The Rock Report: Shooter Jennings @ The State Theater, Friday the 13th of July 2007

I am a frequent reader of the Hank III message board. Apparently there is some beef between III and Shooter. I don’t know either one of them, so I could give 2 shits, but to some people on there you gotta like one or the other, regardless of whether you like them both or not. Because of that, I have read a lot of Shooter sucks show reviews. I tried to block them out and go into the show merely as a fan of the music who had never managed to see him live. I’ll never know if I went into that show with depressed expectations due to the III message board chatter or not, but I do know that Shooter and the .357s blew my expectations away.

They took the stage a little after 9 o’clock with no opening act. First thing I said to my wife was, “Looks like a scene right out of a movie about the Southern rock movement of the 70’s,” and she agreed. Seems fitting to me. While a lot of people call Shooter “country” I’ve seen both of his studio releases as more rock than country. Call it revivalist Southern Rock if you wanna, but they just reinforced my opinion live.

The crowd size honestly surprised me. I had not spoken to a single person outside of my wife in this area who knew who Shooter was, but judging from the sing-alongs, I need to get a little more talkative. They crowd knew their Shooter, in fact the only stuff that did not get a full crowd harmony was the new material. Personally, I had a great time adding my part to the harmonies and left the show with a shit-eating grin that can only come from too many drinks and a great night.

Highlights of the night for me were “Electric Rodeo”, “Lonesome Blues”, the new song, Shooter’s cover of I Don’t Think Hank Done It This Way, “Manifesto No. 2” and my absolute favorite Shooter track yet, “Hair of the Dog”. Reduced expectations or not, I can tell you that the next time Shooter and Co. is in town they are gonna have one hell of a high water mark to live up to. Their own. Fuck that country label and the III message board. If you like that classic Southern rock sound, then check this kid out when he rolls through your town. You’ll thank me the next day after the hangover starts to recede.

Shooter Jennings – Hair of the Dog
Shooter Jennings – Manifesto No. 2
Shooter Jennings – Electric Rodeo

As a side note: My camera’s batteries died about 10 seconds after I turned the camera on and I had pretty much relegated myself to having to find a stock picture for this piece. Then I saw thee 3 people taking pictures from the crowd and it was immediately obvious they knew what they were doing, so I had the wife write down my email address and the web address.

They were really nice to the slurring drunk jackass (me, not the wife) who, in the middle of the show, is handing them a napkin with some contact info and going through this drunken spiel about a camera and dead batteries. They took my napkin with a smile and said “no problem,” so I wobbled away confident. Then Saturday passed with no email and the reality of a drunk fella at a concert approaching a stranger set in and I knew I was gonna be grabbing a stock photo for this piece.

Enter Sunday…and an email.

Turns out the fellas at Blind Imagery Photography weren’t just humoring a drunk person and to top it all off they sent me the photo that heads this piece. Freaking awesome. So much better than anything I ever would have taken and may I say it adds a sense of professionalism to the site.

Thanks for being awesome people!