Two nights of music featuring: Annie DiRusso, Cece Coakley, The Greeting Committee, MICHELLE, Sunflower Bean, Indigo De Souza, and Briston Maroney.
The beloved Nashville, Tennessee music venue, Brooklyn Bowl brimmed with energy early November for the highly anticipate 2-night Paradise Fest put together by Nashville sweetheart, Briston Maroney. The rising alt folk-rock artist announced the dates back in July 2022 to great joy from his fans. November 3rd & 4th were stacked with some of the best rising voices on the indie scene. In collaboration with Lightning 100, a Nashville radio station and the record store Grimey’s; the Fest also allocated a portion of proceeds for local nonprofits: The Nashville Food Project and Oasis Center, along with donation boxes for nonperishable foods and requested clothing items.
Briston Maroney recently closed out his All Aboard Tour in October; we stopped by his show in Columbus, Ohio in September check out the Tour Diaries here.
NIGHT ONE: NOVEMBER 3RD
Night one began with a solo set from Nashville based indie-rock artist Annie DiRusso. Fresh off opening for Declan McKenna on his recent Zeros Tour, Annie mesmerized the crowd with her power vocals and charming personality. Our only complaint? She did not play long enough. The brief set consisting of just Annie and her guitar set the standard for the evening. Annie is a master lyricist, painting dynamic and complex depictions of angst, relationships and love. The artist rose in prominence off her sensational song "Coming Soon" which received an abundance of love on TikTok after its' release in August of 2021. DiRusso's latest single "Nauseous" drops November 18th, and we cannot wait for the angsty addition to her discography.
You Gotta Listen: Call It All Off, Don't Swerve, Nine Months
The Greeting Committee followed with an electric set featuring some of the band's beloved songs. The set marked the start of band's To Feel Right Again Tour that will end in early December. The Kansas City native band comprised of Addie Sartino (vocals), Austin Fraser (drums), Pierce Turcotte (bass), and Brandon Yangmi (guitar) lit up the stage with unreal energy. Between Addie's crowd surfing and a lively saxophone performance from bassist Pierce Turcotte, The Greeting Committee knows how to throw a party. A surprise appearance by Briston Maroney for his verse on The Greeting Committee's song "Sort Of Stranger," solidified the set as one for the ages. The band's most recent single "Hopscotch" released the following day on November 4th, and it's definitely one you need to hear live.
You Gotta Listen: Make Out, She's A Gun,
Can I Leave Me Too?
Sunflower Bean enraptured the audience with their blinding talent as they regaled the "agony and ecstasy of contemporary American life." The New York trio made up of Julia Cumming (vocals + bass), Nick Kivlen (vocals + guitar), and Olive Faber (drums) epitomize music that needs to be played loud and with the windows down as you drive around; their live performance offer the same transcendent factor their recorded tracks provide. Whether you want to scream or dance, Sunflower Bean has the track for you. The band has been on their Headful of Sugar Tour since late October and will continue a slew of dates across the U.S. until mid-December opening for the indie pop band, Peach Pit.
You Gotta Listen: Moment In The Sun, Human Ceremony, Beat The Odds
Briston Maroney closed out the night, but we'll get into all the deets about his *insane* performances in our recap of night two.
NIGHT TWO: NOVEMBER 4TH
Night two of Paradise Fest continued the precedent of a stacked lineup set by the previous night. The sold out night featured a packed venue, wild mosh pit, and electric soundtrack.
Photographer: Lucy Jones
Cece Coakley kicked off the night with an endearing solo set with just her, the crowd, and her new guitar. Cece won over the audience, not only with her delightful quips, but also with her glimmering talent. With nothing to hide behind, Cece's voice carried beautifully throughout the venue chronicling her experiences with love and relationships. Just as with Annie DiRusso's set from the prior night, our only issue was that Cece was not on stage long enough - we could have done with at least another six hours relishing in the basking in the artist's glorious lyrics.
