Death folk is a unique genre of music, it is not for everyone to say the least. On this chilly night in March, death folk came to the small city of Mesa and it rocked everyone’s world. The most notable thing about death or murder folk is that there is almost always a banjo involved.
The first group to hit the stage was Vic & Lauren or otherwise known as The Witch and The Burro, for obvious reasons Vic has stated during their set. Although they are not really murder folk they definitely fit into the folk genre. Lauren sings and plays some guitar while Vic plays the guitar, harmonica, tambourine, kick drum and he sings as well! As they begin their set, the audience is stunned. Lauren’s voice hits the audience and boy was it magical. Her voice is soft, airy, soulful and for a lack of better terms unique. Her voice is like stepping back into the 20s when jazz was popular. As they continue in their set Lauren mentions how they usually write a playlist but sometimes they end up going down a different path so their original list ends up being moot. Vic and Lauren were great at interacting with the crowd, they would tell the audience stories about how they wrote a song, what the song was about or things that had happened to them.
After a few songs Luke from the Bridge City Sinners joins them on stage with his violin and he surprises Vic, Lauren had seen Luke coming on stage and mentions that she was stalling so he could get prepared. They end up playing some songs that they wrote together. It was also a real treat to be able to watch members from two of the bands on tour join each other and write music together. As they were about to play their last song Vic asked the audience if they knew what schmaltz was. “I don’t know if you know what schmaltz is but it’s a word, we use back east to be kind of cheesy but in a good way.” Vic stated. Their set ended up being a great way to start the night, gearing everyone up for what was about to come next, the calm before the storm if you will.
The second band to hit the stage came in like a storm, they hit the audience fast and hard. The Goddamn Gallows, their sound is described as hobocore or American punk. In reality their sound is always everchanging and they can be classified into a few genres of rock because they can blend theses different genres together to create their unique sound.
The band is made up by Mickey Classic-vocals/guitar, Fishgutzz-vocals/bouble bass, Uruah “Baby Genius” Baker-drums, and Jake Orvis-banjo/guitar/mandolin. The band truly had amazing energy on the stage and even off! All of their songs were energetic and got you moving and dancing around. At one point a fan handed her beer to Orvis to drink. The band also had a small gift up their sleeve. Orvis took to the drums while Baker left the drum set and took the microphone. He sang his own song that has a very punk rock feel to it. After their set had ended, Classic could be seen dancing on the floor with everyone else!
The time had come for the final band to hit the stage. Everyone was ready to un-leash their full murder folk potential. The lights dimed and out came the band: Bridge City Sinners. The crowd goes wild! The band is comprised of Libby Lux-vocals/banjo, Michael Sinner – Resonator Guitar, Lightnin’ Luke – Fiddle, Clyde McGee – Banjo, and Scott Michaud – Upright Bass. The first thing that was noticeable was Lux’s shirt, it said I don’t have tits. Her outfit choice was definitely a comical statement piece.
As soon as the music started the crowd went wild singing every song word for word. In between songs Lux would tell stories about things that happened on tour or she would give you background about why she wrote that song. Halfway through their set, she found out that one of the audience members had a birthday that day so she got the whole building to sing that person happy birthday! Now I bet the whole Green Day playing when the fans entered The Nile is still on your mind, well here’s the story. After a song had ended Lux mentioned that something happened to her the night before. She had been laying in her hotel bed scrolling through Instagram when she had gotten a new follower notification.
That new follower turned out to none other than Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day. When she saw that she said she screamed so loud that her band members could hear her from their rooms, thus the next day she wanted nothing but Green Day playing when the audience entered the venue and in between sets. She then told everyone that they were going to take a video together singing a Green Day song. Lux stated “I want to make him regret following us and realize it was the biggest mistake he’s ever made!”. The fans went absolutely nuts and killed it with Lux and when she had finished recording her video she looked back at the audience, saluted them and said “SEE YOU ON THE GREEN DAY TOUR!”. Truly a fantastic way to end the night, but that wasn’t all. Bridge City Sinners ended up playing two encore songs before they officially closed out their set.