The Beachland Ballroom on June 26 was swung into a tornado as Shooter Jennings blew into town. But before he brought his brand of country rock to the masses, Cleveland’s home grown rednecks, The Not So Good Ol’ Boys got the crowd riled up with their own sound. Unfortunately their first song had a big hitch as they had feedback problems during the whole effort. But they persevered and kept on rocking loudly to the jovial folks in attendance.
As beer bottles were clanging and shots of whiskey were being slammed hard, The Not So Good Ol’ Boys gave us some of their best with “Just A Man” dedicated to the ladies at the place and “Old Chevrolet” that reminisced about past drinking skirmishes on the road. These guys may be from The North Coast, but certainly sounded like something out of The South with their brand of material. They made The Beachland Ballroom feel like an old fashioned western saloon complete with the crazy folks and loads of liquor. The Not So Good Ol’ Boys might be abel to hang with the big guns sooner than we think as they played with Cross Canadian Ragweed at The House Of Blues-Cleveland on June 13 and now alongside Shooter Jennings tonight, it seems like we may have another superstar country group from Ohio this time around.
After a scintillating introduction via John Williams’ haunting opus for Darth Vader from The Star Wars trilogy, Shooter Jennings came out to a huge ovation as he kicked things off right then and there with the first single off of his latest release The Wolf, “This Ol” Wheel.” Fans were screaming and shouting vigorously as Shooter blared his brand of country out front and center. He performed a ton of hits from this late 2007 disc such as “Tangled Up Roses” and his cover of The Oak Ridge Boys’ “Old Friend” that got everybody singing word for word along with him.
He got sentimental by dropping some ballads to soothe the ferociousness of the crowd’s rowdy nature with “She Has It Comin’” and “The Last Time I Let Her Down.” Shooter and the gang cranked it up one more time as he got them rolling on “Slow Train” with shouts, whoops and cheers. Although he was dead set on playing music from The Wolf, he didn’t disappoint us by whipping out some older cuts like “Fourth Of July” which was perfect since this blessed event was more than one week away from now. Everyone sang along without a problem to each note of this hit song and it had this beautiful feeling inside the bar. He continued the two-step down memory lane with “Black Magic” and more tracks from his debut album Put The “O” Back In Country from 2005.
Shooter and his boys kept on jamming all of his favorites and got these yankee boys and girls from Cleveland transformed into a regular bunch of hillbillies getting silly on country music all night long. If The Not So Good Ol’ Boys made this joint feel like a saloon earlier, Jennings and his band made it feel like an old school honky tonk as it was nearly torn down from the rafters. Shooter Jennings has leaved his famous daddy Waylon’s shadow and is now setting his own path and his stop here in Cleveland proved that he will fill arenas and coliseums in the near future.