Hank Williams Jr Live
By: Cyndi Ford
“Whiskey Bent and Hellbound”, could not have been more true than on Friday 13, 2012 in Atlanta GA! Upon pulling up to the venue, the Gwinnett Arena, I could see that this was going to be a hell of a good time. The parking lot was full of people tailgating before the show. There were lawn chairs, beer and Jim Beam being drank every where, and every stereo was blasting Hank Jr as loud as they could roar.
There was more inappropriately dressed girls than I had seen in a long time. The female fans had come out in full gear....short shorts and boots, whether their body should allow such public display of skin or not.....they were ready to rock! Not to be out done the boys were wearing their hats and boots, as if they had just stepped off the ranch. Most were drunk and yelling “yeehaw” or well on their way. I loved it, and was ready to get my party on as well !
The opening band was 38 Special, and they successfully set the tone for the night: rowdy rock n roll. Their set reminded me of high school, and the crazy days of my youth. The band was still as full of energy as days gone by, this did my heart good to see.
Filling the second set was none other than Jamey Johnson, a younger more serious balladeer, that has been topping the charts since his emergence on the music scene. His song “In Color” is a beautiful song, and was my fave of his set. “High Cost of Living”, was a crowd favorite and brought them all to their feet. I had to laugh when I took advantage of my VIP pass and went to the front of the stage to snap a pic or two. When after the first shot I was told that Jamey freaks out when his picture is taken. I obliged their wishes but added “let the freaking begin, cuz I just got one good shot”.
But soon enough, and after the right amount of alcohol for the crowd, it was time for Hank Jr to take the stage. The crowd went wild., it was phenominal. Hank has been known to show up a bit tipsy himself, but I think those days are behind him now, and he has matured with time.
He however, in my opinion, takes very good care of his band members. His “people” makes sure that they have whatever they desire while on tour with them. From their favorite cocktail, to their favorite soda, not to mention that once when I was on the bus, I over heard someone mention Moonshine, and yup it was on the bus the next night.
Hank has some of the best musicians in the business. I am proud to call a few of them friend, Ricky Chancey, Joey Huffman, you guys are the best. And to the rest of you, perhaps we could get to know each other better. And to Jimmy Hall, I would like to say you were missed that Friday the 13th night, but you would be proud, they did fabulous without their fearless leader.
But this night was about the classic tunes that Hank has written over the years. And he did not leave a single one of the fan favorites out. And even threw in an homage to his pals in Aerosmith and did a little “Walk this Way”.
There is just that something about Hank Jr that is special to those of us from the “South”, the legacy that his family has is remarkable. I am proud to have met his son, Hank III, and he is indeed keeping the “family tradition” going. I highly recommend their shows for a hell raising, beer toasting good time! Cheers~
A special thank you to Keith Necaise Photography