[This was written by our own esteemed Miss Daisy, herein lie her (mis)adventures in seeing Hank Williams III for the first time—Cricket]
On the way to the Hank III show, me and my roommate, Luke, had a conversation on the merits of assembling a team that included a pirate, a ninja, a cowboy, and an Amazon. (Originally, Luke tried to tell me that with the pirate and the ninja we didn’t need a cowboy, but whatever. That one is for me.) [That one is for all of us. Where would we be without cowboys?—Cricket] Luke said we need one more guy. A sort of leader/figurehead, if you will. Someone like Mr. T. I suggested MacGyver, what with him being, you know, MacGyver and all. [What is this team for? Mutual destruction?–Mimi]
Luke: No, we need Mr. T in case we need some arc welding done!
Me: What? Why in the world would we need arc welding done? Besides, you don’t think MacGyver could figure that shit out?
But I mean, c’mon, right? Arc welding? That’s just crazy and illogical.
Now, I did not check with Mimi and Cricket beforehand as to whether I needed to be drunk going into the show, or if it would be okay to get drunk during the course of the show, so to be on the safe side, we ducked into a nearby bar to have a drink before heading over to the venue. [There’s no rules, babygirl, but yeah, have a drink for us.—Cricket] [We have learned that drinking BEFORE shows is actually the path the disaster. PSA, children.–Mimi]
The concert was at The Big Easy (because even the Northwest wants to be Southern), which is a concert house/dance club. Kind of lamecakes, but it is Spokompton and not Nashvegas, so we do what we can.
Luke and I headed to the bar upstairs just as the opening band was coming onstage, and I would just like to point out that Luke is right to an obnoxious degree about all things concert-related. In this instance it was, “I told you there’d be an opening band.”
Me: Why is there a guy with no pants on the stage? (He was the drummer, as it turned out.)
The opening band was the Murder Junkies. So totally not my thing that in my notes I wrote, “Will have to rely on Luke to know if they are good.”
I did, however, write down some choice quotes from the singer, such as, “This goes out to all the loose women in the audience…” and “This goes out to all the girls who like their sex real rough,” and “This next song goes out to all the guys who still know how to eat–” You know what? I’m gonna end the quote there. You get the picture. The picture is skeezy. [This would be even funnier if y’all at home knew just how good and sweet and innocent Miss Daisy looks.—Cricket] [Skeezy? I thought it was funny. *ponders my level of sleaziness*–Mimi]
How I felt about the open act’s singer was kind of like when you go out to the bar and you’re sitting there by yourself while your friend gets the drinks and That Guy comes up to you. You know, that guy who, if he’s not actually old enough to be your dad, he looks it. He’s all tatted up in the not sexy way, and he smells like he’s been drinking bourbon non-stop for the past week, and he’s trying to hit on you, but he hasn’t quite mastered the art of the single entendre and you hope your drink gets here soon because you just threw up in your mouth a little. That’s how I felt about this band. (How do those guys always find me, anyway?) [It’s your charming innocence. Draws them like flies.—Cricket]
But for the sake of fairness, since it really isn’t my genre, I asked Luke if they were good.
Luke: This is the worst kind of music. Fusion that makes you dislike both original sources. Makes guys like me [who like the original sources] look like dipshits.
Me: See now, if you don’t want me to flip you shit all the time, quit leaving me openings like that.
Since the Murder Junkies were not to my liking, I spent that time getting drunk and observing the crowd, which was a bit of a mix of country and goth metal, but mostly fratboy chuckleheads. My notes say things like, “There is nobody on the dance floor!” and “There’s a guy here who looks kind of like Cory Branan, only not quite as cute.” [I really like how we manage to work Cory into almost every article. Good job, sweetcakes!–Mimi]
Hank III finally came on (right about the time that Luke said he would). [Shut up, Luke, damn!–Mimi]
Now, for the insane fangirls among you, I made sure to note his outfit. He was wearing jeans, a black T-shirt, a vest and a cowboy hat. And elf shoes. Now, I was a little drunk at this point, and kind of far away, but I swear he was wearing elf shoes. This is something I would really like to know about, though it will most likely remain a mystery. [I suspect they were really pointy cowboy boots worn down and beaten to shit until the toes curled up, but that’s just conjecture.—Cricket]
My notes here read, “Wow. Hank is kind of hot. I apologize for ever doubting you, Cricket.” [Thank you. I like to be right.—Cricket]
The Damn Band was tight. Really, is there anything better than going to a live show and having the act exceed your expectations? I don’t know what to say, other than Cricket is right: Hank gets it. Not only does he get it, he makes sure that you get it, too, and you’d better be having a damn good time in the process.
Or as good of a time as one can have listening to country in a venue where you can’t smoke. For all y’all who don’t know, Washington State recently passed a law that bans smoking from public buildings (including bars). You also have to be twenty-five feet from public doorways, and you can’t smoke at bus stops.
