Concert review: Hank 3 gets rowdy at the Boulder Theater
Posted on September 12, 2012
Have you ever made the poor-judgment impulsive purchase of a cowboy hat when you are in fact, not a cowboy? If so, you’d be right at home at this Hank 3 concert at the Boulder Theater. The crowd that came to see the singer from a well-known family background (Hank Williams and Hank Williams, Jr.) looked like the lines of a metal concert and a honky-tonk somehow emptied out into the same place. Add in some middle-aged guys wearing khakis and polo shirts as well as every age group (minus small children) represented in the crowd, and you’ve got yourself a rowdy bunch of people ready to watch a phenomenal show.
I walked into the Boulder Theater and immediately felt the high energy of this assorted crowd. Sometimes at shows there’s this zombie-like atmosphere in the venue where everyone seems to be staring blankly ahead contemplating whether or not they should give up their coveted spot close to the stage and grab a drink or risk dying of dehydration (or sobriety) for the entire show. Not here. No, these people came to have a good time and they weren’t waiting for Hank 3 to get there to get the good time goin’. Shouting “three! three! three!” this rambunctious crowd was ready to get this show started. When Hank 3 finally took the stage he said the first song was about Tennessee whiskey. And that’s when I decided I was a fan already.
Aside from the expected guitar and drums, the band included a banjo, steel guitar, stand-up bass, and a fiddle which in writing may sound similar enough to what you’d expect of a musician whose famous family includes the people it does, but Hank 3 does not by any means play his daddy and granddaddy’s music. I was so completely beyond impressed how awesome this music was and even a little surprised how much I liked it. It was impossible not to get into the music and enjoy every minute of this performance. And what a
performance it was. All of the guys up on stage have an incredible amount of talent and really know how to work a crowd. Every single song brought so much energy and this boisterous crowd somehow found a way to raise the energy level a little more. The high energy never ended even though the show was nearly two hours long with no breaks and just the slightest transitions between songs.
Besides the awesome atmosphere of the show, which at this point I feel like I’ve beaten with a stick but can’t stress enough how enthusiastic this crowd was, one of my favorite things about the show and Hank 3’s music is that it was so eclectic. It had aspects that appealed to everyone and aspects that were less thrilling for others while at the same time just being purely amazing music. Whether you wanted to two-step while wearing your Megadeth t-shirt (which I really did see), or crowd surf up onto the stage, which fifteen people did (I counted!), push some people around in a mosh pit, or just sit back with a beer and bounce your knee to the music, this was the type of show where you could do it all. Among my favorite crowd surfers were: the very first guy who got up on stage and did a nice little jig, two people who decided to sign Hank’s guitar while he was playing a song, and the guy who took a gulp from his flask, but not before offering Hank one too, though he was a little preoccupied.
Suffice it to say this show was a pretty damn good time. Hank 3’s music is interesting; it really does incorporate different elements from various genres to create a truly unique sound. I’m honestly not even sure how I would categorize a style of music that involves banjo-playing, head-banging, and beer drinking the way Hank’s sound does, but I’m thinking that was part of his objective. And who could blame him? With that kind of family background, it would be easy to get pigeonholed into the same category as the Hanks before him, which is the complete and exact opposite of what Hank 3 does with so much talent and ease.
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