Last night musical stalwarts David Lowery and Johnny Hickman brought the latest version of Cracker into Atlanta and showed the jam packed EARL how to put on a proper rock show. Equal parts country and rock Cracker offered up a wealth of tunes showcasing the new record coming out next week and honoring the great songs from their past.
Wasting little time Cracker took the stage with Lowery offering a witty take on Scott Stapp’s recent financial situation before kicking into “Where Have Those Days Gone” a tasty example of the countrified part of the new record. Hickman’s bad ass guitar playing and Lowery’s signature warble is Cracker, but the addition of pedal steel and keyboards really added pop and Bryan Howard’s bass playing held it all together. Songs like “Almond Grove”, “El Cerrito” and “King of Bakersfield” sounded incredible. Johnny Hickman took lead vocals on “California Country Boy” which was loaded with a Buck Owens/Dwight Yoakam flavor. As they delivered the classics like “Teen Angst”, “Euro Trash Girl” and “Get Off This” they sounded fresh and sharp. The numerous times I have seen Cracker live, they have always been exceptional and Saturday night was no different. Through the years Cracker has developed one hell of a following. Everyone at the EARL Saturday night was singing along with every single song, not just the hits, but every damn song. That doesn’t happen very often usually you get one or two songs that get the sing-a-long treatment but not with the loyal throng of Crackerlytes.
Opening the night was Atlanta power trio the Head. I have heard their albums but never experienced them live and after last night I am kicking myself for not previously partaking in their shows. These young dudes are obviously influenced by the punk and power pop/rock bands of the 70’s as they doled out music reeking of the likes. Lucky for them Cracker fans showed up early and the place was about packed when they took the stage and everyone there was impressed. I suggest you check these dudes out.
When the night ended the crowd wanted more and that is the way I should be. No one wants a crowd that is ready to leave. With so many great songs Cracker offered up the perfect mix to make all the folks there happy. Yes there were songs left out but then they can’t play everything. The band had one more show Sunday afternoon then it was back on the road to spread the good word. If they roll through your town, go see the show.