When These United States began their show at the Earl, they got right down to business, and buddy, business was a-boomin’! The room was only half full, and many were still ordering drinks at the bar, discussing methods on enduring the summer heat, but by the end of the first song, all eyes were on the stage. I’ve never seen These United States before, and my first experience was nothing less than spectacular.
These United States are an Americana folk-rock group who has a timeless sound that could just as easily have opened for The Band in 1972 as they’ve opened for Willie Nelson in 2012. Frontman, Jesse Elliot, humble as ever, talked about T.U.S’s opportunity to open for the Redheaded Stranger a couple weeks prior. “That guy has a bright future ahead of him,” he amusingly declared. Humility and an unwavering passion for performing are what makes this band so much fun to watch. Elliot is a songwriting machine whose language inspires a rabble-rousing high that you might need rehab for. His lyrics contain a worldview that rival modern greats such as Modest Mouse, Avett Brothers and Okkervil River. His voice embodies the American passion that we’re struggling to keep alive and well amidst this country’s turmoil. Elliot reminds us that while we might have problems, we also have friends, love, and rock ‘n’ roll, and I had not one single problem for a full hour that night.
The drums pounded, the guitars rang, and the sweat poured. Yes, it was very hot inside, but lucky for the band, two avid fans constantly brought them cups of water all night. One even went so far as to fling water at their faces during songs. “I didn’t know the Red Cross came out tonight,” Elliot exclaimed. While the songs are all very well written, in the end, it was These United States’ unbridled charisma that made me want more. Also, it didn’t hurt that I fell in love with the bassist, Anna Morsett, after the first song. Apparently for me, all it takes is dark bangs, a couple boot stomps, a tasty bass lick, and I’m smitten! Ah… C’est la vie.
Regardless of my fickle heart, I will be counting down the days until These United States swing through Atlanta again.
Full Gallery after the jump…