Let Sol Cat groove you to the end of the week with The Weeks.
The Weeks, an indie rock band composed of five Mississippi boys, will perform Saturday at The Bowery. Funky Nashville band Sol Cat will open the show at 8 p.m.
This will be The Weeks' first time at The Bowery but not their first time in Knoxville, while Sol Cat has never ventured this far east in the state.
"We've never been to Knoxville," Brett Hammann, Sol Cat's vocalist, said. "We were booked there one time, but it fell through. I don't know why we haven't been there yet."
The Weeks moved to Nashville three years ago and have played a multitude of shows in Tennessee. The group originally moved because they wanted to get away from the distractions of a hometown.
"We narrowed it down to three choices," said Samuel Williams, The Weeks' guitarist. "Chicago was too cold. Atlanta was too hot. So, Nashville it was."
The Bowery looks for a particular sound when booking artists, and The Weeks and Sol Cat fit just right.
"We like jam bands, indie and alternative genres," said Andrea Kerns, The Bowery's marketing specialist.
Sol Cat describes themselves as visually oriented and uses their funky sound as a way to translate this into their music.
"We try to pick a place that we'd like to be then we try to make that into a song," Hammann said. "It's kind of been somewhat tropical inspired, but now it's kind of darker and a little spacier."
This is not the first time The Weeks are playing with Sol Cat; they have played nearly 10 shows together over the past year and a half from Tennessee to Texas.
"They are our boys," Williams said. "They started out great, and every time we see them they just keep getting better and better."
Being on and off tour for most of this year, Sol Cat hopes to put out a new full length album in 2014 as a follow up to their self-titled which they released in February this year.
"I guess we need to start thinking of titles," joked Hammann. "Do you have any suggestions?"
The Weeks finished a tour in early August with Tennessee rockers, Kings of Leon.
"It was great being with them because both of our Southern roots came out more than usual, especially being in the UK," Williams said.
It was actually when Logan Whitlow, junior in advertising, was listening to Kings of Leon on Pandora that she first heard The Weeks.
"I heard 'Buttons' play on the station and was immediately hooked," Whitlow said.
The band originally wrote "Buttons" at age 15 and had just started out. With only one recorded version of the song, it is their favorite to perform.
"The way the crowd reacts to 'Buttons' is very hard to top," Williams said. "It's almost like a zombie apocalypse when it's played."
Sol Cat said they feel they provide the same kind of energy in their shows and hopes Knoxville will be no different.
"It's more important to leave and feel like we kind of got to know the folks, so we'll see them the next time we roll through," Hammann said. "We always have a good time, so if we can get everyone else on our level of fun-having, then we know it was a good show."
Jackson Bogach, a freshman in geology, saw Sol Cat in Nashville at The High Watt in May and felt the vibe the band tries to give off.
"They just seemed to be a group of cool dudes having a blast, rocking out together with some funky sounds," Bogach said. "When that's the vibe in the show, it makes it so much better."
Returning to Knoxville, The Weeks will introduce Sol Cat to Rocky Top to spread some neighborly love from Music City.
"We're happy to spread some love over the Knoxvillians," Hammann said. "And hopefully gain some Knoxvillian light."
Marvel, who is also the stage director for "The Barber of Seville," said having two separate casts gives as many students a chance to perform as possible.
Lauren Lyles, first year graduate student in the master's program, said UT is unique in that regard, because other universities do no give all of their students a chance to get onstage.
"I feel like ... UT does a really good job of being a very inclusive program," said Lyles, who will be playing the part of Rosina. "I feel like a lot of people get the chance to go onstage and a lot of people get the chance to perform a role, which is really crucial for these years as a master's degree student."
Kevin Class, director of collaborative piano and musical director and conductor for the production, said preparation for the show is intense because of a time factor.
"The hours are very long, very intense," Class said. "Professionals would probably take maybe a year to prepare a role like this before they would ever walk into the first rehearsal at a professional opera company, and we really compact that very intensely into a few months."
Class also said UT has an advantage over other theatres who have to be focused on ticket sales. Because the UT Opera Theatre is focused primarily on education, they have the ability to try new things.
"It is to branch out and go a little experimental, push the edges a little bit in terms of staging or the style of music or things like that and really challenge the students, challenge the orchestra," Class said. "Maybe we will even challenge the audience a little bit, too, to broaden their horizons."
As part of that goal, UT picks shows that may be relatable to people today.
"It is a comedy, but ultimately, it is things that I think as young people, we do deal with," Lyles said. "We deal with relationships not working out, we deal with the thrill of falling in love. These are very real things to us today."
According to Marvel, "The Barber of Seville" is great for opera lovers and first-time opera goers.
"If you have never been to an opera before, I think this is a great show to make your first opera," Marvel said. "The music is very accessible. It is very enjoyable. You will be singing the tunes when you leave the theatre."
Performances are Nov. 15-17 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students with ID, and subtitles will be available.