I have to admit that I didn't immediately jump at the chance to go see Shooter Jennings when Michele (of i eat rice) first started talking about the show. I hadn't really heard of him, and I'm pretty selective about the country music that I will listen to for long periods of time. I mean, isn't everyone? Plus, I'm not really a fan of contemporary country. I was even more dubious of the opening act, Lee Ann Womack. "Two name" first name country stars usually mean trouble. Can you say Billy Ray Syrus? I ended up deciding to give it a shot, however. I remembered how Michele had been nice enough to go with me previously to see this British band that she wasn't that familiar with, and she was so psyched about Shooter, that I was sure I would like him too.
We got to the show at the Bowery, and Lee Ann Womack was the first to go on. This woman has a serious set of pipes, and by the end of her set, I was sold. She was singing about all of the best things in life. Cheating men, cheating on your man, losing your looks, failed marriages, old age. Hello? Did she know I was coming? I was almost at the point of becoming the "whooo" girl, but unfortunately, or luckily depending on how you look at it, that job was taken from me, and from everyone else in the audience. Lee Ann made a dreadful mistake that night. She crossed the line, the line between the stars and the little people. And it got ugly.
There he was, in his black pleather jacket. He was a big guy with short frat boy blond hair and a button up white oxford. He was dead center in front of the stage, and was drunk enough to be yelling responses to every sentence Lee Ann said between her songs. That was when it happened. She acknowledged him in the crowd, joked with him, and gave him the validation and in his head, the "thumbs up" to continue to try to join the show. He became progressively more drunk as the night wore on, but the real show didn't begin until Shooter Jennings took the stage with his band. Shooter's music is more southern hard rock, which turned drunken frat boy into the fist pumping guy. Nobody likes that guy. His fist pumping became so furious at one point, that he must have needed a new outlet, because all of the sudden, he started doing this weird manic thing with his hands that looked like he was alternately squeezing imaginary stress balls. Michele and I tried to duplicate this move to understand the appeal, but were perplexed. I guess when you are a bad white boy dancer, your moves are limited to the fist pumping into the air, and when that move doesn't cut it anymore, and you can't take the pressure of not being able to express how much of an asshole you are, you start to explode into other bizarre behaviors that just can't be explained. It was like watching a bad animal experiment gone horribly wrong. The absolute worst part was that he had some sort of scabie thing going on with the back of his hand. Every time the hand went up to pump, clinch, or point, everyone saw this scabie looking thing. NOT good!
The highlight of his performance was still to come. For those of you who don't know, Shooter is dating Drea DeMateo of Sopranos and Joey fame. Well, I guess really of just Sopranos fame. Has anyone really watched Joey? Is it still even on? Anyway, I digress. Drea was there that night with her friend Gina Gershon (who looked HOT! Hello? Is this woman gay, straight, bi? Whatever she is, she is on my changing teams list!). Sorry, I digressed again. They were sitting on the left of the stage in plain view of all of the audience. This did not go unnoticed by drunken frat guy, who was trying to get their attention the entire night. They, like Lee Ann, made the mistake of acknowledgement. They laughed at what an ass he was, which he probably took as them being wildly attracted to him.
He was so drunk by the middle of Shooter's set that the stress ball move had ran its' course. It was then that the Isaac move came out. It was Isaac the bartender's move from the Loveboat, except violent with fully extended arms and pointed fingers. Shooter started singing a slow, quiet love song. He wasn't looking at Drea, just trying to do his job. I'm not sure what drunk frat boy was thinking, or what set of brother/sister parents he had been spawned from, but he began doing the crazy Isaac move at Shooter, then directly at Drea, then Shooter, then Drea, then Shooter, then Drea, all while Shooter was singing this slow love song. It was at this point that I reconsidered that forced sterilization really might not be such an infringement on personal rights if done for the greater good.
There were many other bad white dancers there, men and women, old and young, but this gem of a guy stood out to me and Michele. Michele – if you read this, perhaps you would like to address the skanky bad girl dancer that shimmied back and forth in front of us with her hands all a flutter in the air.
Well, that is my story of the country rock show. I LOVE both Lee Ann Womack and Shooter Jennings, but I think I will have to worship them from afar......or at least a VIP section. I can't deal with "that guy". Nobody likes, "that guy".
(oh, and please, performers and stars, remember who you are and why you are on an elevated stage or distant screen. The little people are separated from you for a reason. Even stage diving punks realize their place in the evolutionary order as they know to immediately jump off rather then try to stay and sing with the band. Case in point of this gone wrong, see Kelly's copy of the Cramp's playing at the mental institution. Separation people!!)