Kentucky Derby nights: A cocktail-laden live-music memoir (part 2 of 3) [Kentucky Derby]

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Friday, May 6th: The Vernon Club



Ok, so let’s recap from part 1 of this review. There were zero beers realistically available for me at the Cage The Elephant & The Pass show the night before on Thursday. That being said, Friday night is going to be different. It’s Derby-eve, and I’ve got the VilleBillies penciled in on my schedule for the night’s festivities. And these damn VilleBillies have built a reputation for having plenty of booze flowing at their shows, their rehearsals, their backstage gatherings, and their post-show parties. Pretty much anywhere they go they throw down so to speak. And given that I’m reviewing their show on this night, there is no way they’re going to allow me to not drink with them. 



To no surprise, they packed in the Vernon Club to near capacity. And once they to the stage, the VilleBillies seized their audience from the first song, and had the entire room chanting their lyrics during their entire set. 





Celebrating nearly 10 years of being together as a band, the VilleBillies continue to prove they haven’t lost their energy, their onstage swagger, or their ability to keep writing heartfelt, Louisville-loving, country-rock-hip-hop anthems that you can’t help to find yourself chanting, even if only in your head.



Most VilleBillie fans are hardcore fans and know the song lyrics as good as the band does, so it’s interesting to hear the constant echo of a nearby fan trying to keep the vicious lyrical pace of the song being performed. Not surprisingly, VilleBillie fans also drink about as much as the band does, so it made for quite a loud and somewhat hectic environment. But not a dramatic one. Everyone behaved on this night and the security staff didn’t even break a sweat. 



Post-show a few people headed upstairs to the bowling alley for a few drunken ball tosses down the lanes...including myself. But after managing to only knock down one pin on one try, I called it a night and drank beer with Tuck and some of his cousins. All’s well that ends well.





Photo & videos by Jason Ashcraft

** Jason Ashcraft is a freelance music writer who focuses on Kentucky's original music scene. Visit his blog at LouisvilleScuttlebutt.com or you scan this QR code on your smart phone to view the mobile site:

About Jason Ashcraft
Jason is a life-long Louisville native who grew up in the Highlands, and now resides in an undisclosed fortified location somewhere in Louisville. He's followed Louisville's rock music scene for almost 10 years, first as a concert promoter, then an artist manager, and now a music critic and reviewer. He's one crazy Jarhead who'll literally publish anything his mind conceives on impulse, so don't always expect him to follow the traditional laws of journalism. He has intent of reviving Hunter S. Thompson's “gonzo journalism” if only his editors will allow it...which they don't usually. Head over to LouisvilleScuttlebutt.com for more published rhetoric.
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