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Johnnie Dead and the Dead Deads

Friday Photo Blog–Sunday Edition by Tim McLaughlin

Tim McLaughlin profiles The Dead Deads’ February stop in Indianapolis as part of their  recent nationwide tour.

First off I’m going to come clean about this review being incredibly biased.  There, I said it.

I first saw Tosha (aka Johnnie Dead) Jones when she played a show at Fountain Square’s Radio Radio for a show put on by Elvis Mires, along with the Shelby County Sinners.  While we chatted, it came up that Jones is a native of Indiana, and I mentioned in passing that if she was ever in town again we could do a photoshoot—something I offer to many musicians.

“Hey, this is Tosha.”

So, in late November 2016 I get a message: “Hey this is Tosha.”  She was in town for Christmas and asked if we could do that photoshoot.  Oh, it was on.  I contacted the amazing owners of Grove Haus (Mark and Carrie) and they were incredibly accommodating allowing us to use their venue for a couple of hours. It was great fun.  I got to meet her family and talk all things music.  Shooting stills, video, and some family shots, this was the night I closed out 2016.

“When you make it big, don’t forget the little people.”

Often times, photo shoots are done as a comp, so I said (as I have a hundred times), “When you make it big, don’t forget the little people.”  Fast forward to February 2018, and what do I see, The Dead Deads (Nashville, TN) are part of the lineup at the Egyptian Room at the Old National Centre along with Red Sun Rising and the headliner, Stone Sour.  A few days later, I see a text pop up on my phone saying, “Hey, this is Tosha.”

What do you know, she didn’t forget.  She said she’d look into getting me a photo pass, and she’d let me know by the day before the show.  To her word she secured the pass.  This was really cool, and I really appreciated her doing this.

It’s show time.

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The Dead Deads are…. well let’s just pull the “ABOUT” from their Facebook Page, as it seems to condense them well.

“We’re a band. Hard-rock quartet from Nashville, TN. Riffs, gang vocals and drum rippage abound. For fans of bands. We live for the #deadcorps.”  I’m pretty sure that “rippage” isn’t a work, but if you were to describe the passion and intensity Jones displays at the drums… I’ll roll with it.

 Jones joined this quartet in January, 2017 and the band has been a touring juggernaut, crisscrossing the United States and Canada with Stone Sour and Red Sun Rising as well as with bands such as Halestorm, Seether, and Skid Row.

It was pretty wild to walk into the venue and see so many folks with signature #deadcorps “X” over each eye, but it shows that they are more than a “we should buy a t-shirt” kind of fans.  When The Dead Deads came out, unlike a lot of bands who may do this before they go on stage, they meet over the drums, say what I can only imagine is “Let’s kick ass,” do a “go team” and then…

Meta Dead (with her gold sparkle Fender Pawn Shop Super-Sonic) and with Jones (joining in with her crashing Zildjian Cymbals) opens a great set of music with “Ghosts.”  The dual guitars and vocals of Meta Dead, and the Fender Telecaster-slinger Dolly Dead, provide a complementary and contrasting playing styles.  Not to be forgotten, as too often is the case, is Daisy Dead on the bass, an extraordinary bass player who is tasked with keeping the other three on track.  If I counted correctly the set was made of the nine songs in total and rocked from start to finish.

Since Jones (Johnnie Dead) is an Indiana native, the band made sure to mention this several times throughout the set. The crowd was incredibly attentive, and I feel by the end of their set had converted some fans of Red Sun Rising and Stone Sour into new members of the #deadcorps.

Thanks to the Dead Deads for bringing along those accompanying bands as their sets built an ever louder, brighter set, concluding a night of music Indianapolis needs to see more of.

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About Tim McLaughlin

Zionsville resident Tim McLaughin considers himself a documentarian behind the shutter. The owner of Hapless Guitar Photography, he enjoys shooting music and sports related photos, and as he likes to say, “almost anything.”

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