Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hank Williams Jr. puts new rules into 'Old School'

     ORLANDO — Country music superstar Hank Williams Jr. performed with high energy and intense attitude from start to finish, during his concert to showcase his latest album "Old School New Rules" at the CFE Arena on Saturday, July 13.

     Opening up for Williams during this special performance was the iconic southern rocker Gregg Allman from the Allman Brothers Band, who warmed up the crowd with his signature mix of blues and rock n’ roll. This concert was then kicked into high gear as Hank Jr. and his band took the stage by storm and didn’t let up for the rest of the evening.

     Williams’ on-stage energy is a force to be reckoned with, and he has clearly crafted a wild musical showcase for his fans to experience during his live concerts. Without having to ask, his performance commands the audience to get out of their seats as they dance, cheer, sing and celebrate with songs that are beloved by anyone who has listened to modern country music over the last 30 years.

     It’s unmistakably clear that a Hank Williams Jr. show is more like a wild celebration than just another concert.

     His original music was received incredibly well, but several times during the concert Williams showed respect by sampling many of the musicians that inspired him throughout his life. This included simple riffs from Lynyrd Skynyrd like “Working For MCA,” “Good Ol’ Boys” by Waylon Jennings, and even a boogie woogie throw down on the piano to Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On.” Williams also encouraged his fans to sing along with one of his father’s legendary tunes “There’s A Tear In My Beer.”

     He would often change instruments between songs, showing off his musical prowess and refined talent. At one point Williams took a simple small customary fiddle, and played it so ferociously that it seemed like he was trying to saw it in half.

     If his covers weren’t enough of a crowd pleaser, they were mixed in with his classic hits that easily became the most popular tunes of the evening.

     The crowd went wild during Williams’ original songs like “If Heaven Ain’t A Lot Like Dixie,” “A Country Boy Can Survive,” and “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound.”

     Of all the songs performed this evening, the most popular was undeniably his barroom hit “Family Tradition.” A song where the audience sings the entire chorus louder than the singer on stage, and shows that Williams’ music has a strong connection with the fans and a life of it’s own.

     Hank Williams Jr. is well known for his wild live performances and this show was no exception. Altogether, this concert was a clinic of classic country and southern rock music, and his rough and rowdy musical style shows no sign of slowing down after over 50 years of performing. His diehard fans will surely continue to idolize their “Old School” hero who has come to embody southern pride and living life to the fullest.

By James Tutten

(All photos by James Tutten)


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