Jet Black Alley Cat, despite having only a few officially released songs, has gained quite the following in the last two years. They’ve done consistent touring on this side of the United States, including Nashville Warped Tour in 2014, but this time, they decided to change things up. The Jet Black Summer Night (July 9th) was advertised as an intimate show for the longtime fans of the band, the venue being a small brewery in Nashville. Only 50 tickets were originally sold, which was later expanded to 60. Whether or not it was a small show, I would have gone, but the idea of a purposefully small show was really interesting.
The first thing I noticed when we got into the venue, Harpeth Brewing, is that it was really hot, and definitely a small place for a show. The water they had for those under 21 (myself included) was lukewarm and not helpful in my thirst. But the atmosphere was fun. Everyone was really excited, band members were walking around talking to those fans they recognized and being introduced to new ones. I thought I was going to be awkward with Alex the entire night, but Jessica (head of the street team and diehard jbac fan) got me talking to some other fans and I relaxed.
I didn’t really listen to the first band (breaking one of my own rules of giving my undivided attention to each band), but when it was time for Jet Black to come on stage, I parked myself in the very front and waited patiently. The balloons that were hanging off streamers on the ceiling had been falling off, so several of us were handed them to keep them away from the stage. I traded my gold one for a pink one, just because.
One of my favorite things about Jet Black Alley Cat is how different they sound than the other bands I regularly go see live. They are not a moshing band, or even a jumping band. They are a band I can dance to. Their music doesn’t vibrate my chest with bass and drums, it gets under my skin. The music is colorful and fun, and emotional. It’s an experience that I really can’t find anywhere else. Joe does an amazing job of making everyone feel included, both in the way he makes and keeps contact with the crowd, and when he gives the crowd opportunities to sing. Remember, there were roughly 60 people there, all loyal enough to carry the tune when Joe gave us the mic.
Perhaps even more surprising is that many in the crowd knew songs that haven’t been released. My favorite, “High Class Women”, I’ve only heard once but I remembered it. I know that many of us had been to several shows already, which created both a sense of community but I think at a certain point the members start noticing as well. I know at least Joe remembers me from way back when (has it really been four years, I ask myself. Yes, yes it has.)
I think I should give special mention to “Memphis Blues”, which is my favorite on-record song of theirs, which becomes ethereal to listen to live. Then it was revealed that they had posters and roses set out for everyone who came. It’s a small gesture, but it still feels romantic and I felt honored.
That’s when “Golden” played.
It’s on Spotify now, but for about two weeks I was walking around with this song stuck in my head…except I could only remember the chorus! It’s a really fun song, and the hook melody is so catchy. I love the driving beat and the sassy bridge. I would love for them to put out more songs, but I can’t argue with their current method: releasing one song every couple of months keeps me on my toes.
On our way home, Alex told me that he thought Joe had a “bomb ass voice”, which I agree with.
I can’t wait to see them again, and if you can’t get out to a concert I suggest you listen to them on Spotify or ITunes!