By Katie Andress
Moon Taxi traveled through the Baton Rouge area last week to give an amazing performance for their local fans, old and new. The Nashville natives, who are known for their live shows, definitely lived up to their reputation with pulsating instrumental breaks and matching lighting effects. The seasoned performers have been featured on The Late Show with David Letterman and Conan, as well as performing at Bonnaroo and Wakarusa. They are also scheduled to attend Lollapolooza and Austin City Limits later this year.
The band opened with Pink Floyd’s, “Brick in the Wall,” which instantly grasped the audience’s attention and sustained it throughout the night. The crowd immediately started singing along with Trevor Terndrup, lead singer for Moon Taxi, and never stopped. “All Day and All Night,” from Moon Taxi’s third album, Daybreaker, was next. Its catchy lyrics and upbeat melody, like many of the other songs in Moon Taxi’s set, kept the crowd engaged throughout the night. Long instrumental solos from drummer, Tyler Ritter, and guitar player, Spencer Thomson, drove the crowd wild and took us on a rollercoaster journey of sound with constant pulsating rhythms.
The next song, “River Water,” from the group’s Mountains Beaches Cities album, slowed things down a bit and took the crowd to a night on the river bank. The green and blue lights gave the feel of an actual river side party. Everyone was singing and “dancing in the river water,” as the titled lyric goes. The repetitive nature of the song had a calming effect on the crowd, until the instrumental bridge that brought it up again. These instrumental bridges were a constant theme throughout the show, which kept the crowd engaged and interactive throughout the set. A great example of one of those interactive songs was “Whiskey Sunset,” from Moon Taxi’s debut album, Cabaret. The crowd knew instantly which song was playing before any of the lyrics were ever sung.
Moon Taxi is set to release their third album, Daybreaker, in early October during its run through the Austin City Limits music festival. This album is especially different for the band because it’s the first time all five members of the band were in studio, performing as a whole, as opposed to self-producing pieces of songs at home. This new process gives “an old school feel to the album,” said Wes Bailey, keyboard player, in an interview with DIG. “It felt like it was from the 70’s and was a very cool, kind of old school approach.” Bailey went on to say that the group wanted to do something really different and special for this new album. “We wanted something that represented our live show a little more,” said Bailey, and showcases the sheer talent that this group of five musicians actually has. These guys can actually play music and do not solely rely on synthetics and special vocal effects to make their songs unique; the songs speak for themselves, which is something Bailey hoped his audience would take away from the show. He also stated that the new album represented a new chapter in their constantly evolving story to be shared with their fans. “’Year Zero,’ the first track, represents the beginning of a new day. Then All Day and All Night is sort of living in it and ‘Rooftops,’ the last song, is sort of a lullaby. It sort of puts you back down to sleep,” said Bailey, “If you were to start the album over, it’d be like waking up again, like a day break.”