Big D and the Kids Table and State Radio @ Exit/In 2/16/10

Big D and the Kids Table is a ska band from Boston, MA that I have followed since I was in high school. They have played Nashville several times and, while this is my first time seeing them in town, I have heard that each time attendance has grown. They have just released a new record called Fluent in Stroll, which is the follow-up record to their immensely popular Strictly Rude. Traveling with back-up singers and new band members, Big D took the stage and delivered their Boston based ska to Nashville, which does require a bit of bravery as Nashville is not the most ska-friendly scene on earth. Featuring mostly songs from their new record during their set, they threw in several from the older albums ending with an encore of “Little Bitch”.
This led to State Radio taking the stage, whom are also from Boston, MA. I had heard the name State Radio before, but had never heard their recorded music or seen their live show. If I were to sum it up quickly I would say that if you are a Sublime fan you would like State Radio. While they are definitely a Northeast reggae/punk band with hints of Dispatch, they appeal to the same crowd as the aforementioned Long Beach trio that was well routed in west coast influences. Overall I enjoyed what I saw of State Radio and so did the crowd, especially those upfront who were leaning on the barricade, screaming every word of each song, and calling for more long after the walkout music took over the PA and the house lights came up.
After the show I caught up with Big D front man David McWayne at the merch table and got to ask him a couple of questions about the new Big D line up and record. First, I asked about the new record, how he felt like things had changed from the last record, Strictly Rude, and those before. McWayne explained to me that the new record, Fluent in Stroll, and Strictly Rude were really just a return to the attitude of their first two records. In between Big D’s first two records and the most recent two are two albums that more punk influenced and according to McWayne, Big D would play the punk stuff all day except for the fact that “when you are on tour, the road becomes your home” said McWayne and the negativity towards music felt throughout the making of the middle two records, influenced by the rise of emo, really began to wear on the band. According to McWayne, screaming all night about being angry can take its tole on you and he would much rather be singing about how “things are alright” and not bring the anger on the road with them. Another aspect of the band that I was curious about was the line-up change that the band seemed to have experienced. The main switch I noticed was the change in guitarists from Sean Rogan to Suburban Legends guitarist Brian Klemm. This switch due to the fact that Rogan has recently gotten married, but it is not a permanent replacement as McWayne assured me that Rogan will still be playing some shows with the band….who knows maybe he will be there when Big D returns to the Exit/In for their unannounced headlining tour.

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