The Murfreesboro Pulse celebrated its inaugural issue Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Bluesboro with a full night of live music.
The evening’s bill was packed with a diverse group of bands, ranging from ska to metal to college rock to punk rock. Even a fierce winter storm couldn’t keep the place from being packed.
Kicking off the evening was Murphey, who have been gaining local popularity since forming just over a year ago. Their piano-heavy sound plays well in a college town, and their live show has been getting tighter with every performance. Lead singer Charlie Murphey continues to gain poise as a front man, and has lately been playing more electric guitar. During their closing song “Saint” was the evening’s first rock ?n roll moment, as Charlie hopped up onto a table during the big instrumental jam and the back and forth “Come on, come on, come on” part of the song.
As people continued to stream in from the cold, the punk rock trio Pig Dog took the stage. Their set was characterized by short, fast guitar-driven songs. Amidst the tidal waves of distortion, a melody did emerge before the set was complete.
As Pig Dog’s set ended, folks in attendance were treated to the evening’s second rock n’ roll moment, as drummer Tommy Robelot did a textbook swan dive from his drum stool onto his kit.
“I do it every time,” Robelot said after the set.
The night rolled on with the metal stylings of A Band Named June. These guys rocked out with pure gritty, breakdown-based metal. Many in attendance were caught a bit off guard when A Band Named June paid tribute to the father of punk rock, as they covered “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash. Whether it was under their breath or just in their head, you can rest assured that almost everyone in the crowd was singing along as lead singer T.J. King came to the classic line, “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.”
By 11 p.m. the place was packed, with people standing elbow to elbow along the bar. Many people in the crowd read the debut issue of The Murfreesboro Pulse between sets.
“I am so happy about this magazine, I read the whole thing,” said Ashley Shapiro, an MTSU student in attendance.
The diversity of the bands was reflected by the diversity of the crowd on this snowy Tuesday evening. If you were to take a quick pan of those in attendance, you would see fleece jackets from The North Face, a Sigur Ros hoodie, pea coats, dreadlocks, mohawks, hipsters in corduroy jackets and big scarves, a Phish hat or two, tight pants, baggy pants and no less than two MTSU professors.
“It’s a surprisingly good turnout, and a good group of people,” said Sam Farkas, guitarist for Spiderfighter.
Around 11:11 p.m., the second half of the night was kicked off by Stuck Lucky, a band that fuses ska and metal for an energetic show. With their tight trumpet and trombone rhythms and constant tempo changes, Stuck Lucky instigated the evening’s first mosh pit.
Rounding out the evening were the very-talented Ascent of Everest. With the recent addition of a cello player and violinist, their head count is now up to seven members. These guys may be turning into a local Polyphonic Spree, minus the robes.
Not that they sound similar to the colorfully robed army. Ascent of Everest’s sound brings to mind bands such as Godspeed you, Black Emperor and Sigur Ros.
Closing the night out was the pure jam band Incredible Heat Machine. Their set was peppered with extended solos, tight grooves, and covers of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin songs. By the time Incredible Heat Machine’s set was finished around 2:30 a.m., tore down and visited with the crowd for a while, club management had to persuade about 20 loyal music lovers to get out the door.
All in all, it was a good kickoff party for The Murfreesboro Pulse. With six stylistically diverse bands and a crowd of 200 strong, it was a good turnout for the first night of the semester. Keep reading The Pulse for more on these and other local bands in the future.