Now in their new home, the recently renamed Palace Theater, Chattanooga’s Flashlight Shows concert series kicked off their 2018 season with a bang! Local artists The Handsome Grandsons opened and Canadian rockers Partner performed for an expectant crowd.
Having not yet heard of the opener The Handsome Grandsons I really did not know what to expect, but I came away really impressed by their energy and their sound! On their official Facebook page they cite favorite artists such as Pavement, Built To Spill, and Neil Young, but I felt like I saw just as much a sonic connection with the likes of Car Seat Headrest. Seeing a young band take to the stage so exuberantly, it seemed with many of their family members in the audience, really just reminded me so much of what I love about music and why I cover artists. So thanks to The Handsome Grandsons not just for that reminder, but also for a wonderful set!
Partner came on next, and just with the warm-ups alone I think the audience all knew we were in for a treat! Having done my homework by listening to their debut album “In Search of Lost Time”, I knew I was already a fan but still I was curious how their music would translate to a live show. I needn’t have been concerned, cause – also having garage rock roots – you could tell that Partner had honed their sound as much, if not more so, in a live setting than in a studio.
With songs like “Gross Secret”, “Everyone Knows”, and “Daytime TV”, the latter an all-too-relatable tribute to daytime TV marathons in the 90s, Partner toes the line between hilariously dumb and intelligently clever with great finesse. On stage their raport further gives the impression that they know their songs are as silly as we do, but with their incredible instrumentation they also know that they’re the rockingest funny songs we’ve likely heard since Weird Al stylistically covered the Foo Fighters.
Partner strayed from their set of original songs for only one cover, an incredible rendition of Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m the Only One”, which came across like a literal shoutout to an artist who helped pave the way for LGBTQ artists such as themselves. The crowd eagerly ate it up, along with the rest of the set list, till Partner took their exit.
Partner’s show was a perfect kick-off for what has become my favorite local concert series – Flashlight Shows! Thanks to the bands for playing and thanks to Flashlight Shows for bringing in such a diverse array of wonderful artists to support this show’s featured non-profit the Nooga Diversity Center!