Ghoul’s Night Disco brings the heat to a small cocktail bar

By Ryan G

As an Ohioan, one of the perks of coming to Nashville is the chance to experience showcase style events. In a scene that is so loaded, I enjoy having the chance to experience a lot of sets from emerging artists in quick succession, whetting my appetite for who could be next to explode!

On the advice of our writer Kat Dobay, I checked out the Instagram profile Nashville Show to Go and noticed a stacked lineup in a venue that was unfamiliar to me. It always feels like a bit of risk heading to a smaller show solo, particularly when its all locals. But ultimately the evening paid off!

At the door I was greeted by Kitty Coen, the host and curator of the evening. As someone who’s run many a local show, I respect the grind and know that every person through the door counts!

The Flamingo Bar is a fun, colorful new joint surrounded by new developments in the Wedgewood Houston neighborhood. In spite of the newness of the businesses and buildings, the location and unassuming nature of the bar made it feel like I was walking into something secretive and exclusive.

Kicking off the pop-oriented evening was a man with a big personality, who goes by simply “Nathan.” Immediately I found his personality to be infectious and the music very, very upbeat. He had no backing band – just a mic, his iPhone and a whole bunch of energy. But, sometimes that’s all you need. Going first in a long lineup of bands can be tough and he got the crowd going like it it was his own private party.

Up next was the debut performance of Hothead. It was fun to unexpectedly run into Jon Wisecarver, the guitarist for Leilani Kilgore (and who used to play with dark rock outfit Raviner when we first met) as a member of this new act. Each song was very distinct from one another, and I thought the drumming was aggressive. This isn’t a bad thing – I’ve always been drawn to tight, angsty rhythm sections, and the interplay with the unassuming vocals was interesting. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this versatile rock act!

Hannah Flora took the stage in a head to toe Mystique outfit to bring to the table her brand of witchy indie rock. At times the music was abrasive. At times it was brooding. It was mysterious and groovy. She made mention of her desire to be able to dress up in spooky outfits year round without scrutiny. To that, I say go for it!

Kitty Coen, the evening’s host, played the middle of the night with the most cohesive set of the show. It was a set chock full of attitude, big riffs, and catchy pop hooks. She was in the zone. I could see her as a support act for the likes of PVRIS, Misterwives, or Bishop Briggs.

Kelley Cole may call herself alt-pop in her Spotify bio, but if her live show is any indication her lane is unashamedly rock. Pat Benatar-esque vocals dominated her sound. A cover of “Bad Romance” was particularly memorable. And, now I’m a fan of her single “Anyone.” Anything with a catchy hook and a slightly unsettling melody is a winner in my book!

Jarren Blair closed out the night in a similar manner in which it began. Although, he had the help of a keyboard. But, credit is due when you follow up four full band sets with a solo performance! It brought a more intimate feel to close out the night. The energy was still there but delivered in a more measured way than his precedents in the evening.

I would definitely recommend anyone that feels like doing something different for a Nashville visit seek out one of these underground events. You’ll feel like you’re scooping everyone else!

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