Any band worth their salt has a great story about their first gig. The Nashville-based band Waker played their first show at a frozen yogurt joint in 2013 back when they were known as Koa.
“Let’s just say the manager didn’t ask for us to come back because of how loud we were,” vocalist and guitarist Chase Bader recalls. “I think they expected more of an acoustic show.”
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It’s a good thing Bader and company didn’t keep quiet. The rousing soulful rock group worked their way up from the sweet shops of Tennessee to opening for Blues Traveler, Galactic, and Moon Taxi. Last year, the group took the stage for a buzz-generating performance at Bonnaroo. The whole experience seemed surreal for Bader.
“It’s one of those milestones I thought about for years, and to be there felt like a massive accomplishment for all of us,” he says.
The stage at Valley Bar might be a tight fit for the seven-piece. Rest assured, Waker is going to make you move.
Waker perform Monday, July 9, at Valley Bar. Tickets are $12 at valleybarphx.com.