Anticipating the Big Bird Bash

big bird bash

I’ve always like the title “Big Bird Bash.” It’s not just the Bs bouncing across my tongue, but the concept of a full day of music from some pretty good local talent. Next year, there will be no more Big Bird Bash. As we prepare for a multi day Macon music festival next year, we get to retire the Big Bird Bash in style.

It’s a stellar line up, that’s for sure! Gringo Grande, Modern Skirts, Back City Woods, Moon Taxi, Dirty Sound Professors, Drivin’ N Cryin’, and featuring Drive By Truckers. I’m pretty sure you want to go to this. Tickets at $25 is a deal since you’d probably pay this just to see the Truckers.   Also, Luther Williams Field is a great place to see some great bands. Who wouldn’t want to go? But I get it. Sometimes you just don’t have $25 to give to a night of music. You need gas to get to work or food for the next week. So I have a deal.

The generous people at The Hummingbird Stage and Taproom gave me a press pass, as well as a t-shirt and two tickets to give away. Except I’d already bought my ticket, so now I have a ticket I don’t need. I like stories. I mean, really like stories. So here’s the deal: Like the Big Bird Bash page on Facebook  and then tell me a story of the first time you saw any of the bands from the Big Bird Bash live. The story I like the best will get two tickets to the event. My next favorite story will get a t-shirt and a ticket to the event. You must tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end. This is not Apples to Apples. You don’t have to know me. Just tell a good story and you may win tickets to this Saturday’s BBB! Please write your stories in the comments of this post. Deadline is Friday at noon. Those are the only stories that will be considered. I can’t wait to read your stories!

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9 responses to “Anticipating the Big Bird Bash”

  1. Brooke Futch says :

    The first time I saw DBT was with the lovely Saralyn Collins at Cox Capitol Theater! The band rocked so much that I made a couple of the “standers” by the stage upset because I was actually dancing. I remember thinking what moron stands in front of the stage and not only doesn’t dance but gets upset about the people that do?!?!? I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. Anyway, the show rocked & I am unable to attend the BBB myself due to work and would be so overjoyed if these tickets could go to my wonderful friend that I shared it with as my thank you for introducing me to this awesome band! Thank you for your time 🙂

  2. Chris Bryson says :

    A couple years ago, I got hoodwinked into serving on the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail. Okay, it might not have been that bad, but I digress. One of the main duties was fundraising and so the 8 Board Members were handed the Fly South Concert to revamp, plan, and implement. Needless to say, we knew very little about what all was involved in putting on a big concert. After several deals fell through, we landed the Marshall Tucker Band and began to put together a concert around them. As we filled the slot with several local bands to open for them, one of them really stood out. A relatively new band called Gringo Grande.

    On the day of the concert, there were 5 bands on stage. For me, three were memorable…..but for very different reasons.

    The Marshall Tucker Band sticks in my mind because they were a bit of a let down for me. I remember hearing their work on the radio; but the live version just did not live up to my expectations. The A-2-Z Band was a good cover band and I work with their former drummer, so they stick out. And the final band that memorable was Gringo Grande….memorable for a good reason!

    Gringo Grande’s original lyrics and driving beats captured my attention. I believe that our concert was their first big exposure and they have since recorded a couple albums. Lead singer Baxter James’s energy, humor, and originality drew me and has made me a fan. I have seen them perform several other times over the past couple of years in a variety of venues and enjoyed each.

    Ultimately, we realized that concert planning was not our calling and we all moved on to other things. Concert promoting is terribly hard work; but at least I did come away from it with an appreciation for one of the best local bands around, and I am really glad that they are going to be at The Big Bird Bash this year!

  3. Traci Burns says :

    Once upon a time in the year 2000 there was a restaurant called Music City Bar & Grill here in Macon. My favorite thing there was the guitar hanging on the wall that had been signed by Clarence “Strokin'” Carter – at least that was my favorite thing until the day I walked in and saw the cutest hippie geek weirdo dude waiting tables there. I had recently moved back to Macon from Athens and had been on a sort of sad-sack kick, reeling from missed opportunities and what-am-I-doing-with-my-lifeness, so I was in a particularly poignant early-twenties kind of headspace. The cute waiter in the Beastie Boys t-shirt was assigned to our table, which felt like fate making the decisions for me. My friends and I chatted him up, and I invited him to come out with me later that night to see Kevin (Kevn?) Kinney of Drivin n Cryin play a solo set. Cute waiter had to work a double so he took my phone number, promising to call me at the end of his shift. I spent the day geeking out, certain that some sort of big life thing had just been presented to me and unsure of how to venture forth. I did not want to miss any more opportunities. I spent the day idly drinking whiskey and bothering my friends for advice (the general consensus was “chill”) and by the time 11 pm rolled around and I hadn’t gotten a phone call I was about to jump out of my skin. So I did the thing girls aren’t supposed to do and called him, this near-stranger, this dude with a tangled frizzy bun of hair and big ol muttonchop sideburns, at work. Turns out he was still working, but he asked if I could come pick him up. Of course I could! And instead of going to see Kevin (Kevn?) Kinney play a solo set, we went to cute dude’s nearly-empty apartment, where I broke another rule by doing it with this sweet stranger before I’d even been out on a proper date with him, but now here we are, thirteen years and two kids later, and I don’t regret a thing.

