Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

December 16, 2006

Webb Wilder at the Bluesboro

Just got back about an hour ago from seeing Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks at the Bluesboro in Murfreesboro. As always, the band played a great show. The Beatnecks tonight were Tom Comet on bass, Tony Bowles on guitar, and Jimmy Lester on drums (with an extra tom!). They did a rare two-set show.

I’ve heard about the Bluesboro Rhythm & Blues Co. for several years, but had never been there before tonight. We opted for the $29 package which included dinner for two and the cover for the show. The food was ok. The venue itself seems to be popular, since it was pretty much packed.

When we got there we ran into Webb and spoke to him for a few minutes. Then he went off to eat and change for the show and we went to find our reserved table. The crowd was an odd lot. Some, like us, were clearly there to see Webb. Others were there to apparently have lengthy discussions which entailed speaking as loud as necessary to be heard above the band.

Speaking as a former sound man I have to say the Bluesboro’s sound system lacked something. Midrange for sure, since it seemed like the sound was a little too harsh. We sat on the right side of the stage, pretty much in front of a couple of sub woofers and the flying speakers on that side. When the band started, about the only thing coming out of the speakers was vocals and the drums at a low level. I was surprised to not be able to feel the bass, since we were about 10 feet away from the subs; but by the end of the night that had changed.

As the first set progressed the sound man kept tweaking things until by the end of the set, the drums (especially the bass), the bass guitar, vocals, and Tony’s lead breaks on the guitar were coming through the mains. Also the volume was way louder by the time they got to the last song; I had to put the old trusty ear plugs in on that one (I normally always wear ear plugs at shows; we saw Sonny Landreth at the Mercy Lounge a few years ago and it was so loud that when my ears hadn’t quit ringing after two weeks, I had them checked and found out I had some temporary hearing loss, specifically around the 4kHz range).

During the break, the sound man turned up the volume on the music he was playing, and I had to keep the plugs in, which made it hard to talk. After about a 25 minute break, the band hit the stage again. It was still weird watching Webb sing and hearing his voice mostly in my right ear, while hearing his guitar from his rig on stage. After “Tough It Out” the show ended, but the audience apparently wasn’t in the mood for an encore, and the sound man turned on the music again. We spoke to Webb again before we left to wish him a Merry Christmas. He did give us a shout out during the second set, asking us how far we’d ever travelled to see him. I shouted “Chicago” but I’m not sure he ever heard.

Here’s the set list (I’m pretty sure the song order is correct):

Set 1:

  1. Down on the Farm
  2. I Just Had to Laugh
  3. Sputnik
  4. If You’re Looking For a Fool
  5. Human Cannonball
  6. No Great Shakes
  7. You Might Be Lonely For A Reason
  8. Poolside
  9. Run With It
  10. The Rest (Will Take Care of Itself)
  11. Meed Your New Landlord
  12. Stay Out of Automobiles
  13. The Only One
  14. Louisiana Hannah

Set two:

  1. King of the Hill
  2. One Taste of the Bait
  3. Goldfinger
  4. Pretty Little Lights of Town
  5. The Devil’s Right Hand
  6. Sittin’ Pretty
  7. How Long Can She Last
  8. You Could Be Cryin’ (not sure of the title; it’s an Otis Rush song)
  9. Mary Lou
  10. Move It
  11. Battle Of The Bands
  12. Flat Out Get it
  13. Tough It Out

Webb’s next show in the Nashville area is at Puckett’s Grocery in Franklin. For details, check out his web site.

2 Comment(s)

  1. Brenda | Dec 16, 2006 | Reply

    It seems strange at a Webb concert when the audience doesn’t demand an encore, doesn’t it?

    I’m not sure why I’m so bothered by what audiences do, but there’s usually something that happens that bugs me. Last night it was the loud talkers at the next table. I wish all venues would go by the Bluebird’s rules of no talking while the musicians are performing. Is it really so outrageous that some folks come to actually *listen* to the music? What a concept.

    And the valets in the bathroom was something I’ve never seen in a bar/cafe. I’ve run into that a number of times, but it’s been in finer establishments than the ones I go to for music. Anything for a buck I guess. The one is the ladies room was making a profit.

    Food was mediocre at best. Music was great as always.

  2. Glen | Dec 17, 2006 | Reply

    It was weird. I think the sound man was a little too eager to start the canned music after the last song.

    As far as the talking, that was annoying. Even with my ear plugs in, I could still hear the people behind us talk. Why would someone choose to go to a place where they know loud music is going to be played, and try to have a conversation? Never did understand that.

    The valets were different. They kind of trap you into giving them a tip (course I guess they also tend to ensure that most people wash their hands too).

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