LIVESTREAM REVIEW: Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown – “Pressure”

Nashville-based rockers Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown dropped their highly anticipated album  Pressure on Friday, October 16th  to rave reviews.  Usually, a band who are constantly on the road, the group played their ONLY show of 2020 and crafted a special virtual live stream to celebrate the record release. The invigorating set was sprinkled with songs from across the TBSD catalog, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and backstories on a handful of Pressure tracks. The chatbox during the performance was populated by grateful fans from every corner of the globe, showing the impact of the band worldwide as well as how much live music has been missed these past several months. 

The stream’s introductory visuals cleverly incorporated the album cover into a countdown to launch. The band did not waste a second of airtime, jumping right into the new LP’s title  track, “Pressure.” Though strange to be playing to an empty room and “imaginary” audience, TBSD  transmitted their incomparable stage presence and raw energy across platforms, transporting viewers and offering an escape to pre-COVID times. The band jumped back to 2019’s Truth and Lies, playing crowd-favorite, “Eye to Eye,” before the show’s first interlude about sultry Pressure track “Hitchhiker,” which was born from free-from ideas and one of many songs already in development pre-lockdown.  Following “Hitchhiker,” the band blasted through fiery renditions of “Automatic”  and an interview about and performance of  the single,  “Crazy Days.” 

Many long-time fans had been awaiting an update after hearing the news of bass-player Noah Denney’s departure earlier this year. The group finally let the cat out of the bag during the stream,  welcoming their new bass player Ryan Fitzgerald, who, although new to the band’s line up, was not new to the Shakedown circle. A fan from before he was legally allowed into shows, Fitzgerald jumped at the opportunity, landed the gig, and even gained Denney’s stamp of approval. 

High-octane jams from Truth and Lies “Drive Me Mad”  and  “Onto the Next” followed suit, bringing back memories of arena shows and feisty festival gatherings.

Playing the last song they recorded for Pressure, “Like the Old Me,”  vocalist/guitarist Tyler Bryant and drummer Caleb Crosby reflected on how meaningful it was to finish the project and have their first group hug after months of quarantine. The emotions were not lost in the live setting, with Bryant’s quivering and earnest delivery. 

 

Recently released album highlight,  “Backbone,” set the online concert back into full swing, along with an extended rendition of “Coastin,’” “for anyone who loves Texas blues,” showing off Graham Whitford and Bryant’s blues chops and roots, trading off searing guitars solos.  The album’s second single,  “Holding My Breath,” recorded with Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr,  was even more anthemic live, hitting harder, both musically and lyrically, and playing heavily on the hope for “better days.”  Crosby and Bryant revealed that the gritty song “Fuel” fittingly developed after some heated studio moments between band members, and the slinky track, “Fever,” the first song recorded came out of a “happy accident” and casual jam session. 

Concluding the virtual gig was heavy- requested oldie but goodie  from 2013’s Wild Child, “Where I Want You.” Though it sparked nostalgia for sweaty rock shows, it also created a refreshed appreciation for live music and an unprecedented excitement for its return in the near future. 

Make sure to check out Pressure everywhere and keep your eyes peeled for better news and live show announcements in 2021! 

 

Read our review of Pressure here and buy the album here.

MEIJIN BRUTTOMESSO