Hank III was not impressed by our laws, saying, “You can’t even go into a goddamn bar and have a fuckin’ cigarette and a goddamn beer” and winning over the hearts of smokers everywhere. [Hell, I had to move out of that state just so I could smoke.—Cricket]
The setlist from the country part of the show (to the best of my recollection and ability to read my drunken scrawling handwriting) is as follows:
Straight to Hell
Smoke and Wine
The Pills I Took
I Don’t Know
Dick in Dixie
Thrown Out of the Bar
The Devil is My Friend
The Legend of D. Ray White (Jesco the Dancing Outlaw!)
If You Don’t Like Hank Williams [I think this is a Hank Jr. song.—Cricket]
My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It [A Hank Sr. song popularized by Ricky Nelson.—Cricket]
Crazed Country Rebel
One Horse Town
Drinkin’ Over Mama
Johnny Law (“For the kid who got kicked out for smokin'”)
Not Everybody Likes Us
Nighttime Ramblin’ Man
Thus the country set ended. Hank left the stage and I reviewed my notes. Or something. I don’t know, but I must have looked like I was doing something official, because this cute cowboy came up to me and asked, “Are you a reporter?”
Me: I’m writing a review for a website.
Him: Have you seen Hank live before?
Him: Now is when things start to rock. [I read this like him giving this line reading: Now’s when things START TO RAAAAAAAAWWWWWWK!–Mimi]
Or something totally cheeseball like that. I was drunk and he was cute, but then Luke returned to the table and cute cowboy walked off. Luke seems to have that effect. [I’m trying really hard to not mock Luke here. No one can clear a room like him. Hahahahahaha.—Cricket]
When Hank came back onstage, he had ditched the cowboy hat for a baseball cap to signify the shift in genre, I assume. As to what the genre was, I can only guess. Southern rock? Rockabilly? I seriously have no idea what to call it. He was still with The Damn Band at that point. He did a short set of whatever it was, about which I wrote, “I am not hating this!” which was very exciting for me.
Then he announced that he’d be back in five minutes with Assjack, and seriously? People cleared out. There were maybe twenty people on the dance floor. And, okay, normally I would feel bad for an act if their entire audience left before their encore (or second set, whatever). But before Hank III left the stage, he said something to the effect of knowing most people wouldn’t stick around, and “see y’all next time”. Which says to me that the metal thing is for him. If people enjoy it, that’s cool, but he’s doing it because he enjoys it. So I thought, “Awww, that’s so sweet! You know, maybe I’ll enjoy it, too.” [Hahaha, I love how hard you try, baby.—Cricket] [She tries harder than me, that’s for sure. Assjack sums up how I feel about this shit.–Mimi]
He came out with Assjack, vest and hat gone, hair down and there was full-on head bangin’ going on, folks. This is the point where I handed my notebook over to Luke and went to check out the merchandise booth. Not that I didn’t try! I stayed in there for, like, two full songs! It’s just totally not my scene.
Luke didn’t manage to stay in there for the full concert either, so we spent a few minutes hanging around talking to people, asking them if they enjoyed the concert. Luke had some exchange with a random girl, something about her doing something crazy, but she couldn’t because she was old now (she was maybe thirty, if that), but if she wasn’t old, she totally would. Whatever. I was looking for my damn Sharpie because I got a poster for Hank to sign.
Luke: But what do you think of Hank?
Random Girl: I would totally sit on his face.
Luke (to me): Write that down.
Then some baby-faced teenager tried to pick a fight with Luke, which was funny as all hell. Seriously, I have no idea what it is about the boy, but he does seem to provoke this reaction with some people.
We decided to go out back by the tour bus and see if we could get an autograph, because why the hell not, right? There were about half a dozen people out there (I would say six, but half a dozen sounds way more impressive) waiting as well, though maybe some of them were just smoking. Luke wandered off to buy cigarettes and I was left with my regrets on my choice to wear a skirt. Seriously, it’s the middle of June and like forty something degrees outside. Unacceptable!
Hank III came out, and I almost missed it because I was still trying to find my Sharpie. But I needn’t have worried, he was prepared with his own silver Sharpie. He didn’t appear to be in too big of a hurry, and took a moment to talk to everyone who was waiting and to make sure that they all got their stuff signed.
So as it turns out, he is not only incredibly talented, he’s also terribly sweet and charming as well. Damn Southern boys, ruining me for the boys who actually live close to me! I may have a little crush now, in that way that you sort of crush on your best friend’s boyfriend because he is totally cute and worthy of your friend.
Which means that, yes, Cricket, I totally approve of Hank III. [I knew you would. Thanks for going to the show when I couldn’t. You’re my best girl. Also I couldn’t love you more for not actually talking about the music at all and focusing on clothes and how he was were dressed. It’s just so you, sweet thing.—Cricket]