This past weekend I traveled the beautiful two hours from St. Louis to Wappapello, Missouri to see Blind Velvet and Austin Upchurch open for Giovannie and the Hired Guns at The Camp at Lake Wappapello. One of my favorite bands, my new favorite artist, and what is now possibly my favorite venue of all time made Saturday night one I’ll forever remember.
Arch City Music’s recent partnership with our friends at Summit Entertainment Live granted us so many cool privileges, starting with arriving early for soundcheck and flaunting all-access passes.
Austin Basler on Twitter: “Somebody get this man a headlining tour, he’s earned it. pic.twitter.com/BMQXvQSdNJ / Twitter”
Somebody get this man a headlining tour, he’s earned it. pic.twitter.com/BMQXvQSdNJ
Hanging out for hours before the show got us a lot of face-to-face time with Austin, Gio, and their bands and I was happy to learn that they’re as genuine and fun in person as they were on our podcast. I’ve been raving to everyone I know about Austin Upchurch and he’s been my most played artist since we booked him for his interview; getting to meet him personally and sit first class for his performance Saturday night is a memory I expect to look back on in short time when he reaches levels of success known by a lucky few.
One of the things I love most about both of these artists is their very obvious love for genres outside of the ones they perform themselves. During our first conversation Austin mentioned Gio’s tendency to cover the hell out of Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People, and while he did just that on Saturday I was more excited to hear his rendition of Lips of an Angel by Hinder – which I’d argue was done better than the original.
Besides showing off his versatility and oozing charisma, Giovannie left no doubt that he loves what he’s doing and is doing what he loves. Halfway through his 2-hour set I recall leaning to my brother, saying “Gio is having more fun than anybody here” and I took this video as proof.
Austin Basler on Twitter: “Every song was performed with more enthusiasm than anyone could’ve asked for and that’s how you know an artist loves what they’re doing and is doing what they love. I think Gio himself had more fun than anyone at the show. pic.twitter.com/ubGXObat0Z / Twitter”
Every song was performed with more enthusiasm than anyone could’ve asked for and that’s how you know an artist loves what they’re doing and is doing what they love. I think Gio himself had more fun than anyone at the show. pic.twitter.com/ubGXObat0Z
My favorite part of the show was when Giovannie announced on stage that his current radio single Ramon Ayala had reached #3 on the charts, but my favorite part of today was finding that it had climbed to #2. Only Three Days Grace stands between the Hired Guns and a #1 hit; not only do I have no doubt they’ll make it to the top spot, I have no doubt that it’ll be the first of many and I cannot wait to look back upon this night – and this picture – when they become a household name in the hearts of music fans across the world.
Austin Basler on Twitter: “As much as we hung out I forgot to get a picture with @AustinUpchurch_, but I went 1-for-2 and got one with Gio. I oughta put this one on the fridge, don’t y’all think? pic.twitter.com/YywzhNSI23 / Twitter”
As much as we hung out I forgot to get a picture with @AustinUpchurch_, but I went 1-for-2 and got one with Gio. I oughta put this one on the fridge, don’t y’all think? pic.twitter.com/YywzhNSI23
It’s a crying shame if you weren’t able to make it to The Camp last Saturday but the good news is that you won’t have to wait long for another chance – Giovannie and the Hired Guns will be back through town just two weeks from now on July 27th at Off Broadway. Another great venue to host such an incredible act and of course I will be there, loud and proud, partying even harder than I did the first time.
Listen to Giovannie and the Hired Guns on Spotify. Artist · 653.4K monthly listeners.
Listen to Austin Upchurch on Spotify. Artist · 20.2K monthly listeners.
The Camp at Lake Wappapello: Facebook