Butch Walker and His Merry Gang of Merry Music Melodymakers started things off slow last night at Lincoln Theatre. Butch came out alone and played three songs from his latest album Sycamore Meadows. It was a slow start to the show, but during the fourth song, the Springsteen-esque track "Closer To The Truth And Further From The Sky," the band came roaring in.
They didn't let up all night, ripping through tracks from the new album as well as a few older tunes including "Far Away From Close" from Walker's debut solo album Left of Self-Centered. This is the first band tour in years where no Marvelous 3 songs made it into the set. The packed crowd didn't seem to mind though and sang along to all of the solo songs.
When Walker returned to the stage for the encore, he and the band launched into a rousing version of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer." Walker leaped into the crowd for a dance party during the song "Hot Girls In Good Moods." The crowd gathered around and bounced with Walker during the song (see the second photo below). When he returned to the stage, he took a seat at the piano for one more song, "When Canyons Ruled the City." At the end of the song, Walker took a page from Ben Folds' live performance and led everyone in an enthusiastic singalong (see the third photo below). It was a great way to end the night.
Walker has yet to slow down and is still putting wild and energetic shows as always. He's a bonafide rock star and will most likely be packing the Lincoln Theatre for many years to come.
Atlanta band Ponderosa, featuring Darren Dodd of Walker's band on drums, opened the show with some soulful southern rock. Their sound is similar to Kentucky band My Morning Jacket. They got the crowd warmed up and ready for Walker's pop rock extravaganza.
Butch Walker set list:
Passed Your Place, Saw Your Car, Thought Of You
Going Back/Going Home
Closer To The Truth And Further From The Sky
Weight of Her
Laid/The Taste of Red
Far Away From Close
Her Comes The...
Ponce De Leon Ave.
Race Cars and Goth Rock
Maybe It's Just Me
#1 Summer Jam (w/ a little of McCartney's "Silly Love Songs")
Best Thing You Never Had
Hot Girls in Good Moods
When Canyons Ruled the City
[all photos by Kevin Norris]