Charlotte Doesn’t Disappoint
Writer: Jaime Terry | Photographer: Gianna Haley
Having just moved to the Charlotte area, I had not yet been to any of the venues to see the local talent. Last night was my first concert in the Queen City at Amos’ Southend. I must say, from the first band to the last, I was greatly impressed. Charlotte has some talent! The lineup consisted of Almost Kings, Neil Jackson, Angwish, Fifty Flies, and Graceful Regret. All are alternative rock bands but each had distinctly unique sounds and stage presence.
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsFirst on stage was Fifty Flies. The band was seamless and sounded fantastic live. Fifty Flies sang two new songs entitled “You Can’t Buy Me” and “Open Your Eyes.” Open your eyes had a great lyrical addition of some rap verses mixed in.
Graceful Regret was second to perform. This five-piece band had quite the mix of personalities visually, and musically, they pull together fantastically. My favorite part of their performance was a cover of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up.” Yes, I’m old and I know her version quite well. Graceful Regret transformed the song like I had never heard and I loved it!
Angwish was who we had come out to see play. A recent short article written by Shutter 16’s new photojournalist Gianna Haley, sparked an invite from the band to come out and watch them play live and photograph the concert. With only two members (Bryan Bielanski-guitars/vocals, Mitch Cooper-drums/vocals), I was curious to see them play, and was quite surprised. From the lyrics to the ability to sound like a large band and their performance, they definitely are not lacking with only two members. Their sound was reminiscent to me of older punk/alternative with a twist of Jim Morrison. The range of emotions that came from Brian was so profound in every song. I will definitely make it a point to see them play again.
I caught up with Bryan from Angwish and a few members from Graceful Regret after Angwish’s performance. They gave me a great deal of information about the Charlotte music scene while listening to the last two bands to hit the stage for the night. As they played, I was told that Neil Jackson had a combination of band members from other local bands playing with him that night, one in particular is from Something Clever, who I had recently read about in a separate Shutter 16 article.
Neil Jackson sounded fantastic as well, so much so, that when I returned home I wanted to know more. After reading a few articles and watching some of his videos I was even more impressed by his adaptability between playing solo acoustic to playing with Beyond the Fade and with The Neil Jackson Band.
ATL natives, Almost Kings, were an interesting addition to the lineup with their hip hop-infused rock sound and high energy. With a new album out, tour dates through to April, and an upcoming video release, they are making big things happen.
All in all, this was a great “first time” for me here in Charlotte and I am looking forward to many, many more.
Some more images from the show: