Going to see Bailey Bryan has been on the list of artists to see this year since we did an interview with her back in February right before her Grammy performance. The opportunity presented itself through a mutual friend and I was off to the Tractor Tavern in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard. Lemonade has been to the Tractor Tavern a few times including seeing Meiko and Marié Digby, but if you have never been to the venue it is a small
intimate dive bar that reaches capacity at 300 patrons. There is a full service bar and the stage is just off to the right of the main entrance. There is always a good amount of space, so for you that are a little claustrophobic, Tractor Tavern has a bit of breathing room. Also, I apologize for the terrible photo quality.
Right at 8PM, the opening act, The Olson Bros Band from Olympia, took the stage and dropped in with their brand new track, “Time To Let Go”. Right away you knew that these guys had talent. Their country/rock style meshed well with the atmosphere of the Tractor and they really never let up on the gas. They followed that with one of their old favorites and award winning song, “Sunrise”, an homage to Washington’s natural beauty, and played a couple of covers, Tim McGraw‘s “I Like It, I Love It” and “Pickin’ Wildflowers” by Keith Anderson.
At times on stage you could tell there was a little sibling rivalry between the brothers, Luke and Isaac, but it was lighthearted and playful. Just enough to get the crowd into it. They were entertaining, energetic and flat out fun. The Olson Bros Band have the potential to go places with their brand of country rock. It is down to earth and the songwriting is excellent.
There was an electric feel around the stage once we knew it was going to be Bailey Bryan up next. Maybe it was because half the crowd was her family or because there was so much hype for the future country superstar, either way, the girl knows how to generate buzz. Oh, let me back up a little bit, if you do not know, Bailey Bryan is another local artist from Washington. She grew up in the small town of Sequim in the rain-shadow of the Olympic Mountains before making the leap to Nashville to pursue her career in music. The show at the Tractor was her first headlining concert, but if there were any nerves, they did not show at all.
She was personable, sweet and engaging. She joked about being only 19 in a 21+ concert saying that it would be awkward if she was not allowed in. In between songs she talked about the meaning behind a few of the tracks including “Scars”, which was about her having spinal surgery at 16. Her genuine enthusiasm telling us that she stopped in at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where her surgery took place, to play a few songs for the other children who are walking in her shoes.
Bryan also played some new unreleased tracks that featured “Song Bird”, which highlights her inability to comprehend or understand what is currently going on in today’s world. And as her set came to an end, we knew Bryan would end with her debut single, “Own It”. It was a rousing rendition and ended the evening on a high note. Her talent is undeniable, but her unwavering optimism and pure joy she exudes during her performance is what will make her a superstar. We all occasionally need an escape from the harsh realities of our world and Bailey Bryan provides a brilliant light to follow. If you have an opportunity to catch her in such an intimate venue like the Tractor Tavern, then do it.