Chancellor Warhol is heading to Bonnaroo
March 1, 2011
Last night was a blast. From the folkwave of Courtney Jaye to the dude-rock shredfest of Tyler Bryant, it was a night to behold. Overall however, it probably won’t go down as one of the most memorable Road To Bonnaroo nights. There just weren’t as many theatrics as there have been at past RTBs, but the quality of the music certainly was not lacking. At the end of the night, though, Chancellor Warhol (who I hadn’t seen until last night) ended up taking the prize. Warhol jumped on stage in a very Kanye-esque outfit, and proceeded to own the crowd. This guy is a phenomenal performer, though his opening song was the only one that really stuck with me. I certainly can’t disagree with the outcome.
Other artists/bands who really caught my attention were Evan P. Donohue and Heartbeater. If EPD’s performance wasn’t enough to win you over, then you need to have your head examined. This kid is a class act and has just the right combination of stage charm and hooky songs to be a genuine star. Just wait.
Heartbeater have switched out guitarists and added a keyboard player, and I love where they’re headed. They’ve got some new material that demands more sonic textures and the keys are fitting the bill perfectly. Bravo, fellas.
I can’t go without mentioning Tyler Bryant. The kid’s guitar shredding style falls somewhere between Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen (in style, not skill, but maybe he’ll get there one day), and he’s what… 20? 19? Despite his age, he somehow filled the stage with more testosterone than I’ve seen there in quite some time. Except for when he tried to do those “yeooowwww” screams and his voice cracked & went into the register of a 12 year old girl. Speaking of 12 year old girls, dude looks a little bit like Justin Bieber. Sorry… had to go there. It’s true. Give JB a guitar and rough him up around the edges and basically you have Tyler Bryant. Seriously though, if this kid learns to write good songs and not turn each show into a total wankfest, he could do something I might be interested in. Otherwise he needs to be the lead guitar player in a speed metal band. Unfortunately it’s rare to find that kind of technical prowess and truly good songwriting skills in the same person.
Let’s hope the next two RTBs get a little more theatrical and/or intense.