Sunday is usually not the regular time to have a wild, energetic concert, but on April 24, the Pilot Light exploded with a powerhouse performance featuring Senryu, the Tim Lee 3 and the poetic antics of local legend Rus Harper.
Senryu has been touring the region, taking their newly released full length album Half Wild around the southeast to fresh ears in recent weeks. They returned to their hometown last weekend to perform for a host of loyal Knoxville fans.
Senryu played Half Wild in its entirety, including a multimedia video that was projected over the band as they played.
The whole night had a really good vibe to it. Everybody was there to have a good time. -Tim Lee, of the Tim Lee 3
"The whole night had a really good vibe to it. Everybody was there to have a good time," said Tim Lee, singer and guitarist for the Tim Lee 3.
Senryu's act ended with the audience jumping and screaming the lyrics to one of the band's more popular songs, Inklings. They left the audience with a special treat, a new surprise ending to the song that only left the audience wanting more.
Senryu's live performances always present the band's music heavier than the original recorded versions, so fans were treated to wilder, louder versions of the band's calmer songs. Memory Zero, a calm and reflective track off of Half Wild, was given a thrashing heavy ending that helped make the night's energy.
Senryu has a long history of devotion to Knoxville, so their hometown performances always seem to exhibit an incredible energy.
Wil Wright, leader singer of Senryu, continued the show as long as the audience was able to stay. Wright asked into the microphone, "Are you guys still good?" The roar of screams, yelling and whistling that answered seemed to satisfy, and he dutifully struck up another powerful rendition from the band's prolific catalogue.
This performance marks a significant shift forward for the band. Half Wild was released both as a CD and a large format vinyl edition, fitting the band's return to the studio. Alongside the album, Senryu released two music videos of songs from the album, Great.Expectations and Memory Zero.
Perfect for Senryu's return to Knoxville, the show was introduced by Rus Harper. Although Harper has opened for Senryu before with his band Teenage Love, he led the crowd into the show with several renditions of his own poems, each of which commemorate his experiences with his cats, his dogs and beer.
To me, rock and roll is that combination of country, folk, blues, jazz, you name it. My definition is all those styles put together and boiled down to three quarts and a cloud of dust. -Tim Lee
The Tim Lee 3, led by singer and guitarist Tim Lee, bassist and singer Susan Bauer Lee and drummer Bill Van Vleet, then took the stage. They played a fun mix of rock and roll and led a really powerful opening into the show.
Tim Lee 3's music is a style of rock and rock all their own. "To me, rock and roll is that combination of country, folk, blues, jazz, you name it," said Lee, describing the band's music. "My definition is all those styles put together and boiled down to three quarts and a cloud of dust."
While Senryu's music, a wonderful mix of rock and alternative that eludes definition, and Tim Lee 3's heavier rock and roll, aren't precisely similar, the night had an amazingly smooth flow. According to Lee, the feel of the night was most probably a product of the people and the familiarity of the bands.
"You love to play shows with your friends," said Lee. "The whole music thing for me is about the people."