By Alma Reed
Written by Wes Lytz
Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville: This is most people’s first stop when visiting from out of town. And for good reason. Scores of big-name celebrity owned bars line the street for four blocks. Where bands made up of the same hired-guns who back up your favourite artists play music all hours of the day and night. On any given night, you could see Beyonce’s backup vocalist singing karaoke at WannaB’s, or Pink performing a short set on the rooftop bar at Tootsies. With no cover charge to see live music, thousands of locals and tourists alike buzz in and out of bars like bees in a hive.
It’s 4:53 on a Friday afternoon at The Acme Feed & Seed. The after work happy hour crowd is starting to pile in as Ft Worth’s The Unlikely Candidates are doing their sound check. You get the strong sense that most of the people are here to pregame for a wild Friday night and have probably never heard of TUC. That’s all about to change.
Dressed in abstract patterned shirts, the five members of TUC let it rip. It’s immediately apparent this isn’t your run-rate Lower Broadway cover band playing for tourists. Their songs are good. Their charisma infectious. Like a soon-to-go-viral audition on America’s Got Talent, you watch as The Unlikely Candidates win over an initially insouciant audience.
Vocalist Kyle Morris gets right in your face and demands your attention. The crowd obliges. Thirsty co-workers stop talking about their shitty jobs and focus single-mindedly on the stage. Tourists are rapt with attention to the screens of their iPhones as they live stream the event. A guy with really funky dance moves walks in off the street to cut a rug. People start singing along and don’t know the words. It’s clear to everyone involved that we got more than we bargained for. And as for The Unlikely Candidates: Mission Accomplished!