It seems a daunting task to play a show the evening after one of the biggest bands in the world tromps through your home turf. Griffin House was brave enough to do just that at 3rd and Lindsley Sunday evening following U2’s Saturday night appearance after 20 years away from Nashville.
The night kicked off with a toned-down set from folk rocker Jason White. White is a character in his own right, with several radio songs that have spiked in the more independent scene, as well as an obscure turn of events that landed his song “Red Ragtop” on a Tim McGraw album and at No. 5 on Billboard’s country charts in 2003.
With only a guitar at his side, House opened up quietly to the crowd and almost immediately brought up the fact that the U2 fumes were still all over the city. He even joked about having his own “360 Tour” where he would play guitar and “whizz” around in circles.
Joking aside, the honesty of the evening emanated from House’s songs. Nodding to his albums from as far back as Lost & Found (2004), he played a solid set opening with “Tell Me A Lie.” With the backdrop of fireworks exploding prematurely outside, House delivered a gorgeously stripped version of “River City Lights” from his 2010 album The Learner.
Right on cue for the entire evening, House brought his usual humor and stories laced with songs. One of the most memorable stories came from his recollection of being the musical entertainment for a church camp several years back and his condemnation from counselors when he sang “The Way I Was Made” tagging it as “the song about sex.”
Griffin left the stage with all that he had brought to it … a guitar and a few songs in his pocket. One beautiful trait about Nashville is that even while it welcomes rock royalty like U2, music in its most honest and true form is still deemed golden. Maybe it is all apples to apples, but even deeper, music is music. When it’s honest truth, it comes across all the same, whether you’re a street right through downtown or a street with no name.