The Nashville quintet, Moon Taxi, will play the Railyard in Opelika on Nov. 3. Hosted by Cottonseed Studios, Moon Taxi will follow special guest ELEL, an indie/pop collaboration that should start off the high-production, high-energy night with an electronic bang.
Frequent visitors to Auburn, Moon Taxi has played shows in the surrounding area since 2006.
“Our first gig outside of Nashville was actually in Auburn at Quixote’s,” said Tommy Putnam, Moon Taxi’s bass player. “We did kind of bizarre music back then, but everybody still started swing dancing. We had never had that happen with our music before.”
An established band since 2009, the original members of Moon Taxi met in college at Belmont University in Nashville.
“When you’re first starting out, it’s impossible to get gigs,” said Putnam. “No one wants to take a chance on a band they’ve never heard of and hire them to play at their venue for the night.”
A native of Birmingham, Putnam fortunately has friends at several universities in Alabama, who networked the Moon Taxi name. While the band was still getting their feet wet in Nashville, playing small bars and picking up gigs wherever they were offered, they eventually landed a few gigs in Auburn and Tuscaloosa. The hard work payed off, and now the infectious band has collected a considerable collegiate fanbase, boasting more thsan 7 million spins on Spotify.
Since, the band has performed at music festivals that include Coachella, Bonnaroo and The Hangout and has appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman," "Conan" and "Late Night with Seth Myers." They have also opened shows for Gov’t Mule, Umphrey's McGee, Matisyahu and more.
“They’re good to their fans,” said Richard Patton, co-owner of Cotton Seed Studios. “They try to do meet-and-greets after shows with them and are usually willing to take pictures. They’re just humble, nice guys.”
Rolling Stone has compared the band to Kings of Leon and Vampire Weekend.
“[The band] worked their way up from Bonnaroo buzz-band to something approaching Kings of Leon country, playing a pleasingly cross-bred rock — a little indie, a little proggy, kinda poppy, Southern and jammy in a way that might be unrecognizable to oldsters who grew up in an era when Southern jams always meant bong-powered visions of the Allman Brothers,” the magazine said.
The dedicated fans have fueled the band’s fire, propelling them into wide success (and the production of four studio LPs). Rolling Stone said their 2015 album, “Daybreaker,”: “definitely has its moments of classic-feeling big-sky grandeur.”
Their most recent effort, “New Years Eve 2015 ,” is a full-length live record that was released in May. A promising and accurate portrayal of their action-packed performance, “New Years Eve 2015” is an echo of their joyful and refined production value.
“They always put on a great show,” Patton said. “They’re one band you can’t not have a good time when you watch them live.”
Though seasoned veterans of college town performances, Putnam said that he, and the other Moon Taxi boys, are excited to play in Lee County again.
“This crowd is right in our wheelhouse,” Putnam said. “Auburn folks are usually very respectful, but still excited.”
Fore more on the band, visit www.ridethemoontaxi.com.