My hands hurt. So does my throat. That what happens when I go to rock show. I had almost forgotten what that felt like. Last night in East Atlanta at the high school auditorium-like Variety Playhouse, singer-songwriter-producer-Cartersville, Georgia native- and rock and roll good guy Butch Walker put about 15 hundred people in the palm of his hand and took then on a joyride of guitar licks, sing-alongs, and hand clapping; while making seem like a family cookout.
The night started with Madison, Wisconsin born, New York City bred power pop punk group Locksley playing a terrific one hour set. They call themselves doo wop punk but after shaking my head along to their energetic set I would say power pop punk a la Rooney, Sugarcult, and The Strokes is a more appropriate description. Butch Walker usually gets along with his tour mates. The camraderie between Locksley and Butch and his band was evident as later in Butch's show, Locksley made a wild appearance swilling and tossing champagne and dance moves. The energy from Locksley set the stage for Butch and his Black Widow Band to make for a night to remember. You can find out more about Locksley here: @LocksleyMusic (twitter) and here : http://www.locksley.com/ and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locksley_ (band)
This was the last show of the United States tour for Butch Walker and The Black Widows. In three days they will start a European leg opening for Pink in Germany. rarely does an act end a tour in their hometown so the vibe was excellent. Variety was packed. Butch started on the piano for the first few songs and teh crowd sang heartily, especially when ATL was presented.
Walk and the Widows picked up the pace and a whirling dervish of rock and roll happened as they blazed through songs from his last six solo albums, focusing a lot on Sycamore Meadows and his most recent release I Liked It Better When you Had No Heart. Butch was home. He saw no need to promote the new record, or sell people on his talent, or take requests from those who knew him from his Marvelous 3 days or the dude who knows Pink, Taylor Swift and Lindsay Lohan really well. The songs were drenched in blood, sweat and tears. While he played Trash Day and She Likes Hair Bands; popular songs from the new record; he really shined when he played more of his Sycamore Meadows songs. That album was named after the street his house in Los Angeles was on when a fire burned all of his possessions including the masters of all of the recordings he had ever done. Sycamore is his most emotional album and his heart bled during Going Back/Going Home, Ponce De Leon (the best song of the night), Here Comes The...., and Passed your Place, Saw Your Car, Thought Of You.
The Black Widows sounded great. The chemistry they have with Butch is priceless. Butch kept things simple. No pyro, no effects, only one "let's go out in the crowd and get cliche rock crazy" moment. There were silly, but fun singa longs to Starland Vocal Band's Afternoon Delight and Hall and Oates Rich Girl. Those moments are Butch Walker concert stables. Mostly Butch brought the rock, the punch, the fun, the wild, and the heart. It was a terrific show. At one point Butch said he liked playing his twelve string acoustic guitar because everything sounded like Christmas. Actually Butch, you make it sound better. I think I'm clapping and singing as I type this.