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The Heavy Pets rock Ashley Street Station

Written by Kyle Dawson, Photo Editor

One of the hottest and most versatile jam bands in the country was in Valdosta last Friday night as The Heavy Pets took the stage at Ashley Street Station.

The Heavy Pets, who are from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., have been releasing music for about ten years. The band has released three albums and four EPs all while touring the country and hitting big festivals such as Bonnaroo. They are categorized as a jam band, but they’re really too diverse to be tied to one genre, which was showcased in their performance last Friday.

The band is comprised of a lead singer who also plays rhythm guitar, a bassist, a drummer, a lead guitarist and a keyboard and synthesizer player who takes over on lead vocals on some songs.

At the start of their set, The Heavy Pets played some jam band songs complete with long guitar solos and instrumental sequences, but with some reggae and funk influences as if Widespread Panic and Slightly Stoopid came together and formed one band.

Later, the band got even funkier as they played more bass driven songs reminiscent of George Clinton or very early Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Towards the end of the show, The Heavy Pets showed a southern rock side while keeping the jam band theme. They could have easily passed off as an Allman Brothers cover band, and their guitar solos in this part of the show were very Free Bird-like.

The band looked the part as they took the stage in tie-dye shirts and long hair, and they played to an enthusiastic, near-full room of people from all walks of life for most of the night.

During the show, if listeners closed their eyes, they might think they were at a concert on the beach in the Caribbean, drinking out of a coconut instead of drinking PBR at a dive bar like most of them were doing.

All in all, it was just another night at the always eccentric Ashley Street Station.

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