Bringing in the Bands
There are a myriad of names that could fill those slots, and I am more than certain there is enough good and current musical taste on Nantucket (during the summer, at least) to sell out the venues in short order.
As a fan of rock n’ roll and the blues, I was pretty excited when I heard Robert Randolph was coming to Nantucket.
While we are often treated to a variety of cover and tribute bands at the Chicken Box and other island venues, it is more of a rarity to see a nationally known and respected musical act such as Randolph come to the island. Credit for this of course lies at the feet of Rocky Fox and the other owners of the Box, a venue that has been synonymous with live music on Nantucket for many years.
In the past I have enjoyed seeing Grace Potter a few times (before her latest album and national tour with Kenny Chesney, both a severe test on my status as a fan), as well as G Love, whose albums I don’t really care for, but was impressed by his live show. Donovan Frankenreiter has been another nationally known act to grace our shores and I’ve heard tales of Jimmy Buffet and others playing the Box.
As I write these words, Joshua Tree is packing out the Box to sing “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” for, what I am sure is, the 800th time. And while I’m not the biggest fan of Joshua Tree (or U2 for that matter), they bring a level of excitement to the musical scene that is often only matched by those nationally known acts I mentioned.
Several years ago I asked Rocky if he would consider bringing a fledgling band whose roots, though in Ohio, had an interesting connection to Nantucket (the band is The Lighthouse and the Whaler and their name comes from a passage in Moby Dick that describes island.). He said that it was difficutl to venture into unchartered musical waters for fear the crowds would not show. For the proven favorites that is clearly not a problem, as Robert Randolph sold out $60 tickets the afternoon they went on sale! I can’t help but think there is an opportunity here for the Box (and possibly a couple of other venues), at least during the summer months, to step out into the deep water and risk brining a wider variety of talent to the island.
While in my opinion (and clearly several hundred others), Robert Randolph is as good as any act that has ever graced our shores, I would love to see someone like Gary Clark Jr., Dawes, Free Energy, Jason Isbell, The Head and the Heart, or even Dallas Green of City and Colour (and formerly of Alexisonfire) fill the room come concert day.
My point is, there are a myriad of names that could fill those slots, and I am more than certain there is enough good and current musical taste on Nantucket (during the summer, at least) to sell out the venues in short order.
It might be a risk for the Box and its management, but I think they should give Nantucket’s music fans some credit. I for one would do my best to encourage every friend and reader to fill the room come concert day.
That said, I can’t help but enthusiastically look forward to Badfish this coming Tuesday, I mean, who doesn’t love Sublime? …even if it is not actually Sublime.
Who would you like to see play the Box or another local venue? (Tell us in the comments) If I get a consensus on a particular act, I will do my best to convince Rocky and others to bring out a new band sooner than later.
(Photo by Rebecca Love Photography)