ET Anderson, Zack Mexico, and Secret Guest at Royal American (Photos + Review)

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    ET Anderson, Zack Mexico, and Secret Guest at Royal American (Photos + Review)
    Published: December 16, 2016

    Sunday night at the Royal American was the final night in a mini weekend tour featuring ET Anderson, Zack Mexico, and Secret Guest, and also ET Anderson’s final show before going on a temporary hiatus (more on that later). The show was dope, and I’m glad I was able to attend. Below you’ll find a breakdown of each band’s set, as well as some photos taken by the homie Kyle Kilgo.

    Secret Guest at Royal American. Photo: Kyle Kilgo

    Secret Guest

    Secret Guest is a band from Charleston and they have quite possibly the best band name ever. When you see Secret Guest on a bill you’d probably think it actually means that there’s a surprise performer that nobody will know about until they get to the show. Well, Secret Guest is in fact a real band, and their performance on Sunday was the most entertaining musical performance I’ve seen in a long time. Their stage presence was hilarious, without subtracting too much from the quality of the music. I say too much because if you’re passing around guitars and bumping into each other during your set, you’re bound to miss a few notes. In place of the missed notes, though, Secret Guest received an excited crowd which is more valuable than almost anything else at a concert.

    To give to a better idea of what I’m talking about, I can tell you that both singer Brett Nash and guitarist Andrei Mihailovic kept losing their guitar straps, and then they kept trying to put the strap back on while playing the music, and Wilson from ET Anderson even came up on stage to put Brett’s strap back on. At one point Hunter Park aka She Returns From War hopped up on the stage and helped to sing one of their songs, and then Andrei accidentally smacked her in the side of the head with his strapless guitar and fell backwards over an amp, almost knocking down a stack of records and liquor bottles behind the Royal American bar.

    Hunter was unharmed, and nothing broke behind the bar. All was well at Royal, and Zack Mexico was up next. Stream Joker City / Goodnight Nothing via Spotify below.

    Zack Mexico at Royal American. Photo: Kyle Kilgo

    Zack Mexico

    Hailing from the Outer Banks of NC, Zack Mexico brings guitar-heavy tracks made to melt the brain, and they certainly brought their brain-melting abilities to the Royal American on Sunday night. They took the stage in full force after Secret Guest, with three guitars lined up at the front of the stage, all playing different pieces of the song that served to drag the crowd into the psychedelic world of Zack Mexico. The guitars were turned up so loud that they sometimes drowned out the vocals, but I’m pretty sure that was the vibe they were going for, and just barely being able to hear the vocals floating over the rest of the song helped to bring you even deeper into the sound they were creating.

    Zack Mexico at Royal American. Photo: Kyle Kilgo

    Watching Zack Mexico play you can just tell that they’ve spent a ton of time fine-tuning their songs and developing band chemistry (see: partying together) to allow for such depth to enter their sound. The band was totally in sync, constantly looking to one another for what I took as queues, little signals of timing that could only be understood by those in the band, but that everyone in the crowd could feel and appreciate. It was a really cool performance and Zack Mexico has found their way onto my list of bands to see whenever I have the chance. Catch them on tour this month on the east coast. Got that tour poster below, and below that their newest record Get Rich and Live Forever streaming via Spotify.

    ET Anderson’s final show before hiatus. Photo: Kyle Kilgo

    ET Anderson

    Columbia-based ET Anderson closed out the night with their signature eerie rock music and it was only fitting to have it turned up hella loud. According to frontman Wilson W. Wilson, Sunday night’s show at Royal was ET Anderson’s final show for at least six months. During their hiatus, the band plans to record two new records and take break from the heavy touring they’d been doing since the release of their debut record Et Tu, ______?. Well, if a bangin’ show to cap off the first phase of their band’s existence was what they were going for, then they much nailed it. The bar was already hyped off Zack Mexico and Secret Guest, so ET Anderson got an extra warm welcome before grabbing us all by the eardrums one last time for the evening. This was proven even further by a glorious display of crowdsurfing from Secret Guest guitarist Andrei Mihailovic.

    Andrei from Secret Guest surfs the crowd. Photo: Kyle Kilgo

    ET Anderson managed to take what are generally more laid-back, reserved tracks on the record and crank it up ten notches to bring to their show a solid rock foundation without the sacrifice of their signature shoulder-swinging groove. I’m sure the band is satisfied with themselves after a night like that, allowing them to go underground feeling rested and at peace with what they’ve done as a band so far, and hopeful for what the future holds. The scene will miss ET Anderson, but we look forward to their return to rock ‘n’ roll on a chariot, brandishing new music and freshly-tuned guitars, coming to a stage near you. Stream their album Et Tu, ______? via Spotify below.

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