There’s something about Georgia & country music. The state known for its peaches has given us stars like Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Kip Moore, Thomas Rhett, and more. When one state breeds so many talented artists, it’s no surprise that Georgia also has some pretty cool country music venues. For some up and coming artists, playing these venues is a bucket list item. I had the privilege of seeing Missouri native Chris Bandi do just that this past weekend. (July 8 & 9, 2017) To say Bandi was excited to play The Gin in Tifton, and Bluewater in Valdosta would be an understatement. The pure joy he had while telling me that he’s dreamed of playing those bars since college was almost tangible. “I was a nerd in college. I spent hours watching YouTube videos of Luke Bryan and other guys playing here [The Gin.]” My response? “I love it!!” I absolutely love seeing people getting to live out their dreams, especially in person!
It was a slow night in the sleepy town of Tifton, Georgia, so it was a pretty slim crowd at show time. Bandi and his band played like the room was packed, and clearly had a good time doing so. We heard some classic 90s country like “Check Yes or No,” some Nelly, some Justin Bieber, and a few of Bandi’s own songs which included “Man Enough Now” and “Gone Girl.” He’s killing it on Spotify with those singles by the way… Though the crowd was small, those in attendance enjoyed the show.
Night two of the weekend was at Bluewater, a small bar in Valdosta, Georgia.
They are known for packing the place with college kids as amazing acts, like recently Old Dominion & Chase Rice, take the stage. Like The Gin, Bluewater is also great at promoting up & coming artists. I told Bandi & his band that they would have a much better crowd and thankfully Valdosta didn’t make me into a liar! At show time the room was packed and the crowd was ready for some good music. Good music is exactly what we got! The energy was great, and it visibly showed in the band. Bandi and his guys played a longer set at Bluewater, so I got to hear some additional songs that weren’t played the night before. Even though most of the set was the same, I never felt bored by hearing it again and it honestly didn’t feel like a repeat. The energy Bandi brings to the stage is a rare thing. His distinct voice, think raspy meets gravelly meets country, does not disappoint!
The night took a little detour as a guy in the crowd decided to throw his drink at Bandi’s face… Understandably stunned, Bandi called the guy out & security escorted him outside. As I told him after the show, I was beyond impressed with how quickly he recovered and finished his set like nothing had even happened.
Chris Bandi is the real deal. He knows how to put on a great show. He has a voice that captures your attention. He is one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure to get to know over the past few months, and he makes you feel like a long time friend. This guy has a big future ahead of him, so get in at the “beginning” and follow along! It’s going to be a fun ride!
Follow Chris Bandi on social media: @chrisbandi. Website: www.chrisbandi.com
Catch an upcoming show near you!