March 16, 2015
J. Roddy Walston and the Business joined Moon Taxi at Amos’ Southend Friday night. The old warehouse was full of Charlotte music lovers. The bars around the edges of the venue filled with social humming as the space filled up. Looking all around one could only be proud of how far the music scene in the Queen City has come in recent years; each year more people come out to share their common interests. No one was talking about their age, address or title; there was just a sea of faces, band shirts and jean jackets looking to have a good time.
“Charlotte, how you doin’?” Moon Taxi lead singer Trevor Terndrup’s voice travels through the raised arms and plastic cups. The band kicked off the evening with Cabaret single “Mercury” and the audience danced. Its electric feeling set the bar for the night. Seeing the bandmates on stage together, smiling and loving the energy from the waves of people in front of them rounded out a feeling held by each concertgoer who seemed to share a secret the rest of the city would never know. The music reached to rafters and seemed to hold everyone captive.
Singing through their most loved tracks from albums new and old, the band took Neil Young’s Harvest Moon to another level with Moon Taxi’s signature sound. It was as if they had reinvented the classic jam all together. Like everyone was fooled into thinking that they were hearing their favorite song for the first time. If heat was a sound; if summer was a melody; if all of the best memories were lyrics, Moon Taxi created that atmosphere under the wooden beams of Amos’.
Moon Taxi was a big act to follow but J Roddy couldn’t disappoint. After their last visit to Charlotte last September, performing at the Weenie Roast, J. Roddy Walston and the Business were welcomed by Charlotte’s large fan base. Not one, but two bras made it to the stage during the first song from Essential Tremors opener “Heavy Bells.” Long hair tossing to the music, J. Roddy knew that the crowd was amped after the stellar Moon Taxi set, which was only an invitation to do what The Business does best.
Crushing through the music with such high energy made one feel like they had just stumbled upon the coolest house party of all time. The vibe was so fresh with the sounds of unpretentious, real live rock and roll. J. Roddy and the band played “Take It as It Comes,” another Essential Tremors cut, over an entire music venue’s worth of backup singers. It could have been the storyboard for the coolest beer commercial you’ve never seen. Hands waved, primitive lights flashed and some pieces of confetti from a recent show shook loose and fell into the dancing crowd as the piano rang out throughout the singalong. The vibration could be felt under foot and against the wood and steel beams.
Everyone with a camera phone was taking video., They wanted to remember what they were involved in; the music would always play in their heads. Everywhere there had the best seat in the house. Or was that on top of the amp where J. stood? Before it was over, there wasn’t a contest of who was having more fun. It wasn’t about the difference between the performer and the ticket holder. It was about the music. The music that everyone was so into that you couldn’t pull the stage apart from the fans. Everyone in Amos’ Southend got a show that night. They were all a part of it. Sometimes we forget why we love music like that. You hear a faint tune in the produce section of the grocery store, in your car while checking voicemails, in a movie or commercial. But it’s moments like this that we remember why we love it the way we do. Two stellar bands played in Charlotte on Friday night. Jazz music played from the speakers after the stage was cleared. People filed out onto the city streets, bottles and cups playing frogger at the feet of the hypnotized crowd. No doubt would they take their memories from the night and flood bars around our city to tell the tales of what the rest of the Charlotte had missed. It’s a secret everyone should know about.