Vesperteen – Nashville, TN – 7.18.2018
Analog at Hutton Hotel – 7.18.2018
Words and photos by Lynn Roy
This past Wednesday in Nashville we experienced a fantastic musical treat with an intimate show by Vesperteen. Analog was the perfect venue for a concert that felt more like a meeting of friends. A scattering of comfortable seating near the stage gives something of the feel of a house show, as well as good space for fans to chat with each other and the artists. The edges of the room contain a well-stocked bar with friendly staff and plenty of room to the side for the necessary merch tables. Those who arrived early were rewarded with excellent opening performances from Westover and Brasko before Vesperteen took the stage.
Hailing from nearby Franklin, TN, Westover led off with an energetic performance that did not disappoint. While clearly new to many in the audience, all present were quickly drawn into the music and dancing to the peppy blend of pop-tinged alternative. The short set covered some of the band’s most recent singles, including “Young” and “Teeth,” which also appear on their just-released full length album. The set ended with the tongue-in-cheek “Unique”, a gently sarcastic take on indie hipster attitudes.
Next, Nashville transplant Brasko gave a flamboyant performance, unafraid to show off dance moves and pour out raw emotion. From the very beginning, his energy and the way he completely threw himself into every note and word were captivating. In full makeup and wearing a single lace glove, he danced and played guitar throughout the set of consistently upbeat pop and paid tribute to Michael Jackson with a cover of “Remember the Time”. He ended with what he said is his favorite song to perform, his latest single “Tell Me You Love Me”. Thoroughly engaging to the very end, he made the audience part of the show by wading into the crowd and asking everyone to turn their phone flashlights on. The final chorus had everyone jumping and singing along in the shared glow amid the dark room, as Brasko ended the performance with a lot of new fans.
Finally, it was time for Vesperteen, a project of Colin Rigsby out of Columbus, OH. Colin is joined for live shows by various friends on bass and synth. He provides both vocals and drums all while moving about the stage and constantly engaging the audience. This consistent high level of musicianship and dedication to giving audiences a memorable performance has earned him an extremely loyal following known collectively as the Vesperteam, with one group of fans driving twelve hours to attend this show.
This was Vesperteen’s first show since the release of The Hype is Dead earlier this summer, and the band performed nearly every song from the album and their 2015 self-titled EP. The dedicated crowd sang along to every word, with Colin talking and joking with audience members as well as with the rest of the band. Amid all the fun, two moments stood out as particularly emotional. “Blue” is a slower song about the complex ups and downs of being a long-term relationship, and the honesty of it makes for a very moving moment live. After the song, Colin stated it is his favorite song he has written to date. Two songs later, “Feel” explored the complex interactions of mental health, addiction, and faith or loss of it. This was the first live performance of this song, which Colin acknowledged is very personal to him, and it showed in the energy emanating from the stage.
The other stand-out moment of the night was “Speed of Light”. The album version of this driving, energetic song features Josh Dun of twenty one pilots on drums, no small standard to live up to. Colin performed the drum part standing, as he does for all the songs, while singing his heart out. As with the rest of the show, the moment exceeded expectations. The evening ended with danceable favorite “Shatter in the Night”, but the band stayed around afterwards to meet with every fan who wanted to chat and get a photo together.
Vesperteen has limited tour dates this summer. Nothing compares to experiencing these amazing songs live. You will want to catch one of the dates below or follow on social media for future tour announcements.
Remaining tour dates for Vesperteen:
7/27 – Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East – Sonia
8/1 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
8/4-5 Appleton, WI @ Mile of Music