Monday, August 22, 2011
Cowboy Mouth at the Southgate House in Newport
Cowboy Mouth has been around for a long time. They have been doing their thing for about 2 decades, but play with more energy than any band ever.
Which makes me wonder why it took me this long to catch them live.
Let me back up a little. I used to go to a lot of concerts. I have easily been to over a couple hundred. When I lived in Cleveland, it wasn't uncommon to go to several a week.
I no longer live in an area like Cleveland, and I simply don't go to concerts like I used to. Like everyone else in the world, I am getting older. I like getting to bed at an early hour. I enjoy getting my rest.
AND, after going to so many concerts, I have come to have high expectations. If you are a concert veteran, you know what I am talking about. You want to leave every show knowing that its great to be alive. You want to feel something supernatural. You expect some magic.
I felt that after this show.
I read that Cowboy Mouth would be doing a show in Newport, which is a very convenient location for me. I really haven't made much of an effort to hit a concert anywhere lately, but I figured catching Cowboy Mouth would be worth it.
I am glad I did.
On the Cowboy Mouth website, there is a great quote from Cake Magazine about the band. It says, "on a bad night they'll tear the roof off the joint, and on a good night, they'll save your soul."
I feel a need to go out among the unconverted to tell them about Cowboy Mouth.
Fred LeBlanc is easily one of the most exciting musicians to watch anywhere. He is rocking out on the drums while simultaneously acting as the perfect singing front man. If he were only a drummer or singer, you would leave his show talking about how he was an amazing vocalist or drummer. It is literally unreal the way he plays and sings.
Cowboy Mouth took the stage at about 10, and played until midnight to a very nice and enthusiastic crown at the Southgate House.
Maybe 10 minutes into the show, Fred left the stage (while the rest of the band played) to walk to the balcony to playfully scold the two or so people not up and dancing. Everyone in the venue was up and screaming the entire time. I have never been to a show where every single person got involved like this. Even if you weren't familiar with the songs, you could feel Fred's energy, and you could appreciate what the band was giving to the audience. You were compelled to give it back to them.
The band invited a young girl (11 or 12) up on stake to play drums with them. It was very cool.
After the show, the band stuck around to sign CDs and chat with fans. The band was great, and to be honest, I was personally so blown away I did not know what to say to them.
The band talked to everyone as if they were old friends. Fred actually thanked me for coming out, and also told me that he hoped I would enjoy the new album I bought at the merch table. The bands appreciation for their fans is obvious.
Cowboy Mouth does not take advantage of their fans in any way. T-shirts were a very reasonable $15, and their new CD was a very affordable $10. Most bands around would easily ask for more. Oh, and tickets to the show were $15 in advance, $18 at the door. For about $40 you could get in, and leave with a CD and shirt. You can't buy a ticket to most shows now for that price.
Let me also say that I am so happy to have caught Cowboy Mouth at the GREAT Southgate House. This is a very cozy venue. The staff was cool and friendly and I didn't see any concert goer hassled at all. It was hot outside, but it was very cool inside (it felt like the AC was on, which is a rarity for a concert hall).
I am looking forward to seeing more shows at the Southgate House and I am looking forward to seeing more Cowboy Mouth!
One last thing. As I mentioned, there were some kids at the show which was nice! The ballroom was non-smoking, and a friendly vibe was going on. Sure, it is Cowboy Mouth (you can expect a few four letter words) but the atmosphere was family friendly. I did feel bad for the kids in one way though. They are young, and they will, at some point in their lives, go out to see other bands. I fear they are going to feel some serious disappointment whenever they see another band. Their concert going bar has been set high.