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Dwight Yoakam
A Concert Review

June 27, 1996

The Rosemont Theatre

Rosemont, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
Dwight Yoakam
Dwight Yoakam
Ya know, I like summer. It just tends to bring out the best in people. There's the dudettes in shorts, and I do mean short, and there's well, the dudettes in shorts (we men are such pigs - aren't we!?!). And, I think I like Dwight Yoakam a lot more than I did before because I didn't like him much on the radio, but if any man can bring this many women in shorts, I think I'll like him even if he sucks on stage - but we'll find out about that by the end of this review.

Dwight was making an appearance in Chi-town, that's Chicago to all of you out-of-Chicagoers, but first up was a guy I reviewed a while back called David Ball. I guess he never read my last review because short of some new songs, he hasn't changed. This is why.

He started his set kinda cool, seemed to be smiling a lot, and kicked with "Look What Followed Me Home." And the crowd seemed to like him too, but the night was young for me because I became bored fast. As Big Cooter, who was sitting next to me, put it, "It's kinda like putting a greatest hits CD on shuffle, play the sappy love songs first, and kick back with a beer, except I can't bring in my beer here (at the Rosemont Theatre).

Me, I thought he played well, but it takes a very commanding stage presence to excite a crowd when you just stand behind a mike and monitors, and David Ball just doesn't have it. His songs are good and all, but he and the band seemed to have a solo for every song. And, sad to say, by the end, it didn't look like he was having fun anymore, at least until his hit "Thinkin' Problem" which really, finally, got the crowd to appreciate him.

On the basis of the crowd, I'll give him a weak thumb up, but by me, David Ball gets a SHRUG. His songs are good, but he needs to sing to the crowd, smile at them during band solo's - maybe even wave at a person or two. Nothing against the band, but he's billed as David Ball - he should be working the crowd that is there to see him, and not step back and ignore the crowd when he's not singing. Oh well, just my observation.

But, it was Dwight Yoakam the crowd really wanted to see, and as
Boys in Dwight's Band
A Couple of the Boys
in Dwight's Band!
hard as it was to take my eyes off the many shorts, I was there to see Dwight too.

A quick, maybe useless, observation (I like observing) - Dwight was set up with a set list on stage that looked like a laminated newspaper. The thing was huge, and by far the largest I have ever seen. But I guess there was a show too, so we'll get to that.

Now, I'll be honest and up-front: I've never really cared for Dwight Yoakam, but songs on the radio many times don't show the energy an artist can show on stage - and Dwight showed a plethora of energy.

Supported by a kick-ass guitar player and a video background, Dwight hit many of the hits that put him up on the radio charts.

Now, he started with things like "Little Sister," "Guitars & Cadillacs," "Streets of Bakersfield," and the like, and you know, I still didn't always understand him. Much like listening to Bob Dylan, he sings some of the deepest and thought provoking but often unintelligible lyrics around.

 
Pete Anderson
Pete Anderson
His show continued with the video support, and I really like the video for "That Would be Me." I had a really cool race car theme, and I really like the headlights! But then, all of a sudden, mid-set, the band left the stage and a video montage/story played, and I said to myself "What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is going on here!" It ends up it was just an intro of sorts, and the band came back, and the show played on.

Well, basically, I came away with a fonder liking of Dwight Yoakam, and not just for the girlies in shorts. I found he is a great showman, and next to Los Lobos, he's now one of my favorite bands/artists that I can't always understand - and that' s not a bad thin.

Dwight, I give him TWO BIG OL' THUMBS UP!! He has one helluva guitarist in Pete Anderson, and although he is behind a mike and monitors many a time, he puts out a presence that keeps the crowd going for the entire show.

That's it - until next time! I'm The Dude on the Right! L8R!

 

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