A week or two ago, I got wind of a local show by a Chattanooga band called Strung Like a Horse. I’d like to see more live music but have weird anxieties about going to a show and being the creepy loner sitting in a corner creepily listening to the music. Or, if I feel like I can get past that anxiety, I have venue anxiety. Like: What if I don’t know what the dress code is or what if the venue turns out to cater to some demographic that I’m just really super far from fitting into, making me feel like a sore thumb, etc. Every once in a while, I manage to transcend my stupid little anxieties and go out into public. I did so to see the Strung Like a Horse show, and it was neat.
The venue was The International, which I hadn’t heard of much less been to. It’s a spacious venue with a small bar at the center, some lounge areas, and some open space in front of the small main stage. It was neither upscale nor seedy, so pretty comfortable venue-wise for me once I got past the bouncer and stopped feeling like a trespasser.
A nice little jazz/latin sort of band opened. I didn’t catch their name, but I liked their set. Then Strung Like a Horse came out, and the real fun began. The lead singer sports sort of a scraggly rattail and wore a suit with tails and with the coat’s sleeves ripped off. He played guitar and mandolin and was joined by a drummer, a fiddler, a banjo player, and an upright bass player. They were high energy and twangy and looked like they were having a lot of fun, which in turn made the show fun for me. I’m not good at counting heads, but I’d say there were maybe 100 people in front of the stage. Maybe it was 200. So, a nice crowd but nothing too overwhelming for your anxious sort who doesn’t love crowds any more than he loves feeling like a fish out of water.
Strung Like a Horse bill themselves as a gypsy punk grass band, and that feels about right to me. I’m pretty keen on all those things, so I really enjoyed the show and would surely go see another (if I could get past venue/crowd/etc. anxiety).
I did a pretty poor job of taking photos, but here’s what I got: