Morgan Yingling | © NowPlayingNashville

Rainbow Kitten Surprise lead singer Sam Melo and guitarist Darrick “Bozzy” Keller wow the crowd at Live on the Green Thursday at Nashville Downtown Public Park.

Rainbow Kitten Surprise Roars on Live On the Green's Highlight-Filled Week 3

The third week of Lightning 100ʼs annual free downtown concert series Live on the Green impressed another strong, enthusiastic crowd Thursday evening, Aug. 23 at Nashville Public Square featuring Alanna Royale, Parquet Courts, Rainbow Kitten Surprise and Trampled…

The third week of Lightning 100ʼs annual free downtown concert series Live on the Green impressed another strong, enthusiastic crowd Thursday evening, Aug. 23 at Nashville Public Square featuring Alanna Royale, Parquet Courts, Rainbow Kitten Surprise and Trampled By Turtles.

Nashville-based soul singer Alanna Royale opened the festival with a powerful performance. The singerʼs intoxicating voice drips with a classic R&B savagery rounded out by her equally stellar band and backup vocals. The banter and positive reinforcement between Royaleʼs songs and her band are an added bonus.

Not one to shy away from speaking her mind, she converses with the audience about anxiety, the ups and downs of her career, and the importance of loving yourself. Equal parts performance and pep talk, Royale is a positive beacon of light and a force to be reckoned with in the Nashville music scene.

Having recently lined up a thread of North American tour dates and releasing their new album “Wide Awake” produced by the legendary Danger Mouse, New York rock outfit Parquet Courts brought a sound rooted in ’70s punk to the stage. Thursday, in fact, they were responsible for causing Live on the Greenʼs rare mosh pit.

Composed of brothers Andrew (vocals, guitar) and Max Savage (drums), Austin Brown (vocals, guitar) and Sean Yeaton (bass). the quartet boasts no gimmick and speaks candidly about political views and experiences, including past arrests. Their songs deal with from romance, inner turmoil and the inevitable experience of growing up, and they resonated with the largely college-aged crowd screaming their lyrics.

Then came show-stealing Rainbow Kitten Surprise,who have seemingly skyrocketed into popularity thanks to college radio stations across the country.

Keeping with the soulful theme of the evening, Rainbow Kitten Surprise blends hip-hop and rock throughout their music. The band shifts between deeply haunting lyrics in songs such as “Devil Like Me,” and a warm, upbeat vibe that can be found in “All That and More.”

The Boone, North Carolina-based band has a way of simultaneously making you feel like your heart is sinking into your stomach while wanting to throw an impulsive dance party on a school night at 3 am. Frontman and lead vocalist Sam Melo and bassist Charlie Holt are as performance artists as they are musicians. They gracefully glide and flow across stage in ballet-like fashion, acting out the heavy-hitting emotions riddled throughout their songs. You canʼt help but gaze at them in awe — or at least the giant screens projecting the concert to those whose sight may be blocked by the thousands of attendants. 

Acoustic favorites Trampled By Turtles finished out the evening to the delight of their dedicated fan base. The Minnesota-based sextet recently returned from an unexpected year-long hiatus, which didn’t seem to affect the bandʼs electrifying chemistry. Playing a great mix of fan favorites as well as new tunes from their 2018 album “Life Is Good on the Open Road,” the third week of Live on the Green ended on a beautifully harmonized high note accompanied by banjo and mandolin — in typical Nashville fashion.

Parquet Courts guitarist Andrew Savage and bassist Sean Yeaton

Parquet Courts guitarist Andrew Savage and bassist Sean Yeaton
Picture 1 of 14

Morgan Yingling | © NowPlayingNashville