Xmas Tree Ball @ The Mercy Lounge 12/4/09

Friday night had their first annual Christmas Tree Ball at the Mercy Lounge as part of the Sweet Water sponsored concert series called “Winter of Dreamz II” that has several more featured events for the month of December and one in January. As a part of this night three Nashville acts got together to help out, which is a local non-profit company that brings together a community of people that are interested in planting trees to try and offset carbon emissions. The “sound” part of Sound Forest is referring to the fact that a large part of this community is musicians who are all coming together to support this great cause. If you go to their website you may even see some familiar faces sporting the company’s new t-shirts that, when purchased, pays to plant a tree. Because the night was themed as such, there were several Christmas trees surrounding the Sound Forest table and fake snow falling as, the appropriately named Tallest Trees, Karius Vega, and The Protomen brought fans at the Mercy Lounge a taste of some of the unique music that this city has to offer.
Kicking off the night were Tallest Trees, whom I extremely enjoyed. This being my first time seeing them, I did not know what to expect as the three members took the stage, one being the drummer, and the other two being singers that had platforms holding an array of electronic instruments that were foreign to my eye. In addition to this, one of the members played electric guitar and a mini piano, the other played acoustic guitar, and at some points both added additional percussion. The band’s unique mixture of live and electronic instruments was superb as they sampled in recorded vocals on top of their own, while building songs from basic drums, keys, and guitar, to full fledged multi-layered beings. With the addition of Karius Vega’s background videos covering the entirety of the back of the stage, the band’s songs felt as though they were the soundtrack of life.
Following the conclusion of Tallest Trees, Karius Vega continued playing the video but began spinning some of his own tracks. The video that Vega used was designed and created by Vega and added to his infectious dance music. The dance music continued pumpin until The Protomen came on.
The Protomen put on one of the most unique live performances of any band in Nashville. Beginning with an intro hyping up the crowd, who fervently pledged their allegiance to The Protomen, the band took the stage decked out in the all black attire, face paint, and helmet that have helped them to develop their image and garner avid support from their dedicated fan base. The Protomen’s version of rock and roll has its influences in 80s rock, hard rock, and hair metal, with an overall hint of rock opera. With this blend of influences the band took their fans into rock and roll battle and, as their hypeman so epically declared, “On this night we battle for trees” and I’m pretty sure they won.

You can catch Tallest Trees and The Protomen for free on Thursday, December 17th with Majestico and Parachute Musical for the Miller Made Music Showcase at the Exit/In, as well as Karius Vega on new years eve for the Moon Taxi New Years Eve party at the Exit/In.


Other pictures from the show:

(Karius Vega)

(Tallest Trees playing percussion on top of looped instruments)

(The Protomen with Santa)


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