Hardy Morris - vocals, guitar; Brantley Sean - bass, vocals; Jason Scarboro - drums; John Watkins - keyboards, vocals; Walker Howle - guitar
This Dead Confederate concert was captured on July 17, 2009 at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, Colorado. The Athens, Georgia-based quintet draws heavily from their critically-acclaimed album, Wrecking Ball. Still riding high on the back of their debut, the quintet delights the crowd with their dirty brand of Southern alt-rock.
The show opens with the album's sprawling title track, "Wrecking Ball." It's a song that begins slowly and builds to a powerful crescendo, setting the stone for a cathartic, passionate set. Later on, the group rolls though back-to-back versions of "Start Me Laughing" and "Goner," two of the standout tracks from Wrecking Ball. The crowd excitedly greets "The Rat"—Dead Confederate's most popular single—as vocalist/guitarist Hardy Morris' whisky-soaked vocals soar over a meandering, moody melody.
Though their frontman has received much of the plaudits, the group is really driven by the strength of drummer Jason Scarboro, who is absolutely on fire during this performance. While the group is still young, performances like this explain why many have tipped them for a big future. For a town of just over 100,000, Athens, Georgia has spawned a remarkable amount of bands and solo artists that have made an indelible impact on the recent music scene. R.E.M, Of Montreal, Drive-By Truckers, Widespread Panic, and the B-52's are just a few of the many varied, influential groups to call Athens home. Dead Confederate hope to be the next group to follow in the aforementioned groups' considerable footsteps.
Formed in 2006, the quintet released their debut EP Dead Confederate on January 22, 2008. The EP built a solid buzz, and the group was snapped up by the Artists Organization. The group released their debut LP, Wrecking Ball on September 16, 2008 with popular indie-rock producer Mike McCarthy at the helm. The album got generally good reviews and its first single, "The Rat," enjoyed solid airplay, peaking at #39 on Billboard's Modern Rock chart. The group's dirty brand of southern rock is reminiscent of groups like My Morning Jacket and more recent He Is Legend. Known for their passionate, chaotic live performances, Dead Confederate hit the road hard in 2009 to promote Wrecking Ball, and they look poised to be yet another group to break big out of Athens' historic scene.