Dustin Kensrue – Mercy Lounge – 3/23/17



A night of covers, originals, and honest singing. That’s what was received out of the Dustin Kensrue and Andy Hull co-tour at Mercy Lounge on the 23rd.

Dustin Kensrue, known to most as the front-man of the underground sensation  Thrice, created an atmosphere of acoustic vulnerability.

On this stage he wasn’t the front man of Thrice. On this stage he was purely Dustin, singing with his acoustic guitar for a room full of people.

His song choices varied from dark, philosophical and introspective, to soft, and heartfelt. He sang Costello, Springsteen, and Brand New. Dustin sang, notably, one of my favorite songs, “Jesus Christ” by Brand New. It was a crowd favorite — you can hear them singing along at one point.

Dustin comments on his performances, “A lot of the material is a little more down to earth, which is one of things that I tried to do with these songs,” says Kensrue. “I get a little heady with the Thrice songs. And I like doing that—I think people like engaging in that—but I wanted these to be more folky, in the sense that this is music coming from a natural place.”


Indeed the music performed that night was down-to-earth. Raw. Real. Honest. You could hear the breaking in his voice when he sang about missing his loved one. You could feel the pain when he was contemplating the meaning of life in his Brand New covers.

Compare acoustic Dustin to his claim to fame band, Thrice:



The lyrical content of their latest single is comparable to the songs Dustin performs on his solo tour– just without the heavy backing instrumentals, performing songs like “Hide and Seek,” by Imogen Heap, and “Round Here” by Counting Crows.

Dusin Kensrue and Andy Hull are currently still on their Northeast and Southwest tour, continuing through March 30, 2017. There are currently no scheduled dates for Dustin’s solo career, but be sure to check out his website for details of further tour dates.

If you can’t wait that long, Dustin’s band Thrice will be playing shows throughout the summer!


Laying a Foundation – Tips for beginning performers

Performing can be scary. Networking can be scary, too. But those two essential areas will help you become a better musician, and also help you get a gig!

One thing I will focus on today is getting out and watching other performers. It is important that, if you are interested in performing commercially, you watch other performers. You have to observe their behaviors, what type of environment they’re in, and how it is being received by the audience. If the musicians are not acting appropriately with the setting, you’ll know. If they aren’t a strong vocalist, you’ll know. If the ensemble messes up throughout their set, you know they needed more practice. As you are actively listening, watching, and engaging, make mental or physical note (preferably on your phone because a pen and paper might look weird!) of what they’re doing right, and what they’re doing wrong. Apply that to your performance practice. I bet you’ll notice a difference!

We all can’t afford to pay for shows every time we decide to watch someone perform. Here’s a poster for a segment I will be continuing on my blog. artexpo2019.jpg


As you can see, I’ve listed areas in Nashville that provide free entertainment every night. Research (or refer back to my blog!) for reviews of performances at these local venues. Not only will you be supporting the artists performing, but also the local businesses in our area.

While you’re at these events, make sure you are networking with those who also seem engaged in the performance. They may be a record executive, or be a friend-of-a-friend of someone who you could work with in the future.

If you enjoy what you hear on stage, don’t be afraid to talk to the musicians during their breaks. Isn’t it always nice to hear a compliment about your performance? It would be a great way to meet other musicians, too, who you may need in the future. Make sure you are genuine, though, many people can tell when you’re just in it for the connections. If you are sincere, you will probably have a very positive outcome.


I hope you enjoyed a few how-to’s if you are interested in live performance! Check back for more posts related to music reviews and events!