Native Run, David Nail Bring High Energy in Tuscaloosa

I took the trek down to Tuscaloosa, AL to catch some of my favorites, Native Run and David Nail, at their stop at the Jupiter Bar for Nail’s I’m A Fire tour. I’d seen Native Run perform in Nashville before, but wanted to catch the duo out on the road.

As usual, Native Run did not disappoint. The duo, Rachel Beauregard and Bryan Dawley, are fun, silly, and downright likable both on and off stage, making their set particularly engaging. They and their band delivered a great uptempo performance, getting into the #RollTide spirit applying University of Alabama eye-black to themselves and audience members mid-set. Their performance of single “Good On You” was, unsurprisingly, a fun and engaging treat. The group also played a newer song, a ballad, which they disclaimed somewhat apologetically prior to playing – a move I found bizarre given the headliner until I saw Nail’s set – and then launched into a cover of TLC’s “Waterfalls,” which yielded a collective crowd “oh, shit!” as Rachel tackled, and nailed, the rap verse.

Given Nail’s current single, “Kiss You Tonight,” and his ability to deliver some incredibly heartfelt ballads, I was expecting a more intimate show, but Nail’s set remained at a constant tempo throughout, even his more melodic songs translated into a more rock setting. Even slower paced songs like “I’m About to Come Alive,” had a bigger build, with added tracked drums, or mid-tempo “Easy Love,” where Sarah Buxton’s album vocals provided tracked backup. “Burning Bed” and “Broke My Heart” were strong, featuring solid instrumentation. Nail did take some vocal risks in the intro verse of hits “Red Light” and “Whatever She’s Got,” with delicate instrumentation and vocal re-imaginings of the melody, creating delightful moments where his vocals and artistry truly shone. But Nail, who mentioned opening for Zac Brown – an artist who balances uptempo blues-folk-rock and soulful ballad with practiced grace – at that same bar several years ago, seemed reluctant to delve into the “Colder Weather” side of himself, and dynamism of his vocals remained for the most part untapped.

Catch Native Run and David Nail near you:

10/24 Columbia, MO – 9th Street Summerfest
10/26 Cincinnati – Bogart’s
10/29 Springfield, MO – Gillioz Theater
10/30 Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
10/31 San Antonio – Aztec Theatre
11/6 Rocky Mount, VA – Harvester Performance Center
11/7 Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
11/8 Boston – House of Blues
11/9 New York – Irving Plaza
11/11 London, Ontario – London Concert Theater
11/13 Cleveland – House of Blues
11/14 Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
11/15 Green Bay WI – Meyer Theatre

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