The Dead South (OLT, Antwerp) – 06/09/2023

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With temperatures approaching those found in Death Valley, the GRIMM Rider rode out once again. This time to the grassy fields of Antwerp, bluegrass fields that is. There I was in good company with The Dead South and the Tejon Street Corner Thieves.

Tejon Street corner Thieves

What a name for a band. No need to watch out for your wallets though, it weren’t your hearts these scoundrels were out to steal with their punky, rock ’n roll infused version of bluegrass which they lovingly monikered trashgrass. With a remarkable enthusiasm that was nothing short of astonishing, the threesome from Colorado fired up the evening, riling up the already packed crowd in this amphitheater in the park called the OLT with songs about, well, whiskey mainly. They sure love their brew, and they wanted to imbue all of us with that same thirst. It was the final night of a three-week tour, but the three of them were clearly still full of energy. They love interacting with the audience, even inviting them to a form circle pit, which maybe didn’t entirely happen, but that sure didn’t hamper anyone from partying along. They ended the gig appropriately with the song ‘Whiskey’. As they shouted so often ‘Hell yeah!’

The Dead South

When the sun was about to set, the evil twin of Mumford & Sons took to the stage. It was not their first visit to the lovely city of Antwerp for the Canadian foursome of The Dead South. Last year the four men in black had already played to an equally packed Roma as well as obtaining an opening slot in the appropriate barn at Rock Werchter.

From the very start, their often tongue in cheek take on traditional Americana resonated highly with the crowd. Having written two EPs full of cover songs, they couldn’t resist playing some of that material as well. I had kind of hoped they would have also played their System of a Down cover, but their rendition of The Doors’ classic ‘People are Strange’ was equally welcome.

The band is mostly known for the song ‘In Hell I’ll Be in Good Company’, for which the accompanying video has gone nothing sort of viral on the World Wide Web. It didn’t come as surprising then, that the crowd went totally bananas when they started swinging their hips and snapping their fingers to lead in the song.

No one felt like going home yet, so they added in another song before a fellow tour mate from the Tejon Street Corner Thieves popped up in his underwear for the final song. Not in hell, but in Antwerp tonight, we were all in very good company.

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