For many years now we have been dragging family and friends to see singer/songwriter Butch Walker jump off of drum sets and catch flying guitar picks mid-strum. We tell them the same thing that was told to us years ago, "You have to see this guy live. He's one of the best performers you'll ever see."
We have been seeing Butch, and his many bands, for nearly 15 years. Ever since that amazing Metro show we saw in December of 2004.
My wife grabbed tickets when she found out he was returning to the House of Blues, and I was a bit confused. "He doesn't have a new album out, right?" I asked. "Nope," she said. "He's just coming to play his hits."
Slated as The Last Days of Summer Tour, it definitely felt like a big send-off. Complete with another, epic balloon drop (just like last years), and an intimate, acoustic encore, that ended up with Butch sitting in the middle of the audience.
Pulling material from his vast catalog, he opened with my all-time favorite song, "Uncomfortably Numb," followed by his biggest hit, "Maybe It's Just Me." If that wasn't enough to fire up the crowd, he did a few of his Springsteen inspired numbers "Wilder in the Heart," "Ludlow Expectations."
Other favorites from the first set included "Ponce de Leon Ave.," and "Synthesizers," which ended in a cover of "Come On Eileen." Also memorable was "She Likes Hair Bands," a song where Butch tells the crowd about a girl that's "...got a birthmark, on the inside of her thigh." Then taunting, "Ask me how I know (Ha), About the inside of her thigh?"
After a short break, the man of the hour returns with a combo of covers. "Space Oddity," "Under Pressure," and "Rebel Rebel." On the latter, Butch tells the crowd to "Dance like David and Mick did in the video." He then finishes this act with the most rocking, sexiest version of "Hot Girls in Good Moods," which got the loudest response of the night.
Much to our surprise, the rockstar returns, not to the stage, but to the main floor. He brings a mic and his acoustic guitar and sits down in the middle of the crowd. We get three more songs, "Don't Move," "Cigarette Lighter Love Song (Marvelous 3 song)," and "Record Store."
Before he plays "Record Store" he tells an enduring story about how his father always dropped him off there. Not only does he talk about loving the experience of record shopping, but how he loved being dropped off by his father, and that he still misses him dearly. This was the highlight of the night.
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