Dax Riggs went from silent to heartbreaking in one song. With a cover of Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel, the Evansville, Indiana born singer captured the tune penned by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axten, grabbed it by the throat, embraced it underwater and brought it back to life in a way few could ever dream of doing. Sadness has rarely sounded so beautiful.

Such is the power of Dax Riggs. Not to confuse or be confused, this wasn’t a tribute to The King, this was a musician stripping a song bare and delving into the depths of darkness and loneliness. His voice, naked and unprocessed accompanied by the most minimal, yet powerful of sounds from his band.

Preceded in the night by Brooks Hubbert, who performed a hypnotizing set of original music mixing experimental and traditional journeys of sound, Riggs finished off the evening with his voyage down the river into a Conrad-esque exploration of life.

-Michael L. Smith

Additional photo gallery of the event by PNJ photographer Kira Lynn Ramos