PHOTOS: The Hip Abduction and Artikal Sound System at EXIT/IN

On Saturday night, the party was on at Nashville’s EXIT/IN.

The occasion? The Hip Abduction was in town, making a stop on their tour to celebrate their fourth full-length independent release, To the Ends of the Earth.

When speaking of the new album, frontman David New has been quoted as calling the 11-track offering “an ethereal journey to the ends of the earth.” This is a fitting assessment; it sounds like the band has drawn influence from many corners of the musical world, with elements of reggae, pop, and rock showing up throughout an inspired, 15-song set that featured numerous extended jams, in-tandem percussion breakdowns, and even an inventive cover or two (the crowd showed a hearty appreciation for a re-imagined, atmospheric version of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long.”). On our end, the opportunity to appreciate The Hip Abduction’s live show for the first time was a treat. From our observation, it was clear to see and hear how the band’s passionate, high-energy performances and world-class musicianship have brought these St. Petersburg, Florida natives to some of the nation’s premier festivals and stages.

Opening the evening were fellow Floridians Artikal Sound System, who started the night off hot with their brand of reggae. The band’s 45-minute set featured tight rhythms, an undeniable onstage chemistry, and the engaging presence of frontwoman Logan Rex, who seemed intent on (and succeeded at) drawing each member of the audience into her performance. As a bonus, keyboardist Chris Cope shined as the group’s X-factor, leaving it all on the stage with captivating soundscapes and impressive, innovative solos.

In case you couldn’t tell, what we’re trying to say is we had a great time, and would love to see both of these bands again the next time they roll into town. In the meantime, let us bring you into our evening with a look through ol’ Buckshot’s lens.

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