Show Reviews


Wednesday February 14, 2024

@ Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville, TN

(Review Written By: Jeffrey Kurtis)

In just a few short years since opening their doors in the summer of 2020, Brooklyn Bowl Nashville has quickly become one of the hottest mid-size venues in a town that’s pulsating with live music.

Boasting an interesting concept of bringing together the recreational aspects of bowling with the concert going experience, draped in sideshow posters and painted carnival scenes amid an abundance of ‘down a clown’ pins, the venue creates an addictive aura that in many ways transports you to a bygone era while intriguingly accenting its yesteryear vibe against some of today’s hottest musical acts.

This past Valentine’s Day, the sought-after venue continued its long-standing streak of playing host to a substantially renowned tour when Big Machine Records recording artist Jackson Dean brought his highly touted ‘Head Full of Noise Tour’ to their stage.

Through very well-received singles “Don’t Come Lookin’” and “Fearless,” both lifted from his debut album Greenbroke, the Maryland native’s gritty sound entered the country music landscape with an outlaw branded style that teetered the edges of Southern Rock and country, displaying an intriguing maturity through the honesty of his raw, ragged vocals and captivating lyrics.

A very lively, shoulder-to-shoulder crowd, all who were clearly ready to vibe with Dean as evident in their swaying and singing along with the sound system pumping out songs such as “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “Lonesome, On’ry, And Mean,” struck a deafening eruption when he strolled onto the stage, emanating an instant coolness about himself as he kicked into his 18-song set with “Greenbroke” and immediately injected the edge of his voice into his insatiable throwback aura amongst swirling guitar riffs and the pounding drive of the drumbeat.

Swerving through the swampier tilts of his arsenal during the early part of his set, Dean endearingly painted roadmaps that gave definition to his rambling man personality on songs such as “Trailer Park” and “Don’t Take Much,” the latter which leaned its guitar pulls into the backwoods atmosphere of the lyric as he opened his family’s photo album to craft the lineage of where he comes from by way of his father’s (who was in the crowd) youthful appreciation of the simple things in life.

Where his throwback essence certainly challenged the farthest reaches of a country music tagged distinction, blurring the lines into classic rock fusions on songs such as “Raised” and “1971,” Jackson also charmingly found all the proper spaces to soften the melodies and allow the naturally gifted tonality of his voice to grip the emotional heart tug.

Slow dance moments engaged the crowd during “Superstitions” and the angelic imagery of “Wings,” but it was his skillful juxtaposition into the first slowdown of his set with “Heavens To Betsy” that he momentarily hushed the crowd, shadowing the acoustic strum of his guitar alongside the power embedded into his voice so that when the three-part harmonies and his full band eventually punched back in, boot heels across the crowd excitedly stomped the rhythm as their arms littered the air and bounced in tune with the melody.

Providing flashes of influence through Fred Eaglesmith’s “49 Tons” and the 4 Non Blondes “What’s Up?,” Jackson instigated a rousing sing along into a show-stopping moment on the latter, which saw him masterfully balancing the stylistic pocket of the uber popular original against specific signature drops that reinvented the classic hit as his own entity.

“Fearless” immediately played off the energy of “What’s Up?” keeping the crowd’s vocal performance lifted high, parlaying back-to-back serenades between him and his exuberant fan base while leading into several “Only in Nashville” moments that would bookend his hour and forty-minute performance.

Joined by his hitmaking co-writer Luke Dick on “Don’t Come Lookin’,” and then by Mac McAnally on a soulfully stunning version of “When A Man Loves A Woman,” Dean would then close his set with a cover of The Band’s “The Weight,” flanked by each of the two icons and the opening acts Dee White and Mae Estes, allowing the spotlight to brightly shine on the individually of each of the five talents on the stage in a stunning snapshot of generation next paying homage to the living legends who’ve paved the way.

Uniquely footing his way along several genre lines to arrive at a sound that he can call his own, Jackson Dean clearly understands the assignment of his live show. He used precision in laying out his setlist, delivering well-placed, show stopping moments during each quarter of it as he carefully walked within the age-old idea of three chords and the truth and utilized the proper tones of his humbly ragged vocal to capture each lyric and expertly connect them with the heart of the crowd, drawing them deeper and deeper into his aura note by passing note.


1) Greenbroke

2) Trailer Park

3) Don’t Take Much

4) Heavens To Betsy

5) Wings

6) Big Blue Sky

7) Train

8) 49 Tons (Fred Eaglesmith cover)

9) What's Up? (4 Non Blondes cover)

10) Fearless

11) Talking To Backroads

12) Superstitions

13) Sweet Appalachia

14) Raised

15) 1971

16) Don't Come Lookin'

17) When A Man Loves A Woman (Percy Sledge cover)

18) The Weight (The Band cover)




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