Parker Millsap delivers grit and soul at The Outpost in intimate solo show

Parker Millsap brought his immense talent to Knoxville’s newest venue, The Outpost, on Wednesday, December 5th. It was one of his first solo shows in nearly half a decade, and one of only four solo shows he’ll do all year. The venue sits nestled behind one of Happy Holler’s many antique shops, and was nearly sold-out.

The doors opened at 7pm, with seating being first-come-first serve. The seats were filled within the first half hour, and the rest of the excited—and quite diverse, really—crowd leaned against the old warehouse poles and lined the venue’s walls.

Photo by Kevin Palombi

Millsap nearly ran onto stage with his Martin in hand and began the first half of his 23-song set. He began with “Pining” from his 2016 record, The Very Last Day, which I remember thinking, “alright, this is super fun” and then, “holy s— this guy can REALLY play.” His charismatic stage presence and banter between songs was an ongoing conversation which captivated the audience. The audience was incredibly attentive throughout the entire show. Millsap’s trademark smile contrasted with some of his moody and darker songs, such as “I Hope I Die” from his and Michael Rose’s 2012 album, Palisade, and, especially with The Very Last Day’s “Heaven Sent” which illustrates a young man’s struggle between his homosexuality, religion, and his father—I heard some sniffles after that one. Some other stand out songs were “Rolling” which is a new song that wasn’t on his set list, and it literally had rolls all over the place, from his guitar to vocal dynamics, even to his percussive lyrics. He began “The Very Last Day,” by saying, “I like to dream that the rapture happens while I’m singing this song. That’d be cosmic.”

He performed “Truck Stop Gospel,” a personal favorite of mine from his 2014 self-titled album, but seeing it performed live, especially in a solo set, was a game changer. It seemed he had sped the arrangement up a bit compared to the studio version, and I loved it. It was hard to stand still, and most people weren’t. He really took to the red-faced, bible-thumping preacher- like character in his song and broke a sweat with this one. I should also mention how much I enjoyed that the older gentleman sitting beside me knew. Every. Single. Word.

photo by Kevin Palombi

After a quick break, Millsap came back to the stage with “Hades Pleads“ with his harmonica and his guitar. He’d barely strummed a note before the crowd recognized the tune and cheered. He then performed “You’ve Got to Move” in a rendition which, like the others he performed from his 2016 and 2014 albums, showcased how he and the songs have matured since the 2016 release. Millsap played many of the songs from his most recent album, Other Arrangements, released earlier this year, which were extremely well-received across the venue. Some of my favorites of the set were “Other Arrangements,” “Your Water,” and “Coming

On” (which he warned the crowd of being at least PG-13). As he ended the show with “Fine Line,” the first track on his latest record, two women in the front couldn’t stand it anymore and got up to dance, along with some folks in the back. His Other Arrangements record itself is even more evidence of Millsap’s evolving, versatile talent and style, with no two songs sounding the same, yet feeling cohesive as a body. Overall, his songs, and the show itself, almost felt too short, but that’s because no one truly seemed ready for it to be over.

photo by Kevin Palombi

Millsap is a writer’s writer, but he’s also the layman’s writer. He has a talent for pairing complex lyrical and writing technique with the classic and approachable. He brings the blues, gospel, folk, and even throws some indie punk into a form that can only be said to, simply, work. It’s easy to find a songwriter, it’s easy to find a singer, and it’s easy to find a musician, but Parker Millsap is one who does all three and does those three incredibly well, and that is what truly sets him apart as an artist and performer.

Knoxville’s 10 Years hosts intimate evening with their biggest fans

by Rachel Craig

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Not many music fans have the opportunity to hear their favorite band’s deep cuts, reimagined hits, and live debuts in an intimate setting, but this is exactly what happened inside The Concourse at 10 Years’ sixth Ghost Show. This is potentially one of the most unique shows I’ve experienced at The Concourse, and it was a treat to see 10 Years on such an intimate stage after previously seeing/shooting them in larger venues like The International (rest in peace, Big Room). I can only imagine how this experience felt to the longtime fans in the room, many of whom traveled from across the country to see the guys in their hometown.

The night kicked off with The Dose, a band that features only a guitarist/vocalist and a drummer. Despite being a duo, The Dose sounds much larger. They started the show with a setlist full of rock ‘n roll that sounded largely inspired by classic rock and metal legends.

The Dose | Photo by Rachel Craig

When it was time for 10 Years to take over the stage, it felt like a family reunion since frontman Jesse Hasek pointed out many familiar faces in the room. The band’s original bassist Lewis Cosby also joined them for this show, with touring bassist Chad Grennor taking over guitar tech duties offstage. 10 Years also welcomed a new drummer to the current lineup, Luke Narey.

10 Years at The Concourse | Photo by Rachel Craig

The main part of 10 Years’ Ghost Show is that the setlist features plenty of deep cuts and lesser-played material. You won’t be hearing many of their radio hits at this show, and the ones they did play were either stripped-down or changed into a new, alternative version, like “So Long, Goodbye” and “Wasteland.” Other popular choices on the setlist included “Blood Red Sky,” “Waking Up,” “Seven,” and “Russian Roulette.” Hasek mentioned that these shows were made for the true fans who have stuck with them since the beginning, and nearly every song was accompanied by a singing crowd that knew all the lyrics. The show stopped briefly when Hasek invited a longtime fan on stage, who asked his girlfriend to marry him - she said yes!

The Happy Couple :)

The setlist ended with “R.E.S.T.” but the fans continued to shout out songs they wanted to hear before the after-party kicked off. The band ended up playing two more songs with help from the crowd, “Shoot It Out” and “Fix Me.” Although everyone was sad that the show was over, the VIP fans still had the opportunity to hang out with the band for several more hours into the night.

10 Years will always be special to the Knoxville music scene. Not only have they “made it” in mainstream rock, they’ve also continued to pay close attention to their fans and their hometown. Ghost Show #7 will be heading to another city in the future, and I’m sure the fans at the next one will be treated to their own intimate and unique experience.