by Thais Leon-Miller
Going to see a friend’s band’s reunion show at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, I didn’t have high expectations for the opening bands, but every local music hound knows your worst day at Jannus is still pretty darn good. Imagine my surprise when the bluesy, rock-laden sounds of Trigger City Trio filled the Jannus courtyard at a reggae/punk fusion show. Even more of a surprise, their opening song had lead singer, Andy Grey, channeling the late Bradley Nowell of Sublime to a background of southern rock mixed with reggae. By the time the second song had started, this band had managed to get my attention away from the bar and to the front stage, which was quickly filling up with fans drawn like moths to a flame. I was not alone in wondering who these guys were; as we all floated to the stage in awe, murmurs of “who is that”” and “where did these guys come from” could be heard throughout the crowd. If you haven’t seen Trigger City Trio yet, you are definitely missing out on one of the most creative and energetic shows that you can see in St. Petersburg.
The song we were now listening to was soulful, pure Southern Rock, and easily could have been JJ Grey’s next new single. I had never seen with my own eyes the equivalent of someone “slappin’ the bass”, but that was exactly what bass guitarist Tim Nichols was doing. The follow-up to that incredibly movement-inducing song can only be described by the sole sentence I wrote down that night: “If Chris Cornell and JJ Grey got into an argument, this song is what it would sound like if they made up.” With the heavy solo guitar riffs of straight rock and roll, blended with bluesy breaks of southern rock, this was a song written to showcase the obviously talented Andy Grey’s guitar work.
Combined with the ever energetic Tim Nichols’ bass and the sharp, on-point percussion by drummer Ryan Smiley, the only thing more impressive than this group’s charisma and talent was that out of their seven-song set, not one song sounded like another. I’m not even sure that any of these songs were in the same genre. A heavy blend of rock and roll, southern rock, jazz, and reggae with soul rhythms kept this girl and the rest of the crowd on our toes. What I do know is that if, like me, you have somehow managed to miss these local boys perform around town, you are missing a definite highlight in the ever-expanding music scene that we are blessed to have here in Pinellas County. These guys have made a permanent home on my radar and they should be saved on yours as well. See you at the next show!