JOSH THOMPSON @ Toby Keith’s – Mesa, AZ

December 7th, 2013

By Kat Corbo and Tammy Vega

1382340_10202261115272926_1783490081_nSaturday night in Arizona… of course we were going to look and see what shows were happening around town. Wisconsin native, Josh Thompson, was scheduled to play a show at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in Mesa so after an eventful day spent wandering the city we made our way over there. Dressed in our usual rocker-gear attire (spikes, leather, platforms etc.), we walked into Toby Keith’s ready for a good time. TK’s teemed with plaid shirts, jeans, and cowboy boots/hats, and then there was us – looking like we got lost on our way to the Alice Cooper concert down the street. Yes, tonight we chose a Josh Thompson show over Alice Cooper because some nights you are just in need of a little honky tonk!

Josh Thompson’s live show is one of the reasons we started enjoying going to country shows as much as our usual rock and metal shows. We have seen him play a few times before and the energy he emits from the stage takes over the entire room. This guy can turn any regular night into a full on wild party, and those who have seen him live can vouch to this. We recently saw and hung out with Josh and his band during their stop in Milwaukee on the “Off The Beaten Path” tour opening the show for Randy Houser and Justin Moore. Seeing their reaction when they looked out into the crowd and saw both of us standing there, 1800 miles away from where they last saw us, was the funniest part of the night. Being the spontaneous travelers we are you never know where Kat and Red may show up!

jt2Because of the championship game Josh went on stage an hour and half later than scheduled. The set started a little off, there was a weird vibe to the room which was definitely tied to the fact that ASU had just lost their championship game. Win or lose though – the show must go on! It also may be attributed to the fact that every other time we’ve seen JT play he has been at or near his home town and that atmosphere always adds a special spark to any performance. It didn’t take Josh long to make everyone in the room forget that ASU even played a game earlier that evening. He’s a tremendous performer whether he’s playing to a regular ol’ crowd at TK’s or playing for large arenas like he had been used to during the first leg of the “Off the Beaten Path” tour. One thing we’ve noticed about Josh is that he loves walking all over the stage and interacting with his fans every chance he gets. He makes certain that everyone in the crowd is having a memorable night and is great at drawing them in with his captivating, playful stares. He smiled and laughed with the drunken crowd during the whole show, enjoying the sing-alongs to his catchy songs like “Blame it On Waylon,” “Beer on the Table,” “Way Out Here,” “Always Been Me,” and his most recent single, “Cold Beer With Your Name On It.” Every so often he would throw in some new material, and then he and his band would spice up the night with jam sessions and play covers like “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde,” “I think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink,” and  “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

jjEvery singer needs to have a solid band at his side and JT has an incredible group of guys bringing his music to life. His bass player, Ben, busts out soulful moves that make you want to get up on stage and groove with him. His drummer, Tucker, spent his whole time jamming on his kit looking like he was having the time of his life. One of our favorite memories of the night involved singing and goofing around with Jeff, his energetic guitarist that played on our side of the stage.  His steel-guitar player, Steve, although sometimes fading in the background, makes his presence known by channeling his soul through his music and out into the crowd.  Each player on stage with JT adds exciting additions to the already immaculate performance that Josh gives his fans night after night.

Josh ended his set with an encore of “Drink, Drink, Drink”. He thanked his fans, sauntered off stage, and the show was over. The song ended the show perfectly… we walked right on over to the bar to obey the lyrics and “DRINK DRINK DRINK all night long!”

Red + Kat’s video clip of the night:

Tammy Vega is a Chicago based photographer/hair stylist who lives for the thrill of a live show. She’s only been photographing since 2011 but her passion keeps her inspired to continue learning and exploring all there is to know in the world of photography. Never thinking this was going to be more than a hobby, her work began to get recognized and published which eventually led to the opportunity of working alongside Frank Mastalerz at FM Entertainment. Since then, her love for the music industry has grown tremendously, and she continues to strive to make her dream of working with music a lifelong career. Instagram: @tammyvega_ Twitter: @tammyvega_ Facebook: