TGM: CLT+ Showcase

“Rhythm is a universal scheme of existence, underlying all realizations of order in change, it pervades all the arts.” – John Dewey on Wolfgang Mozart

Music is everywhere. It’s in your shower, at your desk and of course in the halls of a venue. Today I’ll be going over the latter. Concerts are the best part of music in my opinion. A listener has the opportunity to come face to face with the creator of the their favorite songs. There’s a certain energy and mood associated with live performances that cannot be imitated in pre-recorded tunes. I had the opportunity to work the last CLT+ Showcase at The Evening Muse, located in NoDa, and in this dimly lit venue I captured the life of the local talent.

Den of Wolves

Three black youth draped in denim walked on stage. One headed to the drums, one lifted a bass over his hip and the other crouched in the corner with an electric guitar resting on his shoulder. The lights dimmed and out of the darkness came a loud shout, and an insane guitar rift. The Den of Wolves is a heavy metal band, and what’s rare is that they are all black (which is awesome! Shoutout to the black rockstars). They wowed the crowd with their instrumentation and vocals, even doing a cover of “Dirty Diana” that would’ve made the King of Pop hit a head bang. The guitarist was the youngest, but had the fingers of any rock legend. Before the last song, he broke his string, and the lead singer (who was his brother) informed the crowd that he’d won the bet (they bet that he’d break a string). Instead of taking time to fix his instrument, he continued to play throughout until the end. If you have a chance to hear them live, go see them ASAP and be impressed.

Lisa De Novo

The two standout features from Lisa De Novo’s appearance was her wooly rainbow colored boots and the streak of purple hair. She walked up to the mic with an acoustic guitar and proceeded to sing songs of empowerment, love and loss. Halfway through her set she brought out other members of her band to accompany her on bass and drums. The trio played while letting their beers and smiles settle on the wooden stage.

The Mollywops


This is an unlikely trio. Two girls, one wearing a cardigan and Keds another in a blue blazer, and a drummer with a sleeveless shirt to show off his tattoos. They came onto stage with two acoustic guitars and proceeded to fill the venue with pleasant melodies. The Mollywops are a local band that formed through un unlikely bond, and it is apparent in their music. By combining soft vocals with unique and quirky lyrics, the group is able to have their songs float through the ears of listeners.

Leanna & The Garden Of

I have my friend James Jeffrey (the drummer) to thank for introducing me to concert work. He’s the drummer of this amazing band. He invited me to capture footage from the last CLT Showcase and everything changed after that. Leanna & The Garden Of are a local band but their music is becoming universal. I enjoy their music not just for their great instrumentation but also the significance of their lyrics and songs. One track, “Dirty Water” is about the water crisis in Flint; and just recently they completed a music video (which I helped shoot) for their new single “Protest Song”, dedicated to the innocent victims who lost their life to the police. They bring a ferocious energy to the stage but also give it to the audience in doses. Be on the lookout for them in the next coming months.

Railz the Principal

My man Railz may be one of the hardest working artists in Charlotte. I also happened to meet Railz at the last showcase and we became fast friends. He recruited me to aid with his music video for his new single “Winner” and brought me back for this showcase. The man has a flow, able to paint vivid pictures with metaphors. It’s a refreshing break from the mumble rap that we’re so used to hearing on the radio. He took tonight’s stage with a new fedora, an article of clothing that I hope he’ll continue to rock. What I enjoy about his show the most is the atmosphere he brings. The lights dim to a cool blue, smoke fills the air and he engages the crowd. This time however he added something new, incorporating a dancer to gracefully clear the floor for his entry. It was quite a sight to see this before being hit with his classic lyrics. Stay tuned and make sure to follow his music as well.

What is it about music that transports us to a place unknown yet familair. We find ourselves lost within the depths of our mind or wandering through memories, and some songs can even take us to destinations we’ve never been before. I can’t provide a clear answer, because there are too many, but I would argue that it is because music is one of the many forms a human soul can take. There is a reason musicians are also called artists, they are able to channel their emotions and combine them with the sounds of the world. Music is the sacred union between rhythm and the soul, a wedding between the voice and the idea behind it. Allow music to continue flowing through your ears, letting it transform your daily life into a Golden Moment. 


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