Blacktop Mojo at The Bouron Theater in Lincoln, Nebraska on July 30, 2017.
Blacktop Mojo has quickly become one of my favorite new bands in 2017. First, there was the video of them covering “Dream On” by Aerosmith. I have always been sketchy when bands cover such iconic songs, but they did this right and kept it as close to original as they could. Very impressive. Then “Burn the Ships” was REVIEWED by Twitch and Vinnie, and it was everything I hoped it would be based on “Dream On.” Nothing could have prepared me for the third time with Blacktop Mojo live. OMG!!
Despite an early show (4:00 pm CST) at the Bourbon Theater in Lincoln, Nebraska, There was still a good sized group of fans gathered to check out Blacktop Mojo for the first time. The were supported by local bands, Faded Black and Evicted. As a bit of a side note to this show. Both Faded Black and Evicted had very good sets. I have known the guys from Faded Black for many years and they always deliver. Evicted is new to me, but they had a good set as well. Vocalist, Danielle, has one of the strongest female voices I have heard in quite sometime. I hope to see more of them again and soon.
I met all of the guys of Blacktop Mojo before the show started. They are approachable and personable young men. I felt like I knew them already. Finally it was showtime and it was full-throttle out of the gate. Started their set with “Burn the Ships” and then rolled into “Where the Wind Blows” which is getting a ton of air time on local and satellite radio. They powered through songs from their two albums, “I Am” and “Burn the Ships”. In the mix they through in Led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love” which gave everyone in the band an opportunity to show what they have.
As the set came to a close I began to wonder if they would do the Aerosmith cover. I was dying to hear this live because the studio version was exceptional. Blacktop Mojo’s set ended and I thought it was over. Then over the monitors I hear, “You have time for one more.” The guys were spent because they gave everything they had to their set, but they picked up their instruments, Matt James picked up a bottle of water and drank it. Then it started, the song…”Dream On.” The song went as it should, nice and subtle building into the crescendo that we are all familiar with. It is a big note that not many can achieve, Steven Tyler is the originator, often imitated but never duplicated. But Matt gave this one hell of a shot and he absolutely slayed it. I felt my heart speed up, got me some goose flesh, and they gave me what I expected. The best version of the song that I have heard, outside of Aerosmith.
The boys from Palestine, Texas are on a track to make a significant impact in music. I will see these guys again, several times. I suggest that ya’ll see them when they come to your town because they will blow you away. Blacktop Mojo is:
Matt James – Vocals
Ryan Kieffer – Guitar
Matt “Catt Murtis” Curtis-Bass
Ken Irwin – Guitar
Nathan Gillis – Drums
“Burn the Ships” is available on iTunes, Amazon and at their shows.
Thank you to my friends at High Road Publicity and Blacktop Mojo for the introductions and great music. Come back soon ya’ll!
Photos courtesy of Winsel Photography in Omaha, Nebraska. ©2017.
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