We all know American Aquarium live shows rock. It's tough to beat that energy they bring at their full band shows.
This past weekend, I had a chance see AA frontman BJ Barham do a special acoustic set for Record Store Day at local Raleigh record shop, Schoolkids Records. It was a completely different vibe from the full band shows, but it was just as enjoyable. I, for one, love to hear the stripped down versions of a band's songs. It kind of give you a glimpse as to how the song sounded when it was first written.
One area where BJ excels is engaging with the audience with very witty banter between songs. This is highlighted even more when it's just him and his cherry-red guitar. BJ is just such a good story teller, you can tell it feels natural for him to keep the audience captivated. He told funny, familiar anecdotes about NC State basketball and Julius Hodge's infamous "When we hungry, we eat" quote, and how that was the inspiration behind "Wolves." And he also included some new stories, such as the one about him buying his father a top of the line riding lawn mower for father's day as a way to show his father that his occupation is actually a real job. He commented that his dad "wasn't gonna cut grass like commoner anymore."
The audience ate it up. And he also debuted a new song that hasn't been recorded yet, which is expected to be on the upcoming record in early 2020.
Needless to say, if BJ is coming through your town on a solo tour, do yourself a favor and go. Even if it is on a school night.
One Day at a Time
Losing Side of 25
The World's on Fire