American Aquarium was the final performance in the 11 pm slot at EXIT/IN on September 14, and Americana Highways was happy to be able to catch their set.
Attendees at AmericanaFest in Nashville have a lot of choices after the Americana Awards and Honors conclude at the Ryman Auditorium.
If you stay for the full awards program, you will miss one of the opening evening bands on the Wednesday schedule.
Frontman BJ Barham delivered his punching anthems, sad songs, heartbreak and young adult angst to a well-receiving crowd of smiling faces. Those clustered in the first several feet of the stage. were visibly singing along.
Song staples like “Burn Flicker and Die” “I Hope He Breaks Your Heart” “Losing Side of Twenty Five” and “Casualties” were delivered with Barham’s characteristically energetic performance.
The set lists are shorter at AmericanaFest showcases than a full on tour show, serving a vital role to make introductions to artists not yet discovered by music enthusiasts at the conference..
The American Aquarium set served as a temporary alt-country salve for this writer since the band is set to play my hometown on Saturday, the last day of this year’s AmericanaFest conference.
The EXIT/IN is known for hosting a wide variety of independent acts and music performers, a storied list, including musical icons like Johnny Cash.
The west-of-center music venue drew a near capacity crowd for American Aquarium.
It’s remarkable EXIT/IN was able to host the evening. Concerted efforts clawed the venue back from the pressures of being erased as a new development site in a seemingly frenetic pace of changes to Nashville’s buildingscape.
A long line of fans waited for their anticipated meet and greet with Barham after the show.
Barham kept to his long-standing tradition of shaking hands with fans and, as he remarks from the stage, “looking them in the eye” after the set.
Enjoy our earlier coverage of Americana Aquarium here: Show Review: American Aquarium at Jones Assembly 7/18
Take a look at the AmericanaFest Lineup and schedule here: https://americanamusic.org/about-americanafest
Find American Aquarium music and tour dates here: http://www.americanaquarium.com
by Brian DeSpain