Nov 16, 2011

Hank III - Ram's Head Live

By Bob Suehs


November 16, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland

Hank 3 is an interesting dude who's hard to lump into one particular musical genre & when you see him perform he does different sets in his live show that mix up country, rock, punk, metal & space rock which proves how hard he is to categorize!

I saw Hank 3 for the first time on November 16, 2011 at Rams Head Live in Baltimore & the minimal crowd that was in attendance when openers Earthride took the stage had to deal with the sludgy riffs & overbearing distortion the band supplied as an opener for 3.

It's interesting to note that Kid Rock was in town this same night & at first we thought maybe Kid Rock stole the crowd because there were not many hellbillys & hellbetty's there BUT by the time Earthride finished up the club was packed!

Interesting sidenote, by the time Hank finished his 90+ minute country set more than 1/2 the crowd left & the remainder of the show was Hank's "Space rock" & metal stuff.

Hank looks like a mix of his grandfather & a thinner Corey Taylor from Slipknot...the first set was comprised of all country & the band utilized steel guitar, fiddle, an upright bass for which the sound was old school shit kickin' country like his granddaddy used to play!

Songs with themes mostly about drinkin', druggin', gettin' wasted, pick up trucks, women, & beer were the flavor of the night & the lines that stand out in my head from that part of the set was when Hank declared "He put the Dick in Dixie & the Cunt In Country" & the song about being broke but having a 6 pack of beer was comical to me.

The crowd was very redneck looking with lotsa cowboy hats, camo trucker caps, beer cozies, dirty stonewashed denim, greasy hair & bad tattoos.....the crowd was like a younger version of the current Ted Nugent crowd!

Jeff Foxworthy would have loved the crowd, the crowd was as funny as Hank's lyrics at times & this was the first time I'd ever seen a mosh pit at a country show!

Hank is good at the twangy shit kickin' country...he's actually better at that than he was the space rock stuff he did during the 2nd set. The ending of set #1 included a few rock-a-billy numbers & then the 2nd act was much darker. The first hour of set #2 was pretty much Hank & his drummer playing in the darkness with a movie about conspiracies playing in the background.

The space rock part of the show was quite boring after a bit because Hank was caught up in playing 1 or 2 chords & I think on a sonic level, if you were high as hell you would have loved that part of the show, but being sober that part of the show was weird & hard to take after 15 minutes.

Another interesting sidenote is that there was sooo much weed smoking during Hanks set that it was not even funny...they were actually smoking weed right in the club & no one stopped it!

Whiskey & weed were the most consumed items during Hank's set & for some reason the crowd kept tossing cigarettes at Hank all night long!

The last part of the show was Hanks metal stuff & for that he brought out his fiddle player who played guitar. Hank, his guitar player & drummer jammed out low tuned metal riffs with minimal vocals for the latter portion of the night...the last part of the set was more about mood than music & it made it a little hard to take at I said, after the country set the crowd cleared out fast & the diehards hung around all night till the show was over & Hank jumped off the stage & took pics & met all the fans who wanted to meet him.

During the last portion of the metal set Hank & his crew were sporting bandit bandana's that covered their faces & Hank had on a sorta He-Man chest plate that was interestingly odd to watch while he jammed.

Also, something else quite interesting was the fact that if the crowd got too rowdy Hank would stop the set, pull out a flashlight & tell security where the problem was so they could take care of the troublemakers!

All in all, seeing Hank 3 is an experience & it's a show you'll never forget...Hanks set was almost 4 hours long with maybe a 5 minute break between sets!