Night 5 of the 6 shows in 7 days stretch had us viewing Bully and Strand of Oaks at Zanzabar. Unlike Headliners, the doorman isn’t overtly recognizing us, so that has now become my personal mission. (addendum: this may have been accomplished this weekend- Vern and I are working on this first name basis thing).
Bully opened the night up and thankfully, this time we weren’t running late, so we caught the last couple songs of their set. They are a Nashville-based band that has a lot of people talking of late, including Ryan Adams, which alone is a huge selling point for seeing them live. Lead singer, Alicia Bognanno, is a (new) blonde babe with some pipes and skills on the guitar. From my Google stalking, it sounds like she is one bad lady who can pretty much do it all when it comes to the music process and this band benefits from that for sure. Bully has been getting noticed by a lot of people recently, with their distinct punk-y sound, and I would not be surprised if this is their breakout year.
That being said, Timothy Showalter aka Strand of Oaks was the main attraction for the evening and I was really excited about seeing him in an environment like Zanzabar. A fellow Hoosier from the north, Showalter’s story is nothing short of inspiring in the way that he has gotten through some pretty tough stuff. He mentioned early on in the evening that he was battling voice issues- some sort of B-12 shot and fair certainty that coughing blood would occur later in the night- but he promised he would give us the best show he possibly could. And that he did. “Goshen 97” is definitely a favorite of 91.9, therefore I’ve been hearing it a lot. The song means even more to me now that I realize he’s from the actual town of Goshen, only an hour away from my original home, good ol’ Fort Wayne. Earlier in the day, we heard him talking to Laura Shine on FPK about where his album HEAL came from. He spoke about how he had a moment where he realized that he needed to make some changes, and that this album was a demanding shout (why the all caps) that he needed to heal himself. The passion and honesty in his music most certainly comes from some tough experiences in his past- I find that very admirable as it is definitely not in my nature to be so introspective and open about it.
The Zanzabar crowd was absolutely loving Strand of Oaks and in return Showalter was loving us. Seriously, all night it was a back and forth of who adored the other more- the fans or the artist. That kind of positivity will always lead to a good night, and was a great way to start another school week.