You Gotta Listen: Listerine, Terrify You With My Heart, Perfect Strangers
Photographer: Lucy Jones
The NYC-native collective band MICHELLE captured the audience's attention the second they arrived to the stage. The choreography of the collective's four vocalists - Sofia D'Angelo, Layla Ku, Emma Lee, and Jamee Lockard - complements the indie-pop nature of their music to a T; creating a nostalgic feel for pop performances in the early 2000s that heavily featured choreographed dance breaks. Instrumentalist Julian Kaufman and Charlie Kilgore round out the collective with unique percussion and backing to MICHELLE's catchy tracks. MICHELLE is an absolute joy to watch on stage, some of the best stage presence to date, they are a uniquely individualized collective - however, their synchronization on stage in performance unites them as one. MICHELLE completes their Lavender Tour November 17th in Brussels, Belgium, and we can't wait to follow what they do next.
You Gotta Listen: PULSE, STUCK ON U, NO SIGNAL
Photographer: Lucy Jones
Indigo De Souza closed out her year-long touring stint with a magnetic set at Paradise Fest. Indigo has a powerful and intense voice, perhaps rough and gritty to some, but angelic to all the right people. De Souza is an undeniable force, filled with music that is effortless and confessional. Indigo has a unique quality where her music wraps the listener up and takes them away into the story the she creates. The "shape-shifting" element of De Souza's music is amplified live and the audience transcends as Indigo's voice guides them around her songs and leads them back to reality. Perhaps that seems a bit "out-there," but there is truly no other way to describe the force that is Indigo De Souza - maybe it just means you'll need to catch her live and experience it for yourself.
You Gotta Listen: Home Team, Kill Me, Boys
Photographer: Lucy Jones
Briston Maroney, the man of the night. MUD saw Briston on his most recent tour about two months prior to Paradise Fest; but Paradise Briston was a whole new experience. Aptly opening the night with his recent single "Paradise," Briston ignited the simmering flame that was the audiences' energy and anticipation. Briston's sheer talent, not only as a performer, but as a lyricist shines with songs like "Oregon," and "Bottom of the Ocean." The camaraderie on stage with Briston's band - Nathan Knox (drums), Devin Badgett (guitar), and Zack Lockwood (bass) - elevates the safe and fun-loving environment Briston creates at his shows. One highlight of the set came from the *intense* mosh pit during "I've Been Waiting." Briston's long-time supportive Father, made his way from the second level of the venue to initiate the moshing, just as he did when Briston first began performing in small venues years ago. Briston is a natural performer, the stage exists as an extension of him, and he has such beautiful control of his vocals and instruments as he bops around on stage.
Briston Maroney exudes love and kindness, which is ever present on stage, but also when he came out to chat with the stranglers of the night and dole out hugs to everyone that helped support the Fest. Briston Maroney absolutely needs to be on your watchlist of rising artists, he's got something special and we are so excited to have jumped aboard the Briston Express when we did. Briston posted to his IG story in the days after Paradise Fest stating, "It's a great day to start a new album." We don't know about you, but we are counting down the days to hear these new tracks live.
You Gotta Listen: Kitchen, Bottom of the Ocean, Steve's First Bruise
Paradise Fest was a magical two-days is the buzzing city of Nashville. Briston Maroney's curated bill of incredibly talented and charming bands and artists made for a truly unforgettable experience. Maroney thought of everything for this fest, outside of the music, there was an onsite tattoo artist, inking a collection of flash tattoos draw by Briston, photo opts galore, and shirley temples for the masses (that last one is less of Briston and more of the venue's bar - thank you for the continued supply of Shirley Temples Mr. Bartender!!). Paradise Fest had an infectious energy both nights, and we are beyond on board for this to become an annual gig. Even if Paradise Fest was only a one time deal you need to add all of these artists to your concert bucket list - we promise you won't be disappointed.
Make sure to follow MUD on Instagram for the latest music content.