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Elle King Memphis 2016


Elle King Memphis 2016

Nathan Armstrong

“YOU CAN DO ITTTTTT” is all I could think of. I had never heard much of Elle King besides her song “Ex’s and Oh’s,” so when I Googled her, the first result was “Elle King’s Dad.” I clicked out of curiosity, and the best news I never knew I needed was revealed to me. 

To those who don’t know, King is the daughter of actor/comedian, Rob Schneider. Now, this recap is not entirely focused on that fact, BUT it was so funny that I had to include it! Now, I told myself I would limit the Schneider jokes to just one, so let’s get to the music. 
But still, how funny is that?

OK, like I said, I’m not a huge Elle King fan but I do enjoy her sound. Going in to the show I had heard the radio hit, “Ex’s and Oh’s,” and, thanks to Spotify Premium streaming, “America’s Sweetheart.” So I had so much to learn about King and her openers, Clear Plastic Masks. 

Photo credit:  Nathan Armstrong

Photo credit: Nathan Armstrong

Clear Plastic Masks, led by front-man Andrew Katz, is a rock and roll band from Brooklyn, New York. The band moved to Nashville, TN to record their debut album, Being There. CPM partnered with producer Andrija Tokic, who has worked with Alabama Shakes and Langhorne Slim to name a few. CPM brings a taste of the past with their music, and I consider these guys the closest thing to 70’s rock that you can find. 

CPM performed a Prince song and, not to be mean, I really couldn’t make out what they played. Katz even admitted that it wasn’t the best tribute, so I don’t feel so bad. All in all, CPM put on a good show, Katz and pianist/guitarist Matt Menold switched instruments at one point, which added to the performance showing their musical versatility. 

Clear Plastic Masks set the stage perfectly for Elle King, as she took the stage to her song, “Where the Devil Don’t Go.” King, the part country, part soul-rock-and-blues queen from New York is popular for her ability to put any kind of emotion in her songs. Her line of the night was, “She hurt my feelings so what did I do? I wrote her a song!”

Photo credit:  Nathan Armstrong

Photo credit: Nathan Armstrong

King embodies the type of independence and quirk you need to have to make it in the music industry. She’s versatile, covering songs like “Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash,” all while putting her twist on everything she does as she skips along from one genre to the next. To make it better, she rips the banjo too. 

All in all, both CPM and King put on a great show. With both acts I saw something that I rarely see these days: artists expressing themselves with no goal to please someone else. The music was all for them and if someone wanted to listen along, that was fine too. 

- Stone Pannell