Psst. Ri again.
So, I have the BEST buds ever. Seriously…they’re like Santa’s Elves or something. I’m up to my ears in – well, stuff – and they’re pitching in with Guest Posts. I heart them!
Today it’s Devilish Southern Belle coming to my aid, with her review of last month’s Hank III concert. Now, believe it or not, she wasn’t sure I’d want this review at first, since it’s not your average everyday mainstream act. To that, I answered “PSHAW!” (or some such dismissive sound effect) and protested most vociferously.
Here at MSM, we’re not constrained to…well, anything, really. There’s no paid advertising; I foot the bills, and if we like it – we talk about it. That’s what’s GREAT about music! There’s something for everyone, and so much out there that no one – not even the MOST music savvy – could possibly know about it all. I look forward to finding new bands & new sounds with every Guest Shuffle…and generally do. And, while not every genre will speak to everyone, and what I love may not be what you love (CLEARLY evident by the reaction to my Townes Van Zandt post. *ahem*)… learning that the music is out there, being exposed to it and finding out what OTHER people love about it is always a good thing.
With that, I give you DSB’s review of the Great Hank Williams‘ Grandson…Bocephus‘ little boy…aka, III! If you don’t know about Neotraditional Country with Punk/Metal influences…well, let this be your introduction. 😉 Enjoy!
(Review after the jump…)
After calling myself a fan for several years, it was my first time to see Hank III, whom I love not only for the music and his commendable refusal to bow to the standards of corporate Nashville, but also for being so amazing by finding homes for displaced animals. Seriously, the man even has an entire photo album on his myspace page devoted to the dogs he’s found homes for, and that just rocks in so many ways!
Despite looking forward to this for the past several weeks, my procrastinator tendencies had kicked in in a big way. The doors were due to open at 8:30, but at 8 I was still at home in my comfy clothes with no clue what to wear to the show! I did manage to pull myself together, and actually arrived at Crossroads in plenty of time to get inside, settle into the environment and do my “people watching” while sipping a beer before the show.
Not only was this my first time to see any of these performers, it was also the first show I’d EVER attended completely by myself. A bit self-conscious by nature, I was really worried that I might be miserable being there by myself. But I wasn’t. Not at all. In fact, even though the club was full of strangers, I felt quite in my element and comfortable. So I found what seemed like a good spot and just watched setup take place. I really enjoy watching the crew work, and am always astounded to see how quickly all the odds and ends of stage and sound preparation seem to come together.
Shortly thereafter, Those Poor Bastards took the stage.
Consisting of Lonesome Wyatt on vocals and guitar and The Minister (Vincent Presley) on drums, the “Prophets of Country Doom” have to be one of the weirdest bands I’ve ever seen or heard. When trying to come up with a description for their Gothic Country sound, the best I could come up with was gospel-hymns-gone-wrong.
Since I was completely unfamiliar with Those Poor Bastards before this show, I had no idea what to expect from/during their performance. At some point during their set, they brought out “The Horrible Skeleton” (a.k.a. Hank III) and someone else in disguise. The Horrible Skeleton sang while the other one stood for the duration of the song slapping the stick into his hand repeatedly (as far as I could tell). So Hank III sounds just like his legendary grandfather, but when he sang with TPB, his voice was much deeper and reminded me a lot of his daddy’s. This whole thing was so awesomely weird! And even though I have no idea who this guy is, I need to thank an awesome tall guy who got a photo of this for me, since I couldn’t get one from where I stood. Thank you, tall guy!
Those Poor Bastards played what seemed like a nice, long while, and I really enjoyed their set. They’re definitely worth seeing if you get the chance.
With VERY little time between performances, Hank III and The Damn Band (Shelton Hank Williams, Andy Gibson, Daniel Mason, Zach Shedd. And fiddle player and drummer whose names escape me. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a researcher) took the stage. For those who don’t know, Hank III shows consist of him performing three sets of different types of music. The first set is twangy, yodel-y country (Grandma & Grandpa’s country it ain’t, though!). The Hellbilly set immediately following consists of a psycobilly/punk-ish sound. Then, there’s the heavy, hard, and loud punk-metal at the very end, with Assjack.
One of the disadvantages of getting older (and not starting on a rough draft of this as soon as I got home that night) is that I have now forgotten which song he opened with. I do remember him warning first timers of what usually goes down in the first few rows, though!
He & band(s) performed for at least two and a half hours, rarely (if ever) taking breaks, never really slowing down, and everyone there was having an amazing time. The energy in that place was just unbelievable! I was very happy because I had a great spot near the stage, and people were mostly respectful of others during the Damn Band’s set, at least from where I stood. In fact, one very awesome hot girl noticed me snapping pictures behind her and moved me in front briefly so I could get even more. How cool is that? Thank you, hot girl! (This never happens to me at shows. In fact, if you’ve been to many shows, you know how aggressive both girls and guys alike can be when clamoring for a spot close to the stage! And this evening there wasn’t even a 6-foot-plus guy right in front of me. That tends to happen a lot, too.) Assjack’s singer, Gary Lindsey, came out for a few songs during the earlier performances, too. The country set was closed by “Not Everybody Likes Us” followed by “Dick in Dixie”, and a quick switch of guitar & hat.
After that, I just wandered, taking everything in from different spots in the club. I truly lost track of which songs were played and in what order after the country set (it’s that getting old thing again). When Assjack’s set started, things got REALLY wild! And I stayed off to the side watching it all. After the show, III & some of the others hung around to meet with fans. He was very nice and polite though a bit rushed, and thanked me for coming out, as I am sure he does everyone he talks to.
I will definitely be seeing more of his shows in the future. Not even the cover bands I’ve seen in bars in the past perform for this long with virtually no breaks, and with so much energy and enthusiasm. You should check him out if you get the chance. You will DEFINITELY get your money’s worth! His fans are probably the best I’ve ever met, and I daresay he is one of the nicest, most genuine performers around.
This was originally published at Devilish Southern Belle, where you can see more photos.
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