By Sean McHugh
Nashville being known as “Music City” grants the city and those who live within it some tantalizing musical perks – namely in the form of getting to see up and coming acts before they break. There are shows going on at any given moment anywhere around town, but things really begin to pick up in the spring, especially the week before South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX.
When it comes to Nashville and SXSW, there’s always buzz leading up to the festival and local acts that are poised to make moves in Austin. To help promote the never-ending stream of Nashville bands popping up in the local and national spotlight, a number of local brands – including Nashville’s Dead, Exit/In, and Third Man Records – put on “Freakin’ Weekend” to further fuel the hype-train.
Arguably one of the best local festivals/extended concerts in Nashville, Freakin’ Weekend VII saw an already exceptional musical lineup move up to the next echelon by not only featuring fantastic local acts like Diarrhea Planet, Bully, Blank Range, and Savoy Motel, but also fantastic non-Nashville natives like Twin Peaks, CFM, and Lee Bains III & the Glory F
ires that embody the Nashville spirit.
As is the case most years, Freakin’ Weekend VII ‘s evening shows took place at both Exit/In and The End, but also featured a pre-festival party on Queen Avenue the Tuesday before Freakin’ Weekend, and an official after party at the Blue Room of Third Man Records.
Exit/In and The End are two of the longest standing venues in Nashville, both of which have featured incredibly diverse acts – everyone from Etta James, Gwar, and Kings of Leon at Exit/In as well as The White Stripes, Yo La Tengo, and Fred Armisen at The End. All in all, you can never go wrong with a show at either club, but if you really want to see a full fledged Nashville show, featuring some of the best music in and around the town, there’s no better time to visit than early to mid-March any given year at Freakin’ Weekend. I managed to snag tickets to the first night of Freakin’ Weekend at Exit/In this past Thursday, and got to see some of my favorite Nashville acts – Blank Range, Bully, Study Hall – along with some other incredible bands. Check out some of the pics from the first night of bands from Freakin’ Weekend VII, and be sure to check out the other bands that played.