Wild Child w/ Big Mama Shakes

Wild Child w/ Big Mama Shakes

Big Mama Shakes

Wed, July 20, 2016

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Broadberry

Richmond, VA

$15.00

Tickets at the Door

Wild Child
Wild Child
Wild Child doesn’t want a place to hide. Song after song, town after town, they’ll wear their hearts on their sleeves, addicted to the rush that only comes when thousands of strangers know all your secrets and sing them back to you, because they’re their secrets, too.

“It's not necessarily the performing that's addictive, but being able to connect with that many people at once,” says Kelsey Wilson, who shares lead vocal and songwriting responsibilities with Alexander Beggins. “You feel like you're together in something––like you experience the whole thing together. It’s family therapy with a lot of dancing.”

Wild Child’s third album Fools is an ambitious collection of lush pop that takes sad stories and transforms them into an ebullient love letter to the power of music, and the art of living with yourself.

Made up of the core duo of Kelsey (violin and vocals) and Alexander (ukulele and vocals), together with a talented five-piece band, the Austin-based Wild Child has built a sprawling grassroots following on the strength of two charming albums, as well as high-spirited live shows that feel like self-contained joy benders.

2011’s debut album Pillow Talk notched four no. 1 singles on indie pulse monitor Hype Machine, spurred on by music bloggers who fell early and hard for the ebullient group. 2013’s The Runaround upped the ante, making best-of lists and garnering glowing reviews and write-ups from NPR, Paste, Popmatters, and many others. Then Wild Child hit TV, performing on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and serving as the featured artists on CBS Saturday Morning. Since forming five years ago when Kelsey and Alexander met during a stint as members of a backup band for a Danish artist’s U.S. tour, Wild Child has gone from playing shows for nine people to selling out venues across North America and Europe.

Not bad for an indie outfit who, up until now, has been thriving without radio spins or record label muscle. And it all started when two Texas kids too scared to sing for crowds discovered they wrote hauntingly good songs together.

Wild Child recorded Fools at Doll House Studios in Savannah, Georgia. Produced by Peter Mavrogeorgis and David Plakon with additional tracks helmed by red-letter guest producers Max Frost (“Break Bones”) and Chris "Frenchie" Smith (“Trillo Talk”), Fools reveals that while the band has grown up to become fiercely skilled musicians who have charmed the world, their faces remain grinning and often painted, spirits stubborn and free, barbs sharp and cathartic.

While writing for the album, Kelsey split from her fiancé of five years, then watched as her parents divorced. “It was the first time that I'd ever had writer’s block,” she remembers. “Within a week, all of the lyrics just came out.”

“She used this album as a platform to say a lot of things she wanted to say,” Alexander says. “It's a story that's not exactly linear, but you hear someone going through something.”

Kelsey and Alexander co-wrote all of the record’s songs, while the title track was penned together with the entire band––a first for the group. A complexly layered, funky gem, “Fools” saunters as Kelsey and Alexander sigh, “If you have to go / I’ll play the fool,” a sly acknowledgement that no matter what else is going on in the relationship, it’d be easier to hold on than to let it fall apart.

The act of consciously playing the fool shows up repeatedly throughout the record, and Wild Child flaunts a postmodern comfort with perspective’s slippery grip on truth. “The Cracks” pulses with uncertainty as Kelsey delicately cries, “You went too far, went way too far / We went too far, went way too far;” while in “Bullets,” she croons, “I know you think I took a lot from you.” “Meadows” asks a lover how much they’re willing to sacrifice, while “Take It” and “Reno” tackle separation and trust.

The sole purely exuberant note on the album, “Bad Girl” is a Motown-inspired celebration of the birth of Kelsey’s first niece. “Oklahoma,” a harmony-soaked strings showcase that kicks off with an electro-pop tease, was slated for The Runaround but didn’t quite fit until Fools. Originally intended for Pillow Talk, “Stones” was mined from lyrics Kelsey penned when she was only 15 years old. Now, it’s part bubbly piano-man ramble, part sweeping string-led drama, and capped off by a brassy New Orleans breakdown––a perfect example of the Wild Child’s increasingly virtuosic ability to stretch and crisply fold genres into their ever-expanding repertoire.

“Break Bones” is a stunner––a big, bold, beautiful pop song praying a fight continues indefinitely, because that’s all that’s left. “Trillo Talk,” a last minute addition to the record and an ideal closer, winks to previous album fan favorites “Pillow Talk” and “Rillo Talk,” and soars triumphantly. “It’s the last thought––everything is going to be okay…but it's not. But, it feels alright,” Alexander says.

Vocally, Alexander strolls – steady and wry – as Kelsey skips, runs, and hops, all whirly energy and instinctive phrasing. “I think my voice just sits nice underneath hers,” Alexander says, simply and accurately. “The two of us never really intended to be singers and still don't really consider ourselves singers,” says Kelsey, without a hint of irony. NPR’s Ann Powers likened her voice to that of a “Jazz Age Broadway baby,” but bring up that and other praise, and Kelsey just laughs and emphasizes, “I don't think of myself as a singer. I think of it just like talking. We're just having a conversation.”

In their musical repartee, Wild Child doesn’t pull punches. Their songs sting as they groove, the scutting lyrics massaged by cooing vocals and bouncy ukulele. So we’re dancing and laughing before we realize we’ve got tears in our eyes, entranced by Wild Child’s dizzying contradiction: sour truths that sound so sweet.

