Photos Courtesy of Ariana Simon (Instagram)
On November 17th, everyone in Atlanta started getting ready for the following week of Thanksgiving. Some started making their way towards family to spend time together. Others started hanging Christmas decorations as their eagerness for the holidays took hold of them. But for all of those heathens of tradition, the place to be was Masquerade. While Mayday Parade took over Heaven, the talent to see was in Purgatory where Amigo the Devil, Harley Poe, Blood Oaks, and Collins Drive packed out the venue. There was a constant overflow of patrons into the alley outside from the first note of the opening act Collins Drive. It was a great sight to behold as Atlanta showed its love for its local music scene.
To kick off the night, Collins Drive took to the stage. Labeled as southern Americana folk rock, this trio of artists really brought out some good soul in their jams. They have a sound that is a cross between Johnny Cash and the Allman Brothers with each tune covered in a cloudy veil of raw life that can only be peered through in the bottom of a shot glass. As this was my first time catching these guys play, I look forward to hearing them again.
Following Collins Drive was Blood Oaks. These guys are a staple in the Atlanta cow punk scene as they keep stepping up their game in each show I attend. For this rendition of their performance, their lead singer The Reverend was dressed up in true unholy attire as he preached the gospel that is rock and roll. His cohorts were all dressed for church with a style that made the crowd expect to be raptured by the music, and they did not disappoint. To start their set, they had their former drummer Shane sit in on one song, giving a tribute to his contribution to the band. From there, their new drummer took the reigns and kept the beat going. The music of Blood Oaks has a very punk rock vibe that puts a dancing to your feet and a warmth in your soul. I even saw a mosh pit form after their second song. I look forward to seeing what new things these guys have in store the next time they preach some rock and roll.
The third band to take the stage was Harley Poe, a horror folk band hailing from Kokomo, Indiana. This genre of music looks for direction in the darker side of life where things go bump in the night. Until seeing Harley Poe, I have been only a tourist regarding this genre of horror folk. However, this band has got me hooked. The best way I can describe them is a pirate folk band traveling a lonely, dark country road. Harley Poe consists of a bassist, lead vocalist and guitarist, a washboard player, and a melodica player. Having never heard such a combination of instruments before, I was really taken aback by the depth of sound these guys put out. It had a very upbeat coating with the dark, bitter center that hits home for anyone teaming with life experiences. As I explore horror folk more, I can’t wait for their next run through Atlanta.
As the headliner for evening, Amigo the Devil took a seat onstage and mystified the crowd with his talent. Hailing from Spicewood, Texas, this solo act really impressed with his stage presence and overall charisma. His genre of murder folk really matches his overall vibe. Amigo the Devil really caters to the darkness in us all, with those that embrace the night finding true comfort in their stories being told. Life is not always sunshine and rainbows but also rain clouds and cold breezes. It is good to see a voice in music today that shows the raw side of everyday life. Amigo the Devil even stayed after his set to meet with his fans, showing his true appreciation for those that enjoy his craft. I always appreciate when a headliner takes the time to meet those that got them, in this case him, to where they are. Amigo the Devil will find his way to my Pandora playlist for sure.
Since Collins Drive and Blood Oaks are native to Atlanta, catch these guys around the city at their next gig. However, Harley Poe and Amigo the Devil are currently on tour, catch them when they come to a venue near you.
Photo Gallery – Collins Drive
Photo Gallery – Blood Oaks
Photo Gallery – Harley Poe
Photo Gallery – Amigo the Devil