Antsy McClain opens Carson City Levitt AMP Concert Series

Antsy McClain says his shows are a unique blend of "humor with heart."

Antsy McClain says his shows are a unique blend of "humor with heart."

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If you’ve been waiting impatiently for free live music in Carson City, the time has come. It’s time to let loose and put on the dancing shoes, as Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours open the Levitt AMP Concert Series on June 22.

Antsy McClain has played in Carson since the 2000s, including last year.

“It’s a good area for us,” McClain said. “We have a lot of friends there. We love the area.”

He said he’s ready to have a great time on stage to open the summer concert series, bringing along with him a six-piece band (saxophone, keyboard, two guitars, bass and a drum kit). He said he and the band are good friends and they have a great time.

“We’re up there to show everybody a good time and get them to forget about their troubles for a couple of hours,” he said.

McClain performs many solo shows from coast to coast. He’s performed with the likes of PBS, NPR and TEDTalks. With this being a bigger event closer to home, he brings a full band, and he said the members and instruments really raise it up a notch or two.

“Those guys make me sound good,” he said. “My band is very talented, they know hundreds of songs, play in different bands and know how to mix it up.”

Antsy McClain is excited to kick off the summer concert series. He said he’ll have several new songs. He and the band are working on a new album — hopefully out by Christmas. He describes the show as a unique blend of “humor with heart.” His songs are funny and up-tempo, and ones that they can laugh at themselves while playing, he said.

He loves what he gets to do on stage. He said he was nicknamed Antsy by family members who saw his high energy as a kid. His family couldn’t afford Ritalin, so he’s carried ADD his whole life, he said. He alleviates that by putting his energy on the stage.

“It’s my medication,” he said.

He’ll bring Pine View Heights to Carson City. It’s a 1970s trailer park filled with hard-working and humorous people where Antsy grew up. He describes Pine View Heights now as a state of mind.

“The world that we create during our two-hour show is Pine View Heights, and we invite everyone into our world,” he said.

Antsy McClain plays original music, all songs that he’s written himself. The songs are character sketches of the people he knew growing up and influenced him as a kid. He said they play their own version of country or Americana. A lot of songs include blues and R&B, with a little bit of jazz thrown in for good measure. And you might recognize a Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin riff when the band is having fun and jamming out.

“A lot of people see the title and think it’s a campy novelty act,” he said. “We’re serious musicians who like to have fun.”

While Pine View Heights may not exist physically, like Antsy McClain said, it is a state of mind. His inspiration for new songs come from an occasional nostalgic memory about childhood or the past, but he still grows through family and traveling.

“I’ve got such a wonderful, rich life now, with the people in my life I’m so grateful for — my children are grown; I’ve got grandchildren,” he said. “I’m enjoying every bit of that.”

As a traveler, music has taken him around the world. He loves what Mark Twain said about travel and how it gets rid of your prejudices. Antsy McClain said you can’t help but be influenced by where you go, where you’ve been, who you’ve met and even the food you eat.

“There’s a lot of metaphors about life when you travel and everything is move so fast around you, yet you feel caught in this wonderful bubble where you can see everything around you in clarity,” he said.


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