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CONCERT COVERAGE: Ringing in the New Year with Moon Taxi

Date of show: December 30 & 31, 2017 Location: Tabernacle, Atlanta, Georgia Photos & Review by: Nina Martin (copy editing by Jeremy Williams) Downtown Atlanta's very own Tabernacle music venue played host to a two-night Moon Taxi show on New Year's Eve. I had the pleasure of attending both nights and photographing the first night. The first night began on Saturday, December 30th with ELEL and Ripe. The indie-pop three-piece group ELEL started the show on an upbeat note. Their hit song "40 Watt" has a great catchy sound to it and kept the crowd grooving. Ripe came on shortly after with their contagious vibrant energy. The band did a killer cover of Ellie Goulding's "On My Mind", filled with wailing vocals and howling solos. It is more than obvious that this group of seven guys enjoy every moment on stage performing their hearts out, making sure every fan joins their existential dance-party funk-pop-rock jams. Both opening bands are expected to release new music early in the year, and I look forward to seeing where the year takes them. Night Two, New Year's Eve, also had absolutely incredible supporting acts LUTHI and Stop Light Observations. Fellow Nashville natives LUTHI was prepared to bring the party with their nine-piece band. The group had a very eccentric sound that truly worked in their favor, mixing funk with jazz, soul and indie rock and roll, making a solid combination of feel-good melodies. Stop Light Observations kept the energy going, kicking off their set with Marvin Gay's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine". These guys were so undoubtedly fantastic to see perform live, with headbanging hits like "Aquarius Apocalyptic" and swoon-full songs like "Dinosaur Bones". Towards the end of the band's set, they brought out the band mascot Lou Dog, an English Bulldog, to come say hello to everyone. Lou walked around the stage, stealing the hearts of every fan in sight, and made his way to the drum area where he sat in pure bliss enjoying the music just as much, if not more, than the crowd. It was certainly a memorable moment and highlight of the night. Moon Taxi came on the stage the first night ready to make an impression, starting their set off with "Year Zero". This song is such a great way to kick off the evening with the chorus theme of “Someday out of the dark we go", ramping up the audience. With this killer, hard-hitting opening song the crowd was undeniably hooked and ready to be blown away. Between the two nights, the group played several new songs from their upcoming release Let The Record Play. Songs included the title track "Let The Record Play", "Not Too Late", "Good as Gold", and of course "Two High", which currently has over 75 MILLION plays on Spotify. In my opinion, "Two High" is more than just a hit song... it is a movement and message of hope and positivity that only continues to grow. The guys have an excellent array of covers that they carry like tricks under their sleeves, such as Tom Petty's "You Don't Know How It Feels", "Baba O Riley" by The Who, and "All Along The Watchtower" by none other than Bob Dylan. I think the cover that resonated with me the most with me was "Mad World". Singer Trevor Terndrup has such a unique vocal take on the Gary Jules original, and the chorus had such direct power behind it as well. Some highlights of the two-night show included the hypnotizing guitar solo on "Beaches" that puts everyone in a musical euphoria, the out-of-this-world drum solo filled with colorful spotlights, and, without a doubt, midnight on New Year's Eve. The crowd soaked in everything Moon Taxi had to offer. Every aspect of how the band performed is everything I could have imagined for a New Year’s Eve show. From the balloon drop when the clock struck midnight, to the multiple confetti shoots, the night was more than magical and was truly an unforgettable evening. Moon Taxi is starting the year with a bang releasing their fifth studio album Let The Record Play on January 19th, along with multiple tour dates through late spring. The group has also already announced several festival appearances, including their return to Bonnaroo, as well as In Bloom, and Sloss Music and Arts Festival. I truly believe this will be their best year yet and cannot wait to see the success that unfolds for a well deserving band.

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