On Thursday night, the boys from North Carolina stopped in Grand Rapids to plant some “Roots” along the way of their tour trail.

After back to back tour runs with Brad Paisley and Jake Owens and being named as one of Country Music’s Breakout Stars of 2014 by MSN Entertainment, it was time for Parmalee to embark on a headlining tour of their own.

On this evening, they made a stop here in Grand Rapids, MI for a performance at The Intersection.  The Intersection is a live music concert venue known for bringing national artist together with local up and coming bands for an evening of musical entertainment.

The night’s event started as soon as you entered the door.  Music was heard throughout the venue by DJ Jay Vee as he mixed and spun his country mix dance tunes for the crowd on the floor. He played all the current country hits with a some dance and hip hop keeping the crowd pumped up as they waited for the show to start.

First to take to the stage was seventeen year old Shelby Ann-Marie from nearby Portland, Michigan. She entertained the crowd with a short set of cover tunes ranging from “Dibs” by Kelsea Ballerini to “Jackson” by Johnny and June Cash as a duet with her guitar player. Before leaving the stage, Shelby added an original song she had written with a few other local talented songwriters called “Love Him Before I Do.”

Next out was Casee Allen, who is originally from Coshocton, Ohio. Casee was accompanied by Evan on acoustic guitar and Logan on drum cajon. They were missing their other guitar player Josh, who had to return home for a family emergency.  Being short a guitar player, they elected to go acoustic on this evening.

Casee, Evan and Logan, who also like Shelby, played an assortment of covers that kept the crowd dancing and singing as they waited for the headlining Parmalee to take to the stage. His song selections ranged from singing Alabama to Justin Beiber, throwing in a soft rock song to cover all the bases. Winning the crowd over with his natural stage charm, Casee attracted the young ladies with the voice that would make them melt. He finished his time on stage with his debut single, “Shot Of You,” a song with a catchy hook that had everyone in the club shaking their bodies.

With the club in darkness, the stage lights started to dance to the musical beat of AC/DC’s “Back In Black.” The crowd were on the tips of their toes bouncing back and forth to the beat as they waited for the band to arrive on stage. Finally, the music and lights stopped, with the stage again sitting in darkness for a moment. The stage was set up with a drum riser at the back and light cabinets towering up on each side. The remainder of the stage was wide open.

Then, as the lights came up, Parmalee was already on stage and launched into “I’ll Bring The Music” and followed with their Top 10 hit, “Already Callin’ You Mine.”  The song is the third consecutive hit and fastest rising single off Parmalee’s debut album, Feels Like Carolina, released via Stoney Creek Records in December 2013.

Parmalee is made up of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas (Matt on lead vocals and guitars, and Scott on drums), cousin Barry Knox on bass guitar, and life long friend that Matt claims is a brother from another mother, Josh McSwain on guitar. The band’s name comes from the small town of Parmele, North Carolina where they all met to rehearse in a small tin-roofed barn dubbed “Studio B.”

The guys sang “My Montgomery,” “Back In The Day,” “Day Drinkin’,” “Musta Had A Good Time,” “Dance,” and “Close Your Eyes” from their debut album with the crowd responding by singing back to the band.

Matt, Barry, and Josh danced back and forth across the stage playing their guitars and singing as they all took turns jumping up onto platforms located at the front sides of the stage.

When not on the road, the band is currently in the studio finishing up on their sophomore album. They have already started to bring new music to the fans for feedback including the show this evening.  Songs included were “Lonely Girl,” “I Just Want To Kiss You” and “Roots,” which is the next single to be released to radio in May.

Parmalee has a southern rock sound mixed with a contemporary sound that has attracted a fan base from both sides of the country music spectrum. As Matt explained his and Scott’s childhood musical memories, it made sense to the style of sound they prefer to play. While they were growing up as kids on Sunday afternoons back in North Carolina, they would ride in the back of their parents pick up truck listening to the songs that were on the radio. As the music came through the back window to where they were sitting, they would hear tunes that they now add to their show today.

They started their montage with an old Bob Seger song, “Night Move,s” and merged into “Midnight Rider,” “Can’t You See,” “Thinking Of You,” and “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye. They finished up with “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson before flowing into another new song from the upcoming album, “Million To One.”

Parmalee ended their show with their multi-week No. 1 hit Platinum song, “Carolina.” The crowd sang back to them with such emotion and zeal that they overpowered the band on stage

It was a happy night for all in attendance; Parmalee enjoyed the crowd reactions to new music and old, and fans had a splendid evening of the great music performed by the artist they adore.

If the fan response this night is any indication how the music loving public will receive the new material, then Parmalee may be on the way to a successful sophomore album and a fun tour ahead.

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Casee Allen
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Shelby Ann-Marie
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DJ Jay Vee
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The Intersection
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