Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, April 13, 2007

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

For Butch Walker, the road to musical success in terms of record contracts, tour busses and radio recognition has been well documented, at least in a Bob Dylan style video for his song Die Unhappy. But unlike that alt-country sound, Walker and his band, the Let's Go Out Tonites, gave those at the Newport Music Hall a true rock and roll show from start to finish.

Walker came out on stage dressed the part of a man who thinks little of what others are thinking about him and went straight into guitar riff straight from the 70s. After the opening band The Honorary Title got the crowd settled in, Walker got them out of their comfort zone with 90 minutes of raw music, including the ever-popular cover of Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run.

The show started with To Famous, as the green and red lights covering the stage were inundated with strobe-white flashes. Walker, donning a white dress shirt, black vest and sans his legendary hat, jammed though the song with the abandon of a street performer seeing a wallet opening from a passer-by.

Walker and the band did enough to keep the set rolling with peaks and valleys. Rather than just ripping through 90 minutes of music, Walker broke the set with uppers and downers, and allowed the crowd to capture gasps of needed oxygen before bursting into another rock aria. But even with his rock and roll show, Walker always seems to amaze the crowd with his rendition of Joan. Not only is this allowing the audience to capture a breath, but also Walker brings out more emotion in the audience with just a few verses in this song than most other songs combined.

With deafening silence, minus a few stray voices singing along, the audience allowed Walker to present this song in near silence. A hard thing for a crowd to do that has been used to going nuts for several songs before. Although Walker seems to be having grand success behind the scenes producing bands such as The Academy Is ...and Rockstar: Supernova, Walker proved in Columbus that he is one of the rare exceptions that can show other band how to be a success while doing it himself. Walker proves he can write pop songs, deep ballads and straight up rock and roll. But Walker also showed his various talents as he performs better live than in the studio.

Walker and his new band 1969 are looking to release Maya sometime this year as well, so Walker will no longer rest on being behind the scenes, but is looking for the breakout role he had while with Marvelous 3. And with the writing credentials and live personal Walker is possessing, there should be little trouble of Walker striking gold yet again with a trio of like-minded musicians.

Butch Walker
Butch Walker
Butch Walker
Butch Walker
Butch Walker
Butch Walker