Sunday, June 10 – 2:40 p.m.
By Lightning! is a Nashville-based collective of artists featuring Joel J. Dahl and Serai Zaffiro of De Novo Dahl, Kat Brock of Dixie Dirt, Matt Moody of Hands Down Eugene and Rod Kelly of Paris, Ontario, as well as Stanton Edward and Jerry Pentecost. Voted the Best New Band of 2011 by The Nashville Scene, the band released their debut LP, Left Hand Right Hand, in February 2012. The Nashville Scene praised the effort, saying, "Joel Dahl and Serai McAnulty’s revved-up hooks are served well by Brock’s rollicking-to-reflective juke-joint Americana. The result is a record rife with baroque pop that effortlessly shifts from a speedy, me-against-The-Man power-pop fist-pumper like 'New Union Tune' to the closing country weeper 'City.’"
Sponsored by BMI, Mercy Lounge, the Nashville Scene, and the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, BMI’s Road to Bonnaroo competition took place over the course of three 8 off 8th shows – February 27, March 26, and April 16 – at Nashville hot-spot The Mercy Lounge. As the live-action litmus test, eight bands performed three-song sets during each installment of the series. To select the evening’s top contender, an industry panel comprising local music journalists, bloggers, and 8 off 8th hosts contributed one half of the verdict, while fan-voting through onsite ballots determined the other half.
BMI’s involvement underscores the organization’s vital role as an early career counselor and support system for aspiring songwriters and bands. As an initial point of contact for burgeoning artists, BMI serves as a fundamental bridge, connecting promising talent with industry decision-makers, as well as invaluable opportunities, including performance slots on stages at SXSW, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza, and the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.