By Claire Barron
As I stood on Lumpkin outside of the Georgia Theatre in pouring rain and 40 degree weather, all I was thinking was, “this better be good.” Moon Taxi, an eclectic and progressive rock band, would be playing inside to a crowd of rowdy Athenians and out-of-towners who were lucky enough to score tickets to the sold out show.
We walked into the venue to see a packed floor in front of the stage. Hundreds of eager twenty somethings were ready to be entertained. As I looked up I could see that the balconies were equally crowded. This Nashville band had a lot of fans in this town. Moon Taxi began in 2006 when two Belmont University students got together to play music. The two students met their other band members and quickly went from jamming in dorm rooms to writing and recording their own songs. From here Moon Taxi was ready for the wild ride to come.
As the band took the stage the excitement of the crowd escalated and hit its peak at the multicolored lights began to stream around the beloved venue. Moon Taxi is not only known for their music but also for their entertaining and engaging shows. As the music began to flow from the speakers it took a little while to really take it all in. The music is a mix of so many elements that it is difficult to establish which genre of rock it is or if it is entirely rock at all.
This band is able to combine a variety of elements to create something unique. You can hear the influences from decades past. There are hints of The Beatles and other popular bands from the 60’s and 70’s infused with a more modern and individualistic type of music. Each song that was played had its own specific importance. The lyrics of each song were meaningful and worth paying attention to. Each song is a story that you want to hear. The music that accompanies them was equally significant in its own right. Tunes from Moon Taxi’s newest record, Cabaret, were played throughout the evening.
The bands first two records, Melodica and Live Ride, were considered to be jam rock and live performances by the band. Cabaret is different from the band’s past records in that each song seemed to serve a specific purpose in defining the band’s identity. “Mercury” was certainly a crowd favorite. This song combines slower melodies with strong instrumentals and vocals. It is one of those songs that made everyone stop what they were doing and stare at the stage as they sang along and moved back and forth. Other songs that the band played like “Southern Trance” and “Whiskey Sunsets” were youthful and reminiscent. They were definitely some of the more playful jams played during the show. So many of Moon Taxi’s songs throughout the evening were able to have this mesmerizing effect on the crowd of focused music lovers.
Despite the powerful lyrics and thoughtfulness of the music, Moon Taxi keesp the energy high throughout the show. The way each band member is able to interact with each other and the crowd in an engaging way without distracting from the music is one of the best parts of their show. The band mates would feed off of each other’s energy and seemed to almost read one another’s minds as they moved around the stage and fed off of the crowd’s enthusiasm. They looked to each other and connected with the crowd back and forth throughout the evening.
You can tell that they just want everyone to have a good time while enjoying good music, and they don’t take themselves too seriously. Their performance is also accompanied by an amazing light show that adds to the overall experience. Each lighting element seems to go along with the songs that are being played and compliment them rather than taking away from them. As the different streams of light shot around the Georgia Theatre and the band members fed off of each others playing and singing, it all came together in very cool way. I could hear people all around me commenting on how much they enjoyed that aspect of the concert.
Moon Taxi is not a band you want to miss out on if you have the opportunity to experience them. Their music is so original that people who take pleasure in a wide variety of musical genres can easily enjoy it. They will entertain you while opening your mind and your ears to a unique sound that will leave you wanting to hear more.