Dig Baton Rouge

Hollywood and back

By Claire Salinas


River Gibson’s had a whirlwind year. From making it to the Hollywood round of American Idol to going solo, a lot has changed for the artist from Breaux Bridge, who will soon take the stage at the Varsity Theatre with Royal Teeth and Lane Mack.

For the small town guitar hero, the trip to Tinseltown came as the best kind of shock.

“I was screaming. It was kind of like a spur of the moment thing for me to audition,” said Gibson, explaining when he found out he made it. “I didn’t really expect to make it, especially because I come from a rock background and I already know what kind of artist I want to be. What I mean is I’ve played so many shows, and I’ve already been around the stage and developed into who I am, and that’s not changing.”

Although Gibson was shown for only a few moments on the actual show, a lot went on behind the scenes for him to make it to the Hollywood round.

“In New Orleans there were three auditions before the judges’ audition, then I went to the judges’ audition and later that year I got put through to Hollywood, there we went up in these groups and it was like this mass elimination thing,” Gibson said. “Each person steps up to the microphone and sings little bit.”

Although Gibson was eventually eliminated, the experience taught him a lot.

“It was amazing for me to be around talented people trying to do the same thing,” said Gibson. “I was assuming they would be a bunch of YouTube singers. All those people on there are professional musicians though, and they’re familiar with the aspects of the business.”

The experience has lead Gibson to pursue a bit of a new direction for his music. Over the summer he will be recording an EP in Nashville with a pop producer looking towards a fall release. Another transition Gibson has made this year is from playing in a band to becoming a solo act.

Although he plays with three other band members, he performs as River Gibson, and explains, “it’s like a solo thing, it’s kind of like Bruce Springsteen.”

According to Gibson, the show at the Varsity will be a “good mix of songs.”

“About a third will come from Tandem [Gibson’s old band],” Gibson said. “We’ll have some covers and we’ll play some new songs for sure.”

People at the show can expect to have a good time because of Gibson’s passion for performing live shows.

“We’re a really energetic kind of band I’m really big into audience participation,” said Gibson. “I run into the crowds and try to keep them singing as much as possible. I keep a party atmosphere because if they’re not having fun I’m not doing my job right.”

Catch Gibson with Lane Mack and Royal Teeth at the Varsity Theatre on March 28. Doors will open at 8 p.m. and the show will start at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 day of show and can be purchased online at ticketweb.com/.



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