Hot off an appearance at Lollapalooza 2013, Nashville's own Machines are People Too performed a homecoming show on Aug. 16 at 3rd & Lindsley. Joining Machines are People Too on the lineup were rising Nashville stars The Joy of Painting and Vinyl Thief.
With a brand new EP, "Nickels & Dimes", to pull from, Machines are People Too had plenty of new material to entertain the crowd who came out for their hour long late night set. Pulling heavily from both "Nickels & Dimes" and their first EP "Dreams", the band put on a stunning display that left no doubt why they are one of the hottest acts coming out of Music City right now.
Two of the most popular songs from "Nickels & Dimes", the show opener and closer "Get Up" and "Do What You Love", feature vocals from an elementary school choir on the album and it was interesting to watch Machines are People Too translate those songs to a live setting without the choir to back them up. While frontman Brian Sylvester kept his part up, the rest of the band contributed backing vocals to fill in for the choir. While the effect was obviously not nearly as full as the album cut, the band ratcheted up the instrumentals to fill the sonic void. While somewhat different, the songs both translated very well into the live arena and made up the highlights of the evening.
Along with their own cuts, Machines are People Too also pleased the fans in attendance with a cover. From the first lines of Haddaway's early '90s megahit "What Is Love?", the crowd went crazy, cheering and dancing in front of the stage. Sylvester's voice was a great fit for the popular dance track and the band handled it extremely well.
But Machines are People Too were not the only Nashville standouts on hand at 3rd & Lindsley tonight. Opening up the night was quintet The Joy of Painting. Much less synth oriented than the two bands they shared a bill with, The Joy of Painting were no less energetic. The band brought a meaty 30 minute set of good old fashioned garage rock swagger to warm the crowd up. While it was slightly disappointing to learn that no member of The Joys of Painting sported a Bob Ross trademark afro, there was nothing disappointing about their music.
The second act on the bill was electro-pop act Vinyl Thief. If Machines are People Too were the center of the night's electronic offerings, Vinyl Thief was the extreme right side. With multiple band members switching between synth, guitar, and percussion, Vinyl Thief weaves a wall of sound that's almost physical in its presence. Tight doesn't even begin to describe this act. They play with a lockstep precision that is usually reserved for artists with years, if not decades, more experience as a unit.
For anyone who thinks Nashville is all cowboy hats and boot scooting, tonight's show at 3rd & Lindsley was a shining billboard that Music City is a breeding ground for great music of all kinds. All three acts tonight did their city proud and all three are likely to be acts that you see on an increasingly larger stage in the coming years.