January 16th, 2014 / Review by Kat Corbo
Our country week of music started last Friday when Tammy and I went to see Jamey Johnson at Joe’s on Weed St. and two days later we checked out Shooter Jennings play at Mojoe’s. Since we were bound for a random adventure, we dusted our ice skates off and glided across Lake Michigan to conclude it with Josh Thompson at the Intersection in good ol’ Grand Rapids (Okay fine, we drove, but only because when we were up north in WI for New Years Tammy threw her skates at a bear in the woods. It wasn’t a bear though… it was my bundled up grandma coming down to bring us blankets and hot chocolate. Thankfully she missed and gram gram is okay, but the skates got lost somewhere in the woods). We had actually just watched Sirius XM’s All-Star Outlaw Country Tribute to Waylon Jennings on YouTube, which included Jamey, Josh, Shooter, and Hank Williams Jr and thought it was pretty cool that we were going to see 3/4 of them play within 7 days. If only we would have made it to Nashville for the NYE Bash on Broadway (instead of losing skates in the north woods) we could have seen Hank Williams Jr. play, rounding out seeing all four of them within a few weeks. 3/4 isn’t so bad, though!
Our day started crazy enough, with my car running out of wiper fluid in the middle of the freshly salted roads in Indiana, making Tammy get out on the highway to periodically dump water on the windshield. Once we finally made it to a gas station, I popped the hood and filled up the fluid while Tammy checked the tire pressure, all while in our leather and heels – yes, we looked like total badasses. When we got into Michigan, the time on our phones was an hour ahead of what we thought it was supposed to be, and after a while of confusion and me yelling at Tammy for thinking she changed the clocks as a prank, we finally realized that there was a time zone change. The one night we thought we were going to be on time and not have to rush, we ended up having to get ready at super speed so we would not have just made a 3 hour trip for no reason. But don’t worry – we made it to the show, and here’s how it went…
We got to The Intersection just as the opening band was wrapping up their set. The venue was crowded with people of all ages mingling and drinking all over. Since we’d never been to The Intersection before we walked around and explored the building, slowly making our way towards the front. A couple minutes later Tammy left to the front of the stage since she was going to take photos during the first 3 songs. As I waited alone, I tried to make friends with a couple standing next to me but it wasn’t happening since they were to busy making out. Instead of trying to join in, I stood there and listened to the music playing over the speakers. When the music stopped, the lights dimmed and out walked Josh’s band. They picked up their instruments and started playing the intro to “Down for a Get Down” building the excitement before he came out. Raising his drink to the cheering crowd, Josh walked on stage ready to start the party. His set mimicked one big roller coaster ride: he slowly built the excitement with songs like “Always Been Me” and “Name in This Town,” he tipped the screaming crowd over the edge with “Blame It On Waylon,” letting the crowd catch their breath before the next big drop as he paused the song in the middle to cover part of Waylon’s “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out of Hand,” and then jumped right back into “Blame it On Waylon,” keeping the ride going all night.
Towards the middle of his set, Josh introduced “Hank Crankin People,” which is one of his new songs he wrote with Justin Bieber – just kidding, Justin MOORE, not Bieber (just making sure you’re paying attention). He also mentioned that his new album will be released sometime in April, and we’re so ready for it! The next song he played was another new one called “Hillbilly Limo,” which the crowd easily learned the catchy chorus and sang along to. Throughout the rest of the night Josh played a mixture of songs like “Cold Beer With Your Name On It,” “Way Out Here” and one of my favorite covers, “Can’t Always Get What You Want” all of which the crowd sang, drank, and danced to.
No matter how many Josh Thompson shows Tammy and I go to, we never get bored of watching him on stage. He puts on one of the best country sets we have seen to date, interacting with his entire band and everyone in the audience. Josh’s show ended up being the perfect way to end our week of live country music. His live show left us feeling exhilarated and ready for the weekend ahead. That is exactly what shows should be about, feeling the energy given off from the stage and sending it right back, with the audience and the band feeding off each other’s excitement and love for music the entire night.
When Josh left the stage everybody in the audience stayed put chanting “one more song,” begging for an encore. Walking out to a cheering crowd, Josh’s drummer came back for a mini solo; the rest of the band walked out to join him, and finally josh appeared with a cup in his hand to play “Drink, Drink, Drink.” Beginning a new tradition, Tammy and I acted exactly as we did in Arizona, obeying the lyrics and heading to the bar to drink, drink, drink all night long.