Sunday, May 24, 2009

Review: Black Joe Lewis @ The Tractor Tavern (5-22-2009)

Photo cred: Sounds Like Austin

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears brought the brass and blues to the Tractor Friday night. Opening for alt-country rockers Lucero (basically a country version of Nickelback), BJL definitely out-shined the headliners. I was surprised when I arrived at the Tractor that the bands would be playing to a sold-out crowd, and I was also thankful that I had decided to purchase tickets in advance.

Before BJL took the stage, I was very curious how they were going to fit eight band members onto the Tractor's tiny stage. Last time I saw their live act was at the Showbox in '07, and even then they had a hard time eluding each other while the blues took hold of their movements. However, at 9:30pm, the band took the stage and seemed very comfortable in their tight arrangement (I feel like they're used to playing small stages). We were quickly greeted by Black Joe Lewis, at which point he informed us that they were going to play some music for us in an attempt to convince us to buy some of their music. Judging from their set, I think they definitely boosted album sales. Playing mainly off their latest LP Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!, the band kicked off the night with an explosive rendition of "Gunpowder." They immediately followed with "Big Booty Woman," which sent shivers down my spine. This was by far the best song of the night, especially with the baritone sax kicking into full gear. The greatest thing about seeing BJL live (well, any band with a brass/sax section for that matter) is actually feeling the music. Simply playing a record cannot replicate that experience. Feeling the baritone sax's sound waves brings on a whole different experience. Other highlights from the night included "Sugarfoot," "I'm Broke," and some really funny improvisation during "Get Yo Shit." After experiencing such a wonderful set, I'm now confident that these guys must have had an off-night last time they played Seattle. These dudes really rocked the Tractor, and gave us a way better show compared to their headlining counterparts. As for Lucero, I was very unimpressed and bored during their whole set. Apparently I was the minority that night since everyone around me knew the words to every song. If you get a chance to catch Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, you'd be a fool to pass it up.

Buy :: Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears EP
Buy :: Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!


Aaron Robert Hall said...

You are sure right about experiencing the brass section at a show. Really makes the difference. I feel the same way about Lucero and am really amazed at their fan bases dedication. Having all those sold out shows will work out for Black Joe Lewis and his Honeybears quite nicely.