Live Review: Joe Walsh, Bass Concert Hall, Austin, TX 10/11/2011

Well, Joe Walsh puts on a solid show, that’s for sure. Sometimes, it feels like artists really up the cheese factor in their stage show after they’ve reached a certain amount of success, but his stage demeanor, while highly engaging, seems nothing but natural. He’s just an old goofy dude who likes to play the guitar and say funny things, joke about how burned out he is, and play every single song that you wanted and expected him to play for you. And he most definitely did. There were maybe 2 or 3 songs total I didn’t recognize and only one tune at all that kind of ventured into new Eagles material territory- and that was mostly so he could give his back up singers time to show off their vocal skills. And it was a cover song to boot- Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released”.

He played all the tunes I wanted him too (and I didn’t expect any less, really): Life of Allusion, Over and Over, Rocky, Mountain Way, Turn to Stone, Funk #49, Pretty Maids All In A Row, Life’s Been Good to Me, and In the City. As a bonus he threw in Life in the Fast Lane- it definitely sounded
different without Don Henley singing it, but the back up band covered for him on some of the more Henley oriented singing parts.

Joe Walsh was great. Can’t say the same for opener act Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the Kenny Wayne Shepherd band (doesn’t that seem a little excessive to have your name listed twice like that?) Interesting enough, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the Kenny Wayne Shepherd band features a lead vocalist who is not, as the name might have suggested twice, Kenny Wayne Shepherd. In fact, I can’t tell you what his name was because when Kenny Wayne Shepherd introduced his band, his Louisiana accent made deciphering the names a little bit difficult. His lead vocalist needs to go. That guy was the worst part about the act. He was a rank amateur showman, did every single stereotypical bad front man move (putting his arm aroun d the other musicians and rocking out with them, banging a tambourine, 2 chording an acoustic guitar for a ballad, making those “lighting fingers” gestures over the guitar neck during KWS’s smokin’ solos, and taking to the stage in a black leather jacket, sunglasses, and acid washed jeans. If I’d been in a club and that band was playing, I’d avoid watching their set. They did covers of Voodoo Child and Yer Blues that were well executed, but the disparity in quality between the 40 year old cover songs they performed and their original material was very apparent.

They also performed this song “I’m A King Bee”, that my friends and I were the only people laughing at in our section. Here are the lyrics:

Well, I’m a king bee baby
Buzzin’ ’round your hive.
Well I can make you honey, baby.
Just let me come inside.
I’m a king bee baby
Don’t you want to be my queen
‘Cuz I can make you honey, baby.
Like the world ain’t never seen

Well, I’m a king bee baby
I’ll buzz you all night long
Yes I will
Well I can buzz you better baby,
When your other man is gone
Well, I’m a king bee baby
Buzzin’ ’round your hive.
Well I can make you honey baby,
Just let me come inside

Keef and I took a number of issues with this song, which, I’ll leave you to make your own guesses on. But, we also questioned that part in the second verse where he says “I can buzz you better baby, when your other man is gone”. Wouldn’t they buzz better if they worked as a team?

Wheeeeeeee. Anywhoo, Joe Walsh more than made up for that. Great show.