Todd Snider and Hayes Carll and his band shared a bill at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City 7/2/12.
Hayes Carll opened the dual bill to an appreciative mix of Carll fans and Snider followers. Hayes Carll is no stranger to the country folk- rock tinged genre. Carll has four albums to his credit. The 2011 release KMAG YOYO was the #1 album of the year by the Americana Music Association.
Carll and his band delivered high full-tilt rockers, heartfelt ballads and humorous antidotes of life on the road as a musician. The band, even with the addition of a new drummer, was tight as well as multi-talented, as in the use of an accordion; something Carll said is not seen much in a country band.
Carll told a story of his days in Scanton, Iowa when he and friends de tasseled corn wearing long white cotton dresses, dreadlocks and eating lunch at the only restaurant in town called Restaurant next the only bar called Bar.
After a brief intermission Todd Snider accompanied by a bass player and drummer took the stage. His immediate presence on stage drew rounds of applause and cheers. Todd acknowledged the warm reception with his toast of his Red Solo cup. Todd saluted the energized fans throughout the night which drew similar salutes from his fans..After the first couple of songs a pumped up group of people armed with their beers stood in front of stage ready to party with Todd.. Mid way through the number an audience member approached the small gathering of people and asked them to take their seats.
The front of the stage was clear until Todd began his signature “B double E double RUN, beer run.” One by one people ran up to the front holding beers high and singing along. Todd did a slower less amplified version of the infamous beer anthem, but made up for the pace with his tongue in cheek story as to how he never gets tired of playing Beer Run, “In fact” he said, “it is my favorite song.”
Beer Run set the tone for the remainder of the night as people moved to the sides of the isles, stood and interacted with each song. At times the audience became his choir or back up vocalists and in an intimate venue like the Englert it was as if it was choreographed.
Hayes Carll and his band could be seen sitting off stage for Todd’s set, which reminded me of the status Todd has earned as a true Americana icon, although I sure Todd would highly disagree, no pun intended.