Friday Night: Dwight Yoakam At Arena Theatre

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Photos by Jay Lee
Dwight Yoakam
Arena Theatre
July 8, 2011

Aftermath has never considered Dwight Yoakam a country artist in the general sense of the term, the way most people define country artists. In our mind, he simply rocks too hard to be lumped in with people like George Strait or Alan Jackson. He's more like Social Distortion or Bruce Springsteen - artists who incorporate some twang into their sound, but are firm believers in the gospel of rock and roll.

Yoakam has been what bean counters and genre nitpickers would call a country neotraditionalist, worshiping at the altar of Buck Owens and Elvis Presley, but also giving thanks for the hooks and pop prowess of the likes of Queen, Cheap Trick and The Clash.

But for this guy here, we see no difference between Yoakam's This Time or Hillbilly Deluxe and something like London Calling and Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell. They are all populated by the same jilted losers and playboys.

Friday night, Yoakam laid waste to the Arena Theatre crowd for two hours and nearly 30 songs, barely spending any time on small talk. It was everything Aftermath wanted from our first Yoakam concert, chock-full of hits and covers.

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He's also one of the few artists we don't have to scrounge up a set list online as a guide, since we knew most every song within the first ten seconds, even at the venue's ball-busting volumes. We usually hear them at that level in our car most every week, so it wasn't anything we couldn't handle.

Yoakam and his band gave no quarter, revving up the cougars and MILFs in the crowd, who are still brought to their Pilates-toned knees but the man's trademark painted-on jeans and customary cowboy head-cover. The only thing their men in the crowd could do was hold their purses and hope for a physical release of their pent-up, base frustration later in the evening as their dates/significant others went into hysterics every time Dwight swiveled his hips.

Early on Yoakam and his band cracked into the standard Buck Owens cuts, just as he did at his November 2009 Arena gig. Since Owens has died, Yoakam's role in keeping the California country crooner's legacy alive has only grown larger. Each time he covers any Owens compositions, he's really saying a prayer to the man for all of us.

At the halfway mark, Yoakam went into berserker mode, pulling out every fist-pumping ass-shaker in his bag, beginning with "Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose," with the band playing harder and louder than they did at the start of the night.


Location Info

Map

Arena Theatre

7326 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX

Category: Music


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24 comments
Paragonah
Paragonah

Been a fan for many years..I`m an ol rocker. I think Dwight is one of the great talents in the music biz...I would like to see, or hear Dwight kick it some time with some rock..bet he`d blow y`all`s head off.

Miss Melly
Miss Melly

Nice review.  That brought me back to the last time I saw Dwight - to a T.  I am a Dwight-loving MILF myself, and I can picture myself, hand on my heart and one holding a Lone Star, enjoying that show thoroughly, and swearing that his head was turned in my direction even though I couldn't see his eyes.

Kfonicell
Kfonicell

Writer has know idea what country music is. While current day country radio is stuck in a very limited arena of the broad spectrum that is country music , Dwight is the heart of what country should be and his music spans the spectrum of country from Blue Grass to Rockabilly to ballets, Dwight does them all as good as anyone has ever has. The problem is the writer appears to hate country music, so wants to turn Dwight into something he is not. Bruce Springteen, Please.

Tejana218
Tejana218

Damn shame I missed out. Love me some Dwight.

Dwalkerpitt
Dwalkerpitt

i lover Dwight, have been a fan for many many years, and the term Couger--- Really I have grown from couger to wildcat!!!!!!! love him

Mimi
Mimi

A great review of a truly great musician.  However, I take exception to using the term "cougar" more than once to describe the women in his audience.  To enlighten you - a "cougar" must be much older (15 years or more) than the prey (assuming that is Dwight).  I know for a fact that he that he is the same age or older than the great majority of the women you are describing. Those of us women of a "mature" age who grew up with rock and roll are still rockin' and will until we die.

Jim
Jim

DY's "Thousand Miles From Nowhere" and "Intentional Heartache" maybe the two most perfect country songs around.  "Thousand..." is descriptive and lush; :Intentional..." is just plain fun and good storytelling.  Not many in today's country music can do that without sounding contrived.

Amyj1966
Amyj1966

goodness wish he would come to illinois !!!!!!

Fantine1021
Fantine1021

Dwight has been my favorite performer for years now.  Unfortunately, he rarely comes to my state any more.  But I had to smile when the reviewer wrote of the volume level.  Dwight doesn't wear in-ear monitors, and I have to wonder if he's become hard of hearing.  He doesn't seem to realize how very loud his shows are.

Jbranson01
Jbranson01

Please!!!!  To compare Dwight to Bruce Springsteen is a terrible insult to Dwight.  He has so much more class and panache that Springsteen can't even stand on the same stage.

VALuvsDwight
VALuvsDwight

My kind of review and these are all reasons why I think Dwight is in his prime! I'll see him 3x in Texas soon; coming from the east coast. Nobody can entertain like this man!! And I forgive you for your Motörhead remark - I've not seen them, but I'm also a metal fan and for some reason I like Dwight, too. He's got the same reckless abandon approach to his music and that's why he'll never be boring. Dwight twangs and rocks!!

Jbranson01
Jbranson01

Pick up a copy of a 1992 Japanese album called La Croix D'Amour.  Dwight will rock you socks off.

Jay Lee
Jay Lee

Craig hate country music? That's unpossible!

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

I hate country? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA wow. NO. 

Kfonicell
Kfonicell

Yes, I did not edit my spelling of know for no.

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

Not as people, but in terms of their live shows.  

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

Yes, my personal perceptions are incorrect. 

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