As a single kick drum beat filled The Square Room, Knoxville band William Wild, walked onto the stage Friday night.
Friends and fans erupted with cheers at the sight of the group at their CD release party. The band's self-titled first full-length album released on iTunes on Tuesday, April 8.
The night was huge for the band, and was a sold out show.
Following the opening act, The Band Concord, Kenny Woodhull of The Square Room came out and said "one of our goals is to cultivate local artists; the band William Wild epitomizes that."
There was a buzz that only a local band's show can produce. Brandon Gloyd, a senior in journalism and electronic media, said he felt lucky to be a part of this particular performance.
"I think it was that I know the band members, and I know they were working really hard on the record," Gloyd said. "I know how much time and effort they put into this, and it was really cool to be here for one of their first big shows."
There was an understanding between the artist and audience of the journey and effort that had taken place to get to the show Friday night, but also an excitement about the journey that was to come after the CD release show.
The band played several songs together until the other six band members stepped off the stage and the lead singer, Garrett Sale, took hold of the audience with only a guitar and his voice.
After several songs, the rest of the band came back out and wrapped up the show with "Evening Blues," the fifth track on the album.
"This song is the catalyst of the record," Sale said.
He explained further that it was after writing this song that he thought it was time to record an album. The audience agreed, giving a standing ovation that led to an encore from the band.
"William Wild's performance had the audience intensely leaning in to hear their own," Colton Thomas, sophomore in logistics, said. "William Wild is the up-and-coming band in Knoxville that we can all be proud of."
Even more excited than the audience was the band.
"It feels good to finally flesh out the songs and kind of get out there and rock," Sale said after the show.
"It feels really good (to play a sold-out show), but I was really sad when I heard they had to turn people away because I wanted to share our songs with everyone."