How do you find new artists? I used to have a subscription to Spin magazine, listen to Pandora way more than the free 40 hours per month, and scour music blogs on the internet. Those are all good ways to discover new bands, but I've found something better. Go to shows. The openers, that's where it's at.
A lot of times, it isn't love at first listen. When I saw Chris Cornell a couple years ago, I wanted to stab something sharp into my ear drums during his opener...because it felt like that was already happening. At the Hanson concert last week, I was transported back to 2002 with some band that sounded like Bowling for Soup mixed with a little New Found Glory and a lot of screechy, unpleasant vocals.
But sometimes, the stars align and you find a new favorite band. I first heard the Wild Feathers when I was dragged to a Drew Holcomb show with a friend. I left with a new favorite band (and it wasn't Drew Holcomb). Last Thursday night, I went to see ZZ Ward in Dallas. (Okay, I went to see the Wild Feathers, but I'd heard a few of her songs and thought she would put on a good show.) The Wild Feathers tore down the house, but I also found a new favorite in James Bay.
His voice reminded me of my college days when I was obsessed with James Morrison. He stood on the stage, just him and his guitar, and blew me away. Plus, he was super nice...and he's not hard to look at, either.
Check him out.
Check him out.