Have you ever been to a rocket launch? I don't know about you, but I have not. But now that I have that image in your mind, perhaps that will make the allegorical application that much more useful. Seeing an artist before they "blow up" has become more and more of an uncommon occurrence these days with social media, Internet, and what not. Nowadays, it's hard to see the "next this" or "second coming of whatever" without some sort of hype machine built in. So with that in mind, just know that Durand Jones is one of those uncommon occurrences.
Let's hold off on christening Durand Jones & The Indications as the "next this" or "second coming of whatever" for now, as it would almost certainly be unfair to Jones' unique frenzied style of soul music. In a word, Durand Jones & The Indications are killer; absolute and unequivocal assassins of soul. Following superb opening sets from Peter Oren and Nashville's own Jess Nolan (woohoo!) there was nary a moment that anyone on stage wasn't so deep in the pocket, you'd think they were a politician. I'm telling you, the keys were on point, the drums were so tight, the bass was laying it down, the horns were doing their thing, and guitar was slick, quick, and to the point, all while Durand was playing master of ceremonies for the evening.
Despite being relatively new on the soul scene, Durand Jones wouldn't have let on. He had everyone tuned in entirely, grasping to any and every moment of cathartic heart wrenching soul. There's a sense of earnest desperation (in the endearing sense) to Jones' performance, where every moment is paramount to Jones' well being; he has to get these feelings out into the world.
But even Jones wasn't able to steal the thunder of what was arguably the show's golden moment - "Is It Any Wonder?" Imagine if Julien Ehrlich of Whitney decided to take a few voice lessons and optimized his falsetto croon, then you would have Durand Jones & the Indication's drummer's single song lead of "Is It Any Wonder?" Seriously, once their drummer - whose name unfortunately escapes me - started laying it down and belting it out, everyone in the High Watt was stunned. Truly and absolutely, that was one of the grooviest, beautiful live show moments in Nashville this year; without a doubt.
Anyway, Bridges, Waterhouse, and Bradley better be put on notice, because Durand Jones is blazing his own trail, and the Indications are one hell of a backing band. Don't be surprised when you start seeing these purveyors of soul's name all the time in the coming years, because these dudes are that good.