Bad luck, freak accidents, ridiculous album titles with ridiculously named songs filled with ridiculous lyrics, Weedeater is the last band I ever expected to be attracted to. Not being a weed smoker (or eater) myself, I really have nothing in common with these southern dudes who burn through pounds of the shit every year. They pull bong rips like I smoke Marlboros on a heavy night of drinking. They can polish off a fifth of Jim Beam in the time it takes me to do a shot of Jameson. How these country boys from North Carolina survive is beyond me, but survive they do. 16 years and counting, they show no signs of slowing down.
“Dixie” Dave Collins smokes an ounce of weed a week, he put away a full bottle of bourbon during their one hour set on Friday night and he sounds like he guzzles gasoline for breakfast. Not bothering to fuck around with a real soundcheck, Dixie grunted a few unintelligible words into the mic and ran through a few riffs on his guitar before heading back to the green room. When he took the stage with Dave “Shep” Shepherd and Keith “Keko” Kirkum (kit setup front and center), they didn’t waste anytime getting the weed party started. As they crushed the crowd with the title track from 2007‘s God Luck and Good Speed, the small venue filled with smoke — Dixie‘s vocals cutting through the haze like razorblades. ‘Mankind is unkind man!‘
The (almost idiotic) play on words, the juvenile obsession with marijuana and the stories about shooting toes off with shotguns all get shattered into a million pieces once these three start to perform. They own that stage like they own their blazed out crowd. A Weedeater show is something that needs to be experienced to comprehend. Any fan of southern rock, metal, doom or even true ass-kickin’ country would be lying if they said anything negative about the experience.
A bearded, cross-eyed Dixie took us through a Weedeater history lesson starting with Mancoon and the title track from this year’s Jason…The Dragon. From there, they went way back with Monkey Junction, Time Served, Potbelly ‘we don’t do this one often, so I hope you like it and if you don’t, fuck off‘ and their interpretation of Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s Gimmie Back My Bullets. Pounding us with non-stop riffs while pounding the bottle of whiskey, this was not a show for the lighthearted, of which there were none in attendance. Weed Monkey was a highlight in a set that that started strong and continued to raise the bar (higher and higher and higher) with each track. The band seem genuinely happy to be back in Denver and after exactly one hour on stage, they took their leave, but not before inviting everyone to ‘go get fucked up!‘ As they left, Hank Williams Jr.‘s A Country Boy Can Survive appropriately followed them back into the green room.
Canadian metallers Bison B.C. and Oakland-based Saviours opened the show with very strong sets. The boys in Bison actually had the largest audience of the night, causing those of us who showed up during their set to listen from the back patio. The long-hair, shirtless, moustached, ink covered dudes from Saviours hearken back to the 70′s of Sabbath, Zeppelin and Deep Purple. They might not have been alive back then, but it seems these kids have done their homework and have mastered the power of the riff. A galloping set from a young band with enough horsepower to knock you flat on your ass if you mistakenly get in their way.