Pardon the silliness of the title, but there is a purpose.. That being said, Saturday night took AXSNashville to Marathon Music Works for the first time and it was to see In Flames, All That Remains and Voodoo Prophet. It was a heavy metal night for sure, with a decent-sized crowd in the really larger-than-imagined standing-room-only venue. Located only a couple minutes by car from the center of downtown Nashville, close to Nashville Farmer’s Market, the venue is tucked away and easy to miss. But once inside, you instantly know it’s not one you’ll easily forget.
The relaxed atmosphere and breathing room are the first things noticeable when walking in the doors of the venue for the first time, from the nearby parking area. Second to notice is the huge room in which you stand and the fact that in spite of a decent crowd, there is still elbow—and breathing—room. That’s about it, as far as learning the layout. The restrooms linger behind a divider wall, while two bars take up two of the walls. One corner houses 3 or 4 really big community tables, with 8-10 chairs all around, offering the only first-come seating available. Next is the stage, plenty large for a good-sized band, great view from anywhere in the venue, outside of the restrooms and smoking-designated back-deck. Just know that while 21+ folks can order alcoholic beverages, as well as colas and water, there is no food or snacks available, so eat dinner before arriving. Don’t plan on going out to the car or to a nearby restaurant for a bite during the show either, because other than from the deck for a smoke, there is absolutely no re-admittance into the venue once you walk out—not even to get something left in the car.
Overall, the acoustics are tight, the building kept cool, the crowd tame but fun, the bars quick at service and a great overall experience for the first time at MMW. Hopefully, there will be many more to come.
Now that the technicalities are out of the way, lets talk about Saturday night’s concert. First band up was Voodoo Prophet, a heavy metal band that relied more on volume than talent, more on screaming than singing, no matter the genre’s very specific vocal edge. Perhaps it was a bad night for this band, but it seemed more than one audience member was relieved when All That Remains stepped onto the stage. And not to be ugly, but the first time the smokers came in from their designated area out back.
From the first note to the last, All That Remains was on-point, proving it wasn’t a technicality causing the bad sound from the previous band. From personality to stage presence to the perfect vocal balance in delivering heavy metal lyrics, this band was reaching the boiling point with every song. In fact, All That Remains was In Flames on Saturday night, they were so hot (told you the title had a purpose.) Was In Flames as hot as All That Remains? From all accounts, it appears the answer is a resounding yes! With two on-fire bands headlining the show, though the In Flames headline font was a bit bigger, the crowd was super happy by the end of the night, fists pumping and heads bobbing and begging for more.
Marathon Music Works is a cool venue for sure, if you haven’t been, it’s definitely worth checking out for your favorite concerts anytime.