Live on the Green featuring The Head and the Heart, Wild Cub, and Goodbye June
August 21, 2014
Photos by Amber Davis
Review courtesy of Lightning 100 Live on the Green’s Henry Pile:
Lightning 100’s Live On The Green Music Festival made a triumphant return last night after a record-breaking crowd of 18,000 fans welcomed the festival in week one. And while the kickoff event was received with overwhelming kudos from Music City, some guests felt the weight of the crowd in the first week was a hindrance to their enjoyment of the show.
Festival organizers immediately answered that call to action and strategically reorganized the site map, moving many vendors, including the popular Thornton’s craft beer tent, to Union Street ensuring additional space on the lawn would allow guests to move more freely.
Those efforts certainly paid off. Even with the Tennessee summer humidity pumping on high, the crowd seemed to breathe a little easier thanks to the extra room to lounge on the lawn.
In the vendor area, Griffin Technology showed off the durability of their new ‘Survivor Case’ by encouraging visitors to toss a protected iPhone instead of sandbags during a game of cornhole.
Nearby, Brett Tuck, partner and chef at Edley’s Bar-B-Que, a returning, official sponsor for #LOTG2014 shared the positive sentiment. “We love being local,” he said. “We’ve been partners with Lightning 100 for years and we love being part of Live On The Green.”
Back on the lawn, the shadows grew long as fans settled into their spots to watch Goodbye June take the stage. Landon Milbourn, lead vocalist, howled, his voice riding the hiss and sizzle of the cymbals until it dissipated into the evening.
“I don’t believe/ You must be outta your mind,” he sang, as the haunting refrain slipped into a cacophony of drums and guitars until it culminated in a halted stop drawing wild applause from the growing crowd.
And after the first set’s feeding frenzy, it was time for indie quintet Wild Cub to take over. Lead singer, Keegan Dewitt, told me moments before taking the stage, “Live On The Green is the last thing on our bucket list. We’ve done it all in Nashville, but it’s so hard to get in front of new people. This is huge for us.”
Rising to the challenge, in front of a crowd that had now swelled to more than 12,000 fans, Wild Cub delivered their music with a shimmering effect of metallic waves - their synth pop sound hinting at candy coated throwbacks to Depeche Mode mixed with modern African rhythm.
Clearly in the moment, DeWitt told the fans, “I’ve lived in Nashville for six years and standing in front of you is an honor… this truly is an amazing moment for me.”
And finally, it was time for the main event, Seattle indie folk-rock outfit, The Head and The Heart. I cut through the crowd, which had now grown to more than 16,000.
Airy and smooth, The Head and The Heart brought a syncopated bass line that drove the floating effervescence of an acoustic guitar and violin through the entire crowd. Josiah Johnson and Jonathan Russell organically traded vocal leads weaving harmonies with a 1970s folk feel on the backbone of drums and bass.
The crowd swayed, sweaty and content, singing every word they knew. A chorus of “I get lost, I get lost, I get lost…” rose up and for a moment, on this Thursday night, everyone released all their worries of work, of responsibilities, of plans and to-do lists. For a moment, everyone forgot the heat and the sweat. For a moment, everyone stood at Public Square Park, singing, and getting lost. Everyone. Together. Just for a moment, let’s be still.
We have more photos from this event here!