The second to last date of Lullwater’s Make America Rock Again tour almost didn’t happen. Due to unexpected van troubles, the band from Athens, GA did everything within their power to get to The Tree in Joliet, IL. The promoter even bumped their time slot to accommodate. As luck would have it, they made it to the venue five minutes before they were scheduled to play. I have never seen a band set up as fast as they did. It also helped that band mates, Another Lost Year, pretty much gave them use of all of their gear that had already been set up for their set that would follow. Which if you think about it, is pretty damn awesome.

Hyped, stressed, chaotic. All words that I’m sure perfectly described the feelings the guys in Lullwater were dealing with attempting to make it to the venue. However, I feel this also helped to fuel the intense 20-minute set they unleashed on the Joliet crowd. Opening with Oddline from their 2012 Self-Titled release before going into Liars and Theives from Revival, John Strickland sang with such intensity, hair flying while he played guitar. Bassist Roy “Ray” Beatty played as if the troubles they had been dealing with didn’t even exist. He appeared to thoroughly be enjoying his time on stage as he would smile and interact with fans down front, when he wasn’t singing backing vocals or head banging.

They continued with Burning Both Ends from Revival and another from their Self-Titled release, Albatross. With both songs, you were drawn in, intent on listening to John’s vocals when you weren’t watching lead guitarist Brett Strickland add to the momentum with his steady, even-keeled playing. The end of their set however, was the ultimate finale. They closed with A Forgotten Name which included some of the most aggressive, fast and intense guitar playing I’ve seen from both John and Brett. So much so that there should have been smoke coming from their fingers and there should have been broken strings on the floor. Yes, that intense. Of course, I wouldn’t be doing the band justice if I didn’t comment on drummer Joe Wilson. Not only did he contribute to backing vocals from time to time, he truly was the backbone of the band. His hard and fast-paced drumming drove the beat of each song with empowering passion. Clearly his drive and contribution to the songs shines through with each song.

If you’ve never heard of Lullwater before, check out their music. Also be sure and check out our interview with John Strickland here. It hopefully won’t be too long before these guys are back out on the road, tearing it up doing their part to keep Rock ‘n’ Roll alive.

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