    I KNOW THIS STORY ISN’T REALLY ABOUT SEEING A BAND BUT IT’S THE FIRST THING I THOUGHT OF. Here is a mini-story about the first time I saw DBT. It was at Bonnaroo, 2006 I think, and Vince (cute weirdo from above story, now my husband and babydaddy) and I were determined to get down front for DBT so we went to see the band playing in the tent before DBT, which ended up being The Gourds, a super-fun show. We worked our way about halfway back during The Gourds’ set, and when they ended and people were milling out of the tent, you could sense the presence of all the people who were about to try to rush the stage for those coveted beautiful spots, and I got really really competitve and just WENT FOR IT, and the most beautiful front-and-center spot opened up before me like the crowd being parted by Moses or some shit and some holy light shining down going “Ahh-ahh-ahhhhhh” (angel singing noises) and blam! There we were right down front in the spot I’d dreamed about to see the band I’d come to Bonnaroo to see! A little cluster of dude-bro types also wanted that spot but they were not as lucky as us and so missed it, and I heard one of them who ended up right behind us say, “Man, that BITCH!” referring to me and my good fortune, and the show ended up being wonderful, the best most going-to-badass-church feeling performance of “Let There Be Rock” EVER, and Patterson wailed on his guitar a lot at me and squinched up his nose with cute bemused happiness and my enthusiasm and screaming along with all the lyrics, and I’d never been happier to be ‘that BITCH’ in all my life.

  4. A.C. says :

    Yes, Traci, I know who you are 🙂

  5. Thomas Matthews says :

    The weather forecast called for two inches of snow. Being a native Maconite, I knew that meant a citywide shutdown. Kroger would run out of everything. Driving, while not that difficult in theory, would be nearly pointless. I knew what I had to do: I had to snow myself in somewhere. After a quick consult with the 11th Hour, I found that Drivin’ and Cryin’ were playing the Bird that night. Perfect. I layered up, bought a bag of cheeseburgers from Checkers and arrived just in time for the snow to start, about four o’clock. The band, being seasoned pros, were already set up and just starting sound check when I walked in from the snow, so I had a beer and ate my cheeseburgers while they jammed out for a while. Sound checks are usually a cumbersome and unpleasant affair, full of all the sounds no one wants popping up on stage later on, however this was more like a free show where they played whatever they wanted for an hour or so. I drank. I think I played darts with Kevn Kinney. People would run outside and scrape the snow off the tables in back, and 30 second snowball fights erupted throughout the evening until the band started. I remember dancing until I was exhausted and sweaty, then standing in the snow to cool off before doing it again. I yelled myself hoarse between songs. I woke up sore, hung over and half deaf. Still one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

  6. Craig Hamilton says :

    This story begins sometime in early 1987 at the underground Atlanta rock club known as 688. That is where and when I first heard Drivin’ N Cryin’ and also where and when I first got drunk from whiskey. They sounded like the Johnny Cash and Who that I grew up with fused with the Kinks and Ramones. Something about their sound gave me cause to forego my usual (back then) Vodka drink for something a little meaner. I didn’t regret it and I didn’t look back, even though a course to Hell had been plotted and planned (despite my Mother’s warnings). Twenty years later, I had become well versed in going to see live music and drinking. In February of 2009, loaded with Glen Levit Scotch, I saw The Modern Skirts for the first time at the Capitol Theater in Macon. The Scotch suited the dark imaginative sound of this band from Athens of which I had heard so much. I realized how much they reminded me of the Velvet Underground and it filled me with a warm melancholia to match the single malt. Later that year, when Spring came, I was drinking beer on Magnolia Street when I first heard Back City Woods as a newly formed band having their first gig at the street party after the boxcar race. I was friends with a couple of the guys in the band and was simply blown away by how good they sounded. I attended every show of theirs I could afterward and consider myself a lifelong fan. Beer always seems to go well with their hybrid Bluegrass music. A few months later, I was chatting with Baxter James (who works at my bank) and he told me that his band, Gringo Grande was playing at the Hummingbird. At this point, I was a Hummingbird “regular” and hardly ever missed a show there. I came, I saw, I listened, I danced, and I drank a lot of Yeungling. I also saw the Dirty Sound Professors for the first time at the ‘Bird and remember that would be the last time I would drink Jager Bombs. By 2011, My fates and fortunes had changed and I missed the opportunity to see the Drive-By Truckers at the Capitol. (Although I did briefly harbor a plan to sneak in with a flask of Evan Williams, which seems like it would go well with their music.) I have yet to hear Moon Taxi or discover what alcohol would go best with their sound, I look forward to the opportunity.

