Twangtown Paramours and Slambovia were awesome.
Who says Halloween can only be celebrated once a year? Certainly not fans of Twangtown Paramours, and especially not fans of headliners the Grand Slambovians. Some Outpost volunteers and concert attendees alike even showed up in vibrant costumes relative to the theme of the Slambovians’ music.
Nashville folk-rockers the Twangtown Paramours, who consist of duo Mary Beth Zamer and Mike T. Lewis, were playful throughout the night and played a mix of humorous and serious songs, all of which made fans dance and sing along.
Kicking the show off with “Simple and True,” Twangtown Paramours showed that the simplest wishes are the most powerful and worthwhile. Twangtown Paramours captured the crowd with the humorous break-up song, “What I Miss About Us,” which has a strong Montgomery Gentry influence to it. Right after that, Zamer told the audience that they were going to suddenly go from a funny song to a more somber, emotional number because she, in her words, “likes to mess with people’s heads.”
All joking aside, that next number, entitled “Chains,” was written in the perspective of a policeman named Mike O’Malley who first responded to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City in March of 1911 to try and save the workers trapped in that burning building.
These performers definitely surprised the crowd with a “barnyard romp” as their closing song. Entitled “Walks Like a Duck,” it warranted a sing-along, as they highly suggested from the audience. They not only finished their set with that romp, but with how they felt honored to be opening for the Grand Slambovians.
Saying that Slambovian fans were in for a treat is an absolute understatement. Kicking it off with a hard-driving and completely energetic rendition of “The Grand Slambovians,” dancing from some audience members ensued right at the very first note. The stage itself was elaborately adorned with Halloween-themed décor and colors, and a screen that projected vibrantly beautiful psychedelic images to appropriately accompany each song. For instance, when they played “Pushin’ Up Daisies,” animated daisies “bloomed” onto the screen.
Like their openers, this quartet is prone to connecting with their fans by engaging them in a sing-along. They chose “Very Unusual Head” for this sort of intimate moment.
Speaking of intimate moments, the Slambovians gave anecdotes about how folk musicians and bands talk a lot between songs. But that’s what folk music is all about: getting intimate and connecting with people. Funnily enough, they were once ashamed to admit that they are a folk band, or at least a band with strong folk undertones. Now that they are happy to admit that, they acknowledge that the term “folk” has many positive connotations.
They have also shared stories about good memories opening up for British classic rocker Donovan Leitch. They are big fans of his, considering they performed an excellent rendition of his 1960’s song “Hurdy Gurdy Man.” They also performed a great cover of the Ramones’ hit “I Wanna Be Sedated.” There is no way that even the most expertly music journalists or critics can peg them into one genre, because they can successfully mesh together a mix of rock, folk, punk and even hints of country.
More originals and sing-alongs followed, and before fans went to the lobby to treat themselves with merchandise, freshly baked goods and Halloween candy, they were taken aboard the “Trans-Slambovian Bi-Polar Express,” and it was one fantastic ride.
Donations were collected for the local food pantry. The next opportunity to donate food at Outpost in the Burbs will be Nov. 15, when Lauren Fox performs.
Both of Friday night’s acts were, needless to say, worth seeing again and again.