“The instruments may belong in a granola commercial, but what we're saying is often dark and angry and bitter,” says Kelsey. “It wasn't until Alexander and I started writing music together that we were like, ‘Damn. Are we sad?’”

“There is a beauty in lyric writing that is almost too honest,” Alexander says. “We've always tried to poke holes in that terrible thing that nobody really wants to think about.”

Fools is an unashamed breakup album, but it’s more than last rites for lovers. The record also bids farewell to the traditional lives Kelsey and Alexander had thought lie in store.

“We're about to live day to day for a long time, and our relationships are going to fall apart,” Kelsey says. “Our home lives are going to fall apart. And there's nothing we can do about it. So, the record is also about letting go of expectations, just playing the fool. Fools is a release––a blind step out.”
Big Mama Shakes
Big Mama Shakes
Big Mama Shakes
At its core: Big Mama Shakes is synonymous with rock and roll. I don't mean that in the pretentious "I'm an artistic genius" kind of way that John Lennon or Robbie Robertson might have; I mean it in the most painfully fun and raucously raw way one can experience rock and roll.

Kings of Leon:
Initially embraced as "the Southern Strokes" for their resurrection and reinvention of Dixie-styled rock & roll, Kings of Leon steadily morphed into an experimental rock outfit during the 2000s. The Tennessee-bred quartet debuted in 2003 with the Holy Roller Novocaine EP, whose blend of raw, unpolished boogie rock was further explored on their debut full-length, Youth & Young Manhood. Such revivalist music was matched by a similarly revivalist appearance -- including long hair, mustaches, and tight-fitting denim -- and Kings of Leon experienced immediate popularity in the U.K. (where they would later enjoy platinum album sales, despite an initially lukewarm reception at home). As the band explored different sonic textures with subsequent releases, most notably on 2007's Because of the Times and 2008's Only by the Night, those tenuous links to the Strokes were finally dissolved.
Comprised of three Followill brothers -- Caleb (guitar), Nathan (drums), and Jared (bass) -- as well as first cousin Matthew Followill (guitar), Kings of Leon formed in 2000. The Followill siblings had spent their youth traveling across America's heartland with their evangelist father, decamping at Pentecostal churches and tent revivals for several days at a time before moving onward. When their father resigned from the church and divorced his wife in 1997, the boys relocated to Nashville and embraced the rock music (not to mention the accompanying lifestyle) they'd previously been denied. Cousin Matthew was added to the lineup, and a Southern garage rock sound quickly emerged. RCA took note, signing the band in 2001 and facilitating a partnership with Nashville-based producer Angelo Petraglia, who furthered the band's rock & roll education and co-wrote the material for 2003's Holy Roller Novocaine EP.

Tours across North America and the U.K. coincided with the release of the band's full-length debut, Youth & Young Manhood, that same summer. Thanks to the popular single "Molly's Chambers," the album found moderate success in the U.K. However, it was their sophomore effort, 2004's Aha Shake Heartbreak, that made them European stars, with three songs cracking the U.K. charts. The album saw an American release in February 2005, and Kings of Leon toured the country alongside U2 before retreating to work on their third effort. The darker, expansive Because of the Timesfollowed in 2007. Featuring production from Ethan Johns (who had helmed the band's previous releases as well), the album proved to be the band's biggest release to date, debuting at number 25 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and topping the album charts in the U.K., Ireland, and New Zealand.
Kings of Leon returned one year later with Only by the Night, a colossally popular album whose lead single, "Sex on Fire," gave the band its first number one hit in the U.K. The album itself fared similarly well, topping the U.K. charts upon its release and debuting at number four in America. It eventually gained platinum status in eight countries, including America, and its success allowed the band to tour heavily throughout much of 2008 and 2009. Live at the O2 was released in late 2009, capturing one of the band's midsummer performances in London. Kings of Leon briefly holed up in Manhattan's Avatar Studios to work on a fifth record, but they returned to the road during the summer of 2010, taking the opportunity to play some of their new material in concert. By the time the tour wrapped up in September, the group's newest single, "Radioactive," had already been released. The accompanying album, Come Around Sundown, followed in October. The record was a worldwide hit and reached number one in 15 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia.

Later that year they embarked on a marathon tour; however, a disastrous show in Texas resulted in frontman Caleb walking off the stage without returning for the end of the set. After this incident, the brothers decided to undertake a self-imposed hiatus in 2011 and canceled the rest of the tour while the band attempted to reconcile their personal and group problems. In the time apart, bassist Jared released music with Mona frontman Nick Brownunder the moniker Smoke & Jackal, while Caleb found sobriety after moving to New York and the birth of his son. They returned to the band with a batch of new material and set to work on their sixth record, Mechanical Bull, which appeared in September of 2013. Buoyed by the single "Supersoaker," the album reached number two on the Billboard 200 and garnered a nomination for Best Rock Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.
Following the end of the band's 2014-2015 Mechanical Bull tour, Kings of Leon revealed they had already begun work on a follow-up. In 2016, they released their seventh studio album, WALLS. Produced in Los Angeles with Markus Dravs (Florence + the Machine, Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons), the album featured the single "Waste a Moment." - All Music
Venue Information:
The Broadberry
2729 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
http://www.thebroadberry.com