Houndmouth – Bijou Theater – Knoxville, TN – March 6, 2016
Following their sold-out performance the previous evening at the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina Houndmouth brought the Little Neon Limelight tour to play to yet another southern crowd, this time at the historic Bijou Theater located in the heart of downtown Knoxville, TN.
Despite the two shows being played within 24 hours and within a distance of a mere 120 miles of one another each show could not have been more divergent. Houndmouth’s concert in the tiny western North Carolina mountain town was a ruckus affair from the get go, as it was after all a Saturday night and the show was being held within the confines of a standing-room only club environment.
Houndmouth took to the Bijou’s stage firing on all cylinders, this time with a horns section that was absent from their Asheville performance. I was a bit surprised though that the audience remained subdued throughout most of the first half of band’s set, as not only had I talked to a quite a few fans prior to the performance that all seemed more than excited for the show, the band was literally giving the crowd a Sunday Houndmouth rock show for the ages.
Eventually though Houndmouth’s fire and passion could not be contained with it eventually leaping from the stage and taking over everyone in attendance . By the time the back half of the show began literally the entire Bijou audience had been hypnotized by both Houndmouth’s undeniably charm and incredible music.
The vast majority of the audience started rump shaking, hooting and hollering, with all of this continuing to the show’s closing moments when Matt Myers (guitars/vocals), Katie Toupin (keys/vocals), Zak Appleby (bass/vocals) and Shane Cody (drums/vocals) bid adieu to the east Tennessee faithful.
I have to give Houndmouth credit where credit is due. Saturday’s performance in Asheville was a sweat filled, flat out rocking good time where the energy was beyond through the stratosphere from beginning to end. Conversely despite Houndmouth coming out with the same kind of ferocity as they had the previous evening, the crowd was near silent and remained glued to their seats throughout most of the first 45 minutes of the show.
Houndmouth easily could have given in at that point and just played a paint by the numbers performance in anticipation of an off day prior to their next tour stop. Instead Houndmouth chose to seize the opportunity to by all means musically necessary win the crowd over with the sheer force of their talent, exuberance and the power of rock n roll.
Well played Houndmouth, well played.