Milk Man & The Big Band Come to UT’s Student Union Auditorium Oct. 13

Bandleader Dino Nassios playing his Rhodes piano during a show at the University of Tennessee on Apr. 30, 2023. (Jacob Hale)

By Samuel Hastings

Milk Man & The Big Band will be taking the stage at the University of Tennessee’s Student Union Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m., sponsored by WUTK-FM 90.3 The Rock. 

This is not the first time that Milk Man & The Big Band has graced this stage. They previously played at the Student Union Auditorium in April. Since then, the band has kept busy, playing gigs at Hey Bear Café, Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria, and, most recently, Knoxville’s Yee-Haw Brewing Company. 

Bandleader Dino Nassios is glad to be bringing his band back onto a theater stage once again after a summer spent trying to accommodate his large, 17-piece ensemble.

“We need to be playing on stages of that size,” remarked Nassios. “Not because we deserve it, but economically speaking. It allows us to fully showcase our sound. In these places, we’re bigger and better, which is of course what you want.”

During the set, Milk Man & The Big Band will perform as much material from their highly anticipated debut record, Let Me Tell You, as possible, including lead single “Hammurabi’s Pad” and their most recent single, “Tired.”

Those songs, as well as a live cover of Cream’s “White Room,” have been spinning heavily on the WUTK airwaves. Nassios is very happy to be working with WUTK on getting those songs heard.

“It’s a great opportunity because it allows us to get our music and message across WUTK’s big listener base,” Nassios said. “WUTK is also a pillar of our great, local music community, so it means a lot that they believe in us enough to want to sponsor us and spread the word. Any way we can be involved with UT, I’m all about it. If you cut me open with a knife, you would see that I bleed orange.”

This show will also mark the release of the band’s next single, “Nothing Seems To Bother Me,” a song that is very personal to Nassios.

“This is a love song, but also a song where I got more personal about my liberation from anxiety. I want people to know that they can just breathe and it will all be okay. Let nothing bother you.”

Nassios continued, “Aiden Lamb of Connor Kelly and the Time Warp is playing electric guitar on the track. David Alan of SkyWay 61 and the Shaydes is playing sitar on it. Both those guys will be playing with us at this show. I think that’ll be a great way to kick off the party.”

Nassios’ primary collaborator and arranger, Rion Tabor, is very satisfied with how the song came out.

“This song has the best structure of any of the songs on the album. Everything has a piece and a purpose,” Tabor said. “We did go through multiple revisions of it, like six or seven, so I’m glad that we settled on the one that worked. We put our own spin on it, and it came together really well.”

“I’m looking forward to its official release and to see how people react to it at UT later that night,” Tabor remarked.

WUTK returns to sponsor this show after sponsoring the band’s most recent performance at Yee-Haw Brewing Company on Sept. 22.

WUTK General Manager Benny Smith is excited to be working with the band again. “We just had a fantastic first show with them at Yee-Haw, and we are looking forward to doing it again. Getting those students on stage is something we take pride in. We’re lucky to have the opportunity to put on a show like this,” he said.

Smith continued, “It’s our job. It’s what we do. We are proud to be playing them in a regular rotation. We love putting our money where our mouth is.”

Milk Man & The Big Band’s show at the University of Tennessee’s Student Union Auditorium is this Friday, October 13. Doors open at 6:15 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m.