One of my favorite venues in Nashville is the Mercy Lounge. Although its located just minutes away from the Honky Tonks and boot scoot'n bars of Broadway, the kinds of shows Mercy Lounge is known for are definitely not country. This past Wednesday night, The Resolution Tour came to Music City. Made up of four of the most energetic, emerging Pop/Rock bands on the scene right now, The Resolution Tour definitely made it a night to remember in downtown Nashville.
I got the chance to sit down with Brian Cag, the lead singer of Action Item – the headlining band on this tour. Action Item may seem like an up and coming band in the Pop/Rock world, but they have already experienced a decent amount of success. Having opened up for artists like Andy Grammer, Hot Chelle Rae and Owl City, as well as worked with big names like Nick Jonas, these guys have earned there place as tour headliners.
As I was doing some research on these guys, I saw they were recently named on Tommy2.net as one of the “Best Unsigned Bands of 2012.” It is so hard to believe that with all of their success they are not working with a label. After asking Brian about their plans to potentially sign, he said that was definitely in their plans for the future. Perhaps one of their most significant keys to success is their sincere dedication to their fans. Aside from being attractive, young, talented guys – if you visit their social media sites – you can see why they have developed such a strong artist-to-fan relationship. They bring hot chocolate to the fans waiting in line at the venues, they respond to their tweets, and they do a meet and greet at every show.
“Well we are on this tour bus, [this tour bus] is the by product of having great fans. Through building that relationship with them, we've been able to do such great things,” says Brian, ” I think that the best part is that people care. We are in Nashville and we're from New Jersey and these people care; it's mind boggling.”
The fact that they seem so seasoned and humbled by everything is refreshing and impressive. These guys have all the qualities in a band that you want to see go far. This being Action Item's “Resolution Tour”, I had to ask Brian the inspiration behind the latest album's title, and why it means so much to them.
“We are here to stay and we want to make an impact. We want this to further even more than it already has and 2013 is our “resolution” to progress as a band and move forward,” stated Brian.
As I watched the band perform, a few parts of the show took me by surprise. There were unexpected, harmonica solos; drumming face-offs and even a very impressive cover of The Beatles, “Black Bird”. These guys closed an amazing show and had every single person in Mercy Lounge tapping their feet to their upbeat music – even the chaperon moms and dads couldn't resist.
85_n-300×300.jpg” width=”300″ height=”300″ /> Before You Exit with Nashville Music Guide's Sydney Robinson.
On tour with Action Item was a group that I was very eager to meet and see perform. Made up of three brothers from Orlando, Connor (19), Riley (17), and Toby (14), the McDonough brothers are better known as, Before You Exit. For only getting their start on the music scene just a few years ago, they have already experienced a pretty fair amount of success working and writing with some of the biggest names in music today, from Robert Ellis Orall who has worked with Taylor Swift and Stephan Barker Liles to Country duo, Love and Theft.
Though this was the boys first time performing in Nashville, it was definitely not their first visit to Music City. I found out after talking to them on their tour bus that they used to live here! Although they were only here for a few years when they were much younger, they still remember being here and teaching each other songs on the piano. They told me they started out in music singing and performing in theater. They also give a lot of credit to their supportive parents who raised them on the right music growing up – classic Rock.
The brothers recently met Kevin Jonas of The Jonas Brothers at their show in New York City. They told me what a cool experience that was for them and that they used to play some of The Jonas Brothers songs at their shows. Shortly after meeting Kevin, the JoBros tweeted out that they were looking for bands to open up for their upcoming shows. In just an hour after that tweet, #BYEONJONAS was trending on Twitter world wide.
Before You Exit is the perfect example of how this generation of artists and bands are expanding their fan bases with something as little as a 140 characters (or less) tweet. Each brother has their own Twitter page. Riley, the middle brother, has in his Twitter bio “17 going on 30.” After the interview, it was apparent that Riley's bio was true for all of them. The amount of maturity and professionalism that these guys have is mind blowing.
You can tell that they each have so much passion for what they are doing; good heads on their shoulders, and good parents are jsut a few attributes. These are the kinds of young musicians that not only work really hard for their success, but they also deserve it.
Their favorite part about Nashville? Of course I had to ask, ” The music and the Pancake Pantry.” I thought that was a great answer and it made me happy to see a picture of the oldest brother in front of the famous breakfast place in Hillsboro Village on Facebook the morning after their show. Everybody needs a pancake fix when coming through Nashville.
Before You Exit will certainly not be exiting the Pop music scene anytime soon. I can't wait to see what they do after this tour, and I will definitely be purchasing their new EP out in February. The first single from that EP is out now and its called, “I Like That” and it STILL has not left my head. It might be the catchiest song I've heard in a while and its only time before it takes over Top 40 Radio.
Sydney Robinson nashvillemusicguide.com