As a slight chill (slowly) enters our Nashville nights, the live music industry also begins its transition from music festivals and rooftop parties into club shows. This changing of the seasons brought the conclusion of this year’s Live In The Sky Festival. Promoted by Apogee Promotions, it’s a non-traditional festival that is spread out over several weeks and hosted in two cities. In Nashville, the concert series called the newly built BentoLiving Chestnut Hill its home. Having unfortunately missed a slew of exciting artists come across the Live in the Sky stage this fall, East of 8th was determined to not miss out on all the fun. Fortunately, we were excited to find out this year’s closing show in Nashville was headlined by Bryce Fox, an artist whose Golden Boy single was featured on our blog’s YouTube video playlist earlier this year. Ready for a night of music under the Nashville sky, we made our way seven floors up to BentoLiving’s rooftop lounge.
Arriving a bit early, it gave us a chance to check out the surroundings, including the eye-catching mural behind the venue’s bar. As the sun set, the Nashville skyline provided an amazing backdrop.
The evening featured a trio of Nashville artists, starting with Nashville singer/songwriter, Savanna Leigh. The minimal presentation—only acoustic guitar in support—allowed the Live in The Sky crowd to experience an intimate performance of Leigh’s typically more pop-forward songs. Featuring tracks from her recent EP changes, the set allowed the raw emotion in songs like her hit, “girl underneath,” to come forward.
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A blast of funky guitar and the thump of a sticky drumbeat welcomed Sam Johnston to the BentoLiving rooftop. Johnston’s set showed off his ability to pull from a variety of influences including blues, classic rock, and soul, and meld them into feel-good jams.
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With the Nashville skyline aglow in the background, it was time for the night’s headliner, Bryce Fox, to take the stage. This is where the Live in The Sky experience shined by using the exclusively small rooftop venue—it felt like we got a behind the scenes peek at the real Bryce Fox. Having first heard Fox this year through his glittery Golden Boy video and then working back through his catalogue, we were expecting a night of slick anthems and heavy production. Instead, we were greeted by a full band and a performance that allowed the human songwriter to shine through.
People sang along to a raucous version of “Golden Boy,” and the band accented “Nasty” with an extra dose of sticky funk. However, we also got stories mixed in about his recent move to Nashville and about the challenges that Fox and other creatives faced during the pandemic. We got to witness his excitement of performing his first show in Music City, a feat noteworthy enough to bring his wife and his mother to the show for support. We got the raw, emotional performance of his new song, “Strength,” which had just enough Black Crowes vibes to make you think some more stripped down, blues rock is needed from this artist.
Of course, what ultimately matters at a show is whether people had a good time. Knowing this, Fox ended his set with his viral hit, “Horns.” With the crowd cheering him on and the band pushing him with a slinky beat, he was truly in his element. The venue may be small, but the singalong was mighty. Bryce Fox made sure to leave everyone with plenty of memories to talk about and a serious desire to hear what’s yet to come.
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