The Outpost, Knoxville’s first and only pop up music venue, was a temporary home to Corey Kilgannon and Haley Labelle as they played as part of Kilgannon’s “Come Say Hello” tour.
The building is the future home of a sour beer tasting room. But until then, it will be packed with as many concerts as the venue is able to fit into its schedule. The space is meant to serve as a winter home to concerts that might otherwise not come due to the cold weather.
Knoxville-based Haley Labelle opened with an entrancing, peaceful set played on an electric guitar. Her voice is captivating and soothing. The entire room was quiet during her songs and loud with appreciation in between them. She led with a couple of soft songs and promised the audience that the rest of her music would only get deeper.
“It only gets sadder from here,” Labelle announcesd to a laughing crowd as she finished a melancholy track.
Labelle took a pause during one of her songs and the audience was so silent that we could hear her breathing. She plucked her guitar back into the song and finished it off with a gentle chord progression and her soft but powerful voice.
The room turned from silent to lively after her set as we anticipated Kilgannon’s set. Kilgannon and Labelle attracted a packed room of people of all ages. Concertgoers shuffled around to explore the unique room and speak with the staff about the space.
Kilgannon took the stage to an enthusiastic crowd and asked if we were willing to participate with him in a new kind of sing along: a whistle-along.
“Please don’t let me whistle all alone,” Kilgannon sung to a whistling crowd while playing a smooth acoustic guitar. His first song carried a country vibe but mixed it with his distinct indie style.
His set developed into more of his better-known songs and the crowd joined in passionately on his choruses. Members of the audience catch onto his words and join in as his songs progress. The enthusiastic crowd made a number of requests, including Kilgannon’s song “Rosanna” -- the first request he played.
Kilgannon had the same influence as Labelle in captivating the audience, with silences that seemed just as powerful as sound.
Kilgannon’s music can best be described as a soft and soothing folk vibe. Kilgannon and Labelle set the tone for a gentle Friday evening in an intimate setting. They engaged a gentle audience into lightly swaying to their soft music with lyrics self-described as “melancholic.”
The crowd soon demanded that Kilgannon plays his most popular song, “Macaroni Song.” He obliged and the pleased crowd ways and sings along.
As the lights come down, the Friday night show came to an end. The crowd leaves in anticipation of Labelle’s incipient music release and the rest of Kilgannon’s tour.
Labelle and Kilgannon played the most peaceful Friday night I’ve ever seen in Knoxville, and they are surely acts worth following.