OPINION: Exploring Bowling Green’s music scene

Nolan Hovell


The great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

Music is such a wide spectrum that it reaches far and pulls people together. Music is how people define themselves in many cases.

Live music is an even purer stream of unfiltered melodic vibrations and sounds. The fact that a recorded song can be replayed over and over again is what makes a live performance unique to that moment. Because humans make mistakes, grow and change, the song can’t be reproduced exactly the same way.

Bowling Green’s music scene is something not enough students know about, especially those who aren’t natives, but something we should take pride in. Places like Tidball’s, Rocky’s and the Former Friends of Young Americans House all house live sets several nights a week. Many local artists have had their start in the music industry in these venues.

Cage the Elephant is perhaps the most widely known success story to come out of Bowling Green. The rock band, formed in 2005, has roots in some of the very places mentioned in this article. Anyone who has seen them live, myself included, can attest that they put on an energetic, outstanding live show.

They are not the only Bowling Green natives to gain commercial success. Bands like Morning Teleportation, which just released its second studio album in April of this year, and Sleeper Agent are included on that list. The three bands share roots in rock, but also take influences from jazz, blues, alternative and psychedelic rock.

I had the pleasure of seeing Morning Teleportation at Tidball’s earlier this month and the show was electrifying to say the least. Established in 2005, the band has played along side such acts as Cage the Elephant, Primus, Modest Mouse and The Flaming Lips.

New bands and artists are sprouting up all the time in Bowling Green. The WKU music department has definitely contributed to that. After all, college is the best place to meet people who share your passions. One student band, The Rifts, is set to release their first album in mid October. Local venues are always happy to accommodate up and coming artists, so hopefully we’ll be hearing more from this group.

There is something about being in a space full of music and screams from the crowd that make live performances exhilarating. Knowing the music being played is even better because then you can perform vicariously through the artist. As he or she sings, you do the same having just as much fun.

Everyone is encouraged to go explore the local music scene and support it. There is always music being played in Bowling Green. The last Saturday of this month at Circus Street Park, an annual international festival will be held, inviting all to come and enjoy how different cultures express themselves in music and dance.

Music can encapsulate the spirit of a generation. An artist’s voice can speak for millions. It is the universal art. Find your voice, and if you’ve found it, let it be heard.