[Full set of pictures is up on Flickr]
One thousand shows is quite the milestone, even moreso when you’re a self-made band with no major label sponsorship, playing countries halfway round the world from your home.
I know the band (it’s not hard to get to know them, they’re a damn friendly bunch) and Glasgow really is one of their favourite places to play. They don’t just say this on stage! The fact that their 1000th gig was to be here was a coincidence, though. It wasn’t until the tour schedule was planned and published that they totted up the totals and realised that their millenial show was to be here.
A perfect choice for us, as they last time they played the O2 ABC (under the largest glitter ball in Europe), I got engaged to my now-wife. On-stage. Needless to say, we were blootered after that as everyone was buying us drinks so I don’t remember much of the set that night!
Tonight’s performance, and the tour in general, is based on a two-part set. The first part covers all the band’s AC/DC covers, while the second half is requests. These were collected via the facebook page, emails, and people shouting from the audience. The last option didn’t work too well as there were simply too many people yelling, but a quick look on setlist.fm shows that the sets have indeed been pretty different each night.
The AC/DC stuff is great and the big stage gave the guys plenty of room to move around and pose. I still have fond memories of them in much smaller venues, duck-walking on bar-tops and the like, but success brings crowds and that means larger venues.
Gone are the long diatribes of the past – the music very much takes precedence at a Hayseed Dixie show. John’s between-song chatter is a definitely briefer than in years gone by, as are the set pieces such as the brothers playing the same banjo. However, this doesn’t detract from the show itself. After all, we may have seen it a couple of times – they’ve had to perform it hundreds! At some point you have to change things around or you’ll just go mental.
What really pleased me was the crowd’s reaction when we changed from AC/DC covers to the second part of the set. The biggest cheers and heartiest reactions were predominantly for Hayseed Dixie’s own material. Cracking tunes like “She Was Skinny When I Met Her”, “Kirby Hill” and “Moonshiner’s Daughter” deserved every bit the amount of hollering that their excellent cover (and show-ender) “Comfortably Numb” did.
This was a great set, by a great bunch of guys who obviously love doing their job. As ever, they were out and about in the bar after the gig for handshakes, photos and beer. Sadly, as we now have three kids at home, we couldn’t stay into the early hours and headed off via Asda to pick up breakfast for the morning.
- Gig review: Hayseed Dixie, Edinburgh (scotsman.com)