned home to work on their new album, which will be produced by friend and Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach.
A large crowd built in front of the Metro Courthouse as *repeatrepeat took the stage. Kristyn’s tangerine-colored hair seemed to emulate the setting sun, and the whole band vibrated with a California laid-back frequency that’s also shrouded in punk-rock. *repeatrepeat takes the dreaminess of ’60s surf-pop and layers it with a DIY garage-band edge that transports you to your teen years listening to cassette tapes in your parent’s basement.
The band effortlessly harmonized the candy-coated love songs from “Floral Canyon,” with the crowd hanging on every lyric. Frontman Jared Corder thrashed across stage yielding his seafoam green guitar as wife Kristyn played keys and rounded out the edges with surfy-melodic perfection.
No strangers to the local radio station that has helped hundreds of hometown bands launch their musical beginnings — including their own — Jared graciously thanked Lightning 100.
“Lightning 100 is your best friend if you’re a band in Nashville just starting out. They’ve been the most supportive of our career, “ he said as the crowd erupted with cheers and applause.
The stage hosted three other acts Thursday evening, including Franklin, Tennessee’s Colony House, founded by brothers Caleb and Will Chapman. Named after a housing complex some of the members lived in when they were younger, the quartet has dropped two albums, with a single breaking into the Billboard Top 200. The band has opened for notable acts such as Needtobreathe, Switchfoot, and Ben Rector.
The band is an unpolished, gritty force of indie-rock. Caleb Chapman is a hypnotizing front man, literally hopping along the row of speakers that border the stage and asking the crowd directly for their cooperation.
“All you have to do for three-and-a-half minutes is pretend you love this song, and I swear you’ll have a good time,” he said, laughing into the mic. The crowd dutifully obliged and burst into a fury of dancing and sing-along.
Seattle-based Car Seat Headrest graces the stage next and laid out several raw songs documenting young desire and heartbreak. Frontman Will Toledo is an obsessive songwriter, and you can find his impressive discography on Bandcamp. Car Seat Headrest had a slower, darker vibe than the rest of Thursday’s lineup. But it’s one that’s familiar and relatable, like the loss of first love and the longing for another.
The night closed with California favorites Cold War Kids. Twelve years since their debut album “Robbers & Cowards” became one of the most admired indie rock albums to be released by a major label, the band has undergone many changes.
Members have come and gone, their song “First” climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard alternative charts, and they released their album “L.A. Divine” under a new Capitol Records contract. The band may not be the same — not even close — but that doesn’t deter their fan base.
Dozens of Cold War Kids T-shirts littered the front row, and the crowd seemed to have instantly grown in size. Fans belted out the lyrics to favorites “Hang Me Out to Dry” and “Hospital Beds” without missing beat.
Live On the Green never seems to disappoint with its headliners, and Cold War Kids marked another winner.
*repeatrepeat Frontman Jared Corder with wife Kristyn Corder who plays keys and does background vocals.
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Morgan Yingling | © NowPlayingNashville