Photos and review by Taylor Magill
Everyone once in a while, we all need a musical throwback to our teen years. That throwback is just what Bubba Sparxxx brought with him when he brought his unique blend of “country hip-hop” to Peachtree Tavern this past Saturday night with his friends The Wheeler Boys and Hard Target. Atlanta area native, Sparxxx is most famous for his hits like Deliverance and Ms. New Booty. Although his arguably most famous songs hit the charts close to a decade ago, the crowd was still ridden with palpable anticipation for his performance.
I got to Peachtree Tavern shortly before opening act, Hard Target was set to take the stage. Upon arrival, I was thrust into an already buzzing crowd of about 100 people. The crowd, surprisingly diverse, seemed to range in age from early 20’s all the way to a salt and peppered man standing right next to the speaker and moving along to the music. Despite their diversity, the crowd seemed to all mingle together like they all knew each other, giving the venue a sense of community like it was a place that everyone knows your name.
Although showtime was set for 9:30, Hard Target did not take the stage until around 10:30. Managed by Limp Bizkit frontman, Fred Durst, self-proclaimed “long-haired rapper dude”, Hard Target had a difficult time getting the crowd engaged through his first two songs. For his third song, he took a totally different approach of sitting on the edge of the stage and covering Tonic’s hit, “If You Could Only See”, which the crowd seemed to respond well to. Feeding off the crowd’s reception, Hard Target finished his 4 song set by coming into the crowd and creating something of a mosh-pit right in front of the stage.
Shortly after, The Wheeler Boys took the stage. From the minute they walked on stage, it was obvious they were a crowd favorite. The only hip-hop act on Zac Brown’s label, Southern Ground, The Wheeler Boys have recently gained an impressive following in the Atlanta Music Scene. They put on a high-energy performance for the entire set. The Wheeler Boys were able to incorporate rapping, live DJ spinning, and percussion on a metal oil drum and bass drum to create a sound that is definitely all their own.
As Bubba Sparxxx took the stage shortly after 12:30, the crowd erupted. Audience members that had been playing coy by the wall and in the back of the bar for most of the night suddenly surged forward, creating a mild tussle in front of the stage but was quickly dissolved. Bubba opened with a cover of Big Boi’s song, “Kryptonite”, featuring a line that states, “If you want me you can find me in the A”. Throughout Bubba’s performance, he played a mix of songs from his albums Deliverance and The Charm, as well as some new material from his forthcoming album Miracle on Gamble Road, which is scheduled to drop sometime later this year. To wrap up the intense, high energy performance, Sparxxx brought it home with his most famous, danceable hit, “Ms. New Booty”.
Although it may not be conventional or for everyone, somehow all of these acts are able to blend elements of country, hip-hop, and rock and roll together and make them work to their advantage.