Have you ever gotten out of bed and thought to yourself, “I feel like going to a Bass music show in Chattanooga, time to send it!” Me neither! Luckily my buddy Sammy T and I discovered an incredible concert taking place in the mountains of Tennessee that featured a line up worth driving even 1,000 miles, need be. It only took a quick glance at the event page before making up our minds about this Chattanooga adventure: Minnesota and CharlestheFirst at Songbirds. It had been a few months since I stopped in Chattanooga to see my buddy Bryan, the curator for Moonshine Music Fetsival, so believe me when I say that I was beyond excited to get a taste of the cave city’s music culture. Add in a little spelunking trip at Raccoon Mountain and an unexpected performance by Vancouver based alien producers Pigeon Hole, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a Wednesday. Let’s get into the story shall we?
My body was rather sore after crawling through challenging crevices and creepy entrances during our cave diving trip, but I wasn’t going to let a bit of pain hold me back from one of the gnarliest evenings of my 2018 experience. Sam and I walked into the building with our heads up high, we were beyond stoked to catch CharlestheFirst and Minnesota in a new setting. The first, and only time I’ve witnessed CharlestheFirst perform was at this year’s Electric Forest, where he absolutely tore down the Tripolee stage in front of thousands of supporters. On the other hand, my last Minnesota experience was on 4/20 at the newly bread Digital Gardens here in Charlotte. So when I walked into the venue and noticed that the capacity couldn’t have been more than five hundred people, I knew we were in for a real intimate experience. But I was in for a huge surprise once I gazed upon stage and noticed that the dons of Pigeon Hole were actually performing before the two headliners! It was time to witness the Vancouver badmons tear down Chattanooga.
A few months ago, I was in a really cranky mood at work, so I said “f*ck the system, I’m looking up some new music!” All the sudden this incredible song that reminded me of G Jones and Eprom started blaring through my phone, and the frown sitting on my face completely turned upside down. I immediately fell in love with Pigeon Hole’s sound – I loved it so much that it motivated me to write an article on their new Noise Parade EP! Since they weren’t really promoted on the event page, I had no idea that they were performing – but the sight of the two gentlemen rocking out on stage put the biggest smile on my face. On the left side was a tall, slim figured fella with swooshy brown hair and a beard to match it named Collin aka, Dusty Melo, and on the right was a a tough looking guy with a black beanie and black hoodie to match the steez. His name is Lee, but the fans know him as Marmalade. The two have this special dynamic chemistry that flourishes the second they hit the stage, it’s obvious, and it’s really engaging!
The energy that Dusty Melo and Marmalade put into their live performances is next level. They take an extra step in making sure that fans get just as hyped up as they do. What I really enjoy about a Pigeon Hole performance is their forward move to freestyle during their set – while Marmalade was manning the mixer, Dusty Melo would hit us with a few nasty bars that almost always perfectly lead up to an imminent and heavy drop. You can ask my buddy Sam, I was completely losing my mind as Pigeon Hole started mixing in their infamous single “Wolves“, the tune that attracted me to their project in early November. As the song rose to its infamous drop, Dusty Melo grabbed the mic and unleashed the infamous “Ch- Ch- Ch- bum- bum-bum!” before unleashing the special lazer womps that make my body bounce. You should have seen the crowd when they finally dropped this groundbreaking tune – I even lost myself in the music for a few minutes whenever the boys played another one of my Pigeon Hole favorites called “Front Row”, it’s as if my being was teleported to the commander’s seat of the baddest space ship ever invented by NASA, and it was up to me to discover new life in the cosmos. If you can manage to catch these guys in a city near you, I totally recommend checking Pigeon Hole for yourself. A big thank you to the blue haired beauty named Emily for introducing me to Dusty Melo, that absolutely made my night!
A few moments passed before the following act of the night shuffled his way to the stage to show this hungry crowd exactly what they’ve been waiting for – an immediate ominous energy took over the room as CharlestheFirst plugged in his flash drive, there was no turning back. The last time I had witnessed my own CharlestheFirst set, I believe I was filling up water bottles at the Tripolee stage at Michigan’s Electric Forest Music Festival (I highly recommend volunteering with WET if you want to a unique and unordinary music festival experience). It was incredible watching him hypnotize thousands of fans in what felt like a secluded forest, but imagine what it was like to feel the immense bass from this eccentric Lake Tahoe based wizard from such a close proximity – I felt like I had never left the cave. Once Charles began his mystical journey in Chattanooga, my mind was immediately shifted to a special dance party deep in the holiest of caverns that this unique city had to offer. CharlestheFirst was sporting a some kind of snapback and a nice dark jacket to match it, he was almost sporting a business casual getup except once the clock hits 5:00 and you can finally throw on your favorite hat. There’s something electrifying about witnessing a CharlestheFirst set from the rail; his performances give me the sensation that nothing exists except us and the mother nature that surrounds us on a daily basis. Fans will be happy to know that Charles orchestrated a special vibe that fateful Thursday night by mixing in songs such as “The Forest With No Name” “Breaking The Surface“ and “Mercy Falls” to name a few. I’m beyond grateful that I was able to experience this performance in such a special setting – by this point, I was miles deep in this endless Bass Cave.
It was a little sad watching CharlestheFirst walk off stage, but that’s because I was having so much fun dancing to his peculiar and intricate style. However, it’s hard to be sad when a true genius in this world of Bass Music is just moments away from joining his fans in what would end up being a full fledged two hour showdown of the most vivid wobbles that you can imagine. I’ll never forget the first day I saw Minnesota perform in a live setting – sometime in 2015 he proved to me that a mid day set with zero visuals or lazers can go just as hard as any headlining slot. Minnesota is a true mix martial artist, and I’d be frightened to tears to face him in any sort of DJ competition. But needless to say, I really enjoyed seeing the familiar alien deer, that makes up this madman’s logo, float around on stage as Minnesota fed bass heavy tracks off his Curio EP to his fans. I can’t quite remember who dropped it, but the Pigeon Hole remix of “Dark Crystal” sounded phenomenal live. I have to hand it to Minnesota for creating such a diverse selection of sounds over the years – one moment you can find yourself exploring the outer layers of this Earth as you project further and further into the cosmos, another moment you could be floating in the clouds of Jamaica as you “Burn” away all your cares and worries. I loved you back when you stole my face in Athens, I loved you the day that Illenium played direct support for you at the Chop Shop in Charlotte, and I sure as heck will love you even more whenever I get to rock out to your timeless style once again. To Minnesota, Pigeon Hole, CharlestheFirst and the entire staff at Songbirds. THANK YOU.
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