BJ Barham at The Mercury Lounge
February 22, 2019-Last Friday night, Tulsa’s Mercury Lounge hosted American Aquarium’s BJ Barham for two sold out solo shows. Having missed tickets the first time around, I was relieved when a second show was added to the evening. Unlike the heavy hitting rock of an American Aquarium show, this was a stripped down, intimate evening with BJ Barham on his acoustic Gibson, telling stories and playing songs from his amazing catalog of hits. Before the set began, the evening started with a public service announcement courtesy of BJ that this wasn’t a show where you could stand around and talk during the set because, “people didn’t pay $20 to come listen to you and your friends talk”.
Not to take anything away from BJ’s singing, but the storytelling during the evening was the best part by far. BJ Barham is like the badass, black sheep cousin that you hope deems you cool enough to let you into his world. In his North Carolina drawl, BJ took the crowd through the stories that accompanied his songs. Sometimes the stories were longer than others, and there were a few that were serious in nature, but most of the stories were downright hilarious and there were a lot of laughs throughout the evening. The stories BJ tells about his family are some of the best. Whether it’s buying his Dad’s approval with the purchase of a stand-up lawnmower from Lowes or how he imagines meeting his daughter’s future boyfriend “Chad” for the first time, BJ has his timing and storytelling down to a fine art.
Obviously, I have to mention the songs too, I mean, after all this is BJ Barham of American Aquarium we’re talking about it and it wasn’t just a show made up of spoken stories, the songs are a pretty integral part of the story as well. Although the set was short, about 9 songs, some of Barham’s most popular and powerful songs made the list. My personal favorite was “Unfortunate Kind” a song that will bring a tear to your eye and if it doesn’t, well, then there might be something wrong with you. The politically charged “The World is on Fire” made the list, as well as crowd favorite, “Burn. Flicker. Die”. If you haven’t seen BJ solo, then you are truly missing out. It’s a whole different side to the front man and the vibe is one you want to be a part of.
The solo shows are done for this run, but you can catch American Aquarium out on the road soon. They’ll be hitting up the Midwest and South, so if you’ve got a craving for some badass songs and an amazing show, well then you better snap those tickets up ASAP.
For further information on BJ Barham and American Aquarium:
Follow the band on the following social media platforms for the most up to date information:
Check out the lates album from American Aquarium, “Things Change” on Spotify. Then go buy it from the bands website. Or hell, go buy it.
For more great artists and news about other bands and American Aquarium, check out All Eyes Media: