Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors emit a relaxing, positive vibe in Charlotte


Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors isn’t exactly a band that’s heard on the radio regularly. Flipping through the FM channels, you’ll struggle to find a station that plays the Americana meets folk group. However, that doesn’t measure success and it doesn’t mean that Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors can’t provide a memorable live performance.

Opening for Amos Lee at Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors attracted a loving crowd. The relaxing, positive vibe that the band emitted pleased the two-tier auditorium and created a serene atmosphere.

Despite performing in a stripped down three-piece, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors lived up to the challenge. Before the show, when asked if this present, week-long tour would be more intimate than usual, Drew agreed and responded that:

Yes it will be different. We are only touring as a 3 piece. Rich [Brinsfield] is on another tour this fall, so it’s just me, Nate [Dugger] and Jonathan the drummer.

The performance touched an audience that continued to stroll through Ovens Auditorium’s doors as the set progressed. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors’ ability to connect to hundreds of people they’ve never met through music seemed surreal. Couples sat back in their seat and wrapped their arm around their partner’s shoulder. Their body language clearly revealed that the folk trio’s concert was hitting the spot on a brisk Autumn-like night.

Under pink stage lights, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors performed “American Beauty,” “Avalanche” and “Tennessee.” Each song was unique in its own way and “Tennessee” missed Ellie Holcomb’s sweet chorus vocals. The audience filled in and passionately sang the song in unison with the band. Although seated, the crowd swayed from left to right and soaked up the sincerity that filled Ovens Auditorium.

Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors eventually presented “Shine Like Lightning, easily the most up-tempo song of the night. The style clashed well with the other tracks and the crowd even pitched in with a few “hey hey” lines. “Here We Go” unveiled Drew’s more-than-fine singing voice while he moseyed around the stage between verses. The song’s lyrics – “Music, it makes you feel good, makes you feel understood, like you’re not alone, you’re not a rolling stone, not the only one on the road” – defined the night.

As mentioned, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors aren’t typically heard on the radio airwaves. Therefore listeners hold the band close to their heart because they had to work for it… they had to find it. There’s a specialness to that feeling and it was evident on this night.

Photo in this post courtesy Abby Gillardi via Flickr CC

About author

Jared Allen

Jared Allen

Jared is a music journalist, photographer and avid music listener living in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys live music, long car rides with Kellin Quinn and trips to the local record store, even though he still doesn't own a turntable in fear that his roommates will evict him.

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