  7. Suz Palmer (@Sassy_Suzie) says :

    The first time I saw Back City Woods was at the Bird in 2011 at one of the Big Bird Bashes. I was with a large group of friends, and we were blown away by how great the band was and how much fun they were having. They made performing seem so easy which shows how talented they are. Immediately we decided we wanted to be having as much fun as they were and that we should form a band modeled after Back City Woods. Imitation is the finest form of flattery, right?

    Most importantly was our band name. After a long discussion at the bar of the Bird, we chose the Dead Tree Band, named after the tree in front of two of the “band members” building. We’re convinced this tree ate birds, cats, and the occasional small child from the neighborhood. After picking our name we moved on to the talent. The problem was we didn’t really have any. I quickly claimed the triangle figuring it was the instrument I was least likely to screw up. By the time Back City Woods took their first set break we had someone singing, playing the drums, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, piano, triangle, tambourine, kazoo, and anything else we could think of. We rapidly ran out of instruments but still had people who wanted to be a part of the Dead Tree Band so we decided on a publicist, lawyer, traveling artist, and a stylist for our future clothing line that we would release after we hit the big time. We were on such a roll that we decided to immediately begin writing our own music but it had to be all Macon-themed. We were proud of our town! By this point we have moved to a table and we’re shouting out thoughts as our “writer” scribbles them down on a bar napkin, which still holds a place of honor at one of the band member’s home two years later. Topics included a song about the creation of the kazoo, a song about the Ocmulgee River curse, and a song in memory of the squirrel we’re pretty sure was eaten by the dead tree. During this discussion our artist sketched out an image of the dead tree in pen that would become our logo. We knew we would have to start small by playing on the band members’ front porch and other small events but we would quickly rise to playing at the Bird and being featured at a future Big Bird Bash. By the end of the night we were ecstatic about all the possibilities and knew that we would always credit Back City Woods for their inspiration in getting us started.

    Sadly, in the light of day we realized we may have gotten a little carried away, but every time we hear of a Back City Woods concert in Macon, members of the Dead Tree Band try to attend and conversation quickly turns to how awesome we would have been. There’s even talk of a reunion tour for our band that never was 🙂

  8. Craig Hamilton says :

    This story begins sometime in early 1987 at the underground Atlanta rock club known as 688. That is where and when I first heard Drivin’ N Cryin’ and also where and when I first got drunk from whiskey. They sounded like the Johnny Cash and Who that I grew up with fused with the Kinks and Ramones. Something about their sound gave me cause to forego my usual (back then) Vodka drink for something a little meaner. I didn’t regret it and I didn’t look back, even though a direct course to Hell had been plotted and planned (despite my Mother’s warnings). Twenty years later, I had become well versed in going to see live music and drinking. In February of 2009, loaded with Glen Levit Scotch, I saw The Modern Skirts for the first time at the Capitol Theater in Macon. The Scotch suited the dark imaginative sound of this band from Athens of which I had heard so much. I realized how much they reminded me of the Velvet Underground and it filled me with a warm melancholia to match the single malt. Later that year, when Spring came, I was drinking beer on Magnolia Street when I first heard Back City Woods as a newly formed band having their first gig at the street party after the boxcar race. I was friends with a couple of the guys in the band and was simply blown away by how good they sounded. I attended every show of theirs I could afterward and consider myself a lifelong fan. Beer always seems to go well with their hybrid Bluegrass music. A few months later, I was chatting with Baxter James (who works at my bank) and he told me that his band, Gringo Grande was playing at the Hummingbird. At this point, I was a Hummingbird “regular” and hardly ever missed a show there. I came, I saw, I listened, I danced, and I drank a lot of Yeungling. I also saw the Dirty Sound Professors for the first time at the ‘Bird and remember that would be the last time I would drink Jager Bombs. By 2011, My fates and fortunes had changed and I missed the opportunity to see the Drive-By Truckers at the Capitol. (Although I did briefly harbor a plan to sneak in with a flask of Evan Williams, which seems like it would go well with their music.) I have yet to hear Moon Taxi or discover what alcohol would go best with their sound, but I look forward to the opportunity.

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