Atlanta’s Tabernacle, which originally opened in 1911 as a church, hosted a religious experience like no other last night as the Marvelous 3 performed together live for the first of three sold-out shows at the downtown venue under the 20-story Centennial Park SkyView Ferris wheel.
As a DJ warmed up the crowd, we learned that fans traveled well beyond the metro-area to witness the reunion of Butch Walker, Jayce Fincher and Douglas “Slug” Mitchell. Front row center of the overpacked general admission floor we found fans and media who ventured from Australia, England, and all over the United States to witness the show live and in person. In fact, the line for the show began and 5:30 am, yesterday morning!
We were honored to be there and to cover the show for The Pure Rock Shop, having documented the evolution from the days of Southgang, who’s video hit “Tainted Angel” was teased mid-set, to the Marvelous 3 to Butch Walker’s solo career in our publication and pretty much everything in between. That history is reflected upon in the band’s new single “My Old School Metal Heart,” with hooks and lyrics and that already have us singing along.
From the announcement of the reunion and a new album to my travels to get here, the anticipation was painstaking to say the least. We began our journey in Nashville for the Rare Hare tribute night thrown by Tyson Leslie, which brought together national and regional Nashville-based musicians who performed the and’s first three albums and a few rare singles. And, we had the great opportunity to meet both fans and musicians who love the music of the Marvelous 3 just as much as I do.
Closing that night off chatting with the band who came to witness the surreal tribute to their music, I realized just how much I missed seeing them together and just how long it had been…as their new video and social posts bring out the footage of their early careers, I thought back to my life before kids and before digital photography and smart phones…It was a time when interviews were recorded on micro cassette (and yes I still have those early Butch Walker conversations on tape) and when they were coordinated by calling hotel rooms on a house phone.
As we watched Jayce Fincher’s son Holden take the stage with the band on guitar and vocals, we were kindly remembered that we aren’t kids anymore. But, for the night we sure remembered what it felt like to be young…
It seemed appropriate to kick off the evening with “You’re So Yesterday.” As the stage lit up with three huge video screens, lights, pyro, and more, the band dialed things back a couple decades, and that was just the beginning…from the sentimental “Let Me Go” duet between Butch and Holden to the epic “Radio Tokyo” we were in awe. Wouldn’t want to give away too many secrets, but it was quite the party which concluded as one would expect with “Freak of the Week” and their cover of the classic “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” from the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David which featured a memorable call for audience participation.
I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t get choked up last night. As I write this, I am getting a bit teary-eyed again. It is one thing to sing along to an album, but it is a completely different thing to watch the emotion in their eyes and the energy behind their delivery up close from a live audience. So if you didn’t get a chance to score a ticket to an Atlanta or Chicago show this week, I’d encourage to get yourself a seat for the live stream in the store at www.butchwalker.com for the show tonight or tomorrow, because you don’t want to miss this!
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Live Photos by Editor and founder Kara Marie Uhrlen for The Pure Rock Shop. Posted on 10/28/2023.