One of the best parts of watching a psychobilly hybrid on stage has always been the upright bass player. Sorry, but when you've got the biggest instrument on stage, people tend to pay attention to you. In the case of the Detroit's magnetizing Koffin Kats
, the vocalist/bassist Vic Victor milked that philosophy for all it was worth. Coming out swinging and shirtless for a devout, tattooed crowd, the Misfit's-indebted outfit was still bloodthirsty on this final date of their five-month US tour and it showed. Victor executed a half-hour's worth of upright antics, that included everything from spinning the bass over his head with one hand, swinging it like a samurai sword and jumping off it while guitarist EZ Ian took over the thumping duties on "Graveyard Tree." We give him mad props for the dismount; it was quite skillful.
Dirty comedy and country music go together like Alabama and incest. Which is why the seasoned funny man Roger Alan Wade
was probably one of the first people to sign on for this year's Hootenanny. He charmed us early with his song,"Poontang," an infectiously perverted campfire anthem that sounded a bit creepy coming from a guy who looks old enough to be your grandpa. But we'll be damned if it didn't include one of the most unforgettable lyrics of the day: "Oooh-wee, ohh sweet dang/ How about a little poontang!" For what it's worth, his music is a hit with Johnny Knoxville and the guys from Jack Ass. Wade is currently on Johnny Knoxville Records. Knoxville? Record exec? Who knew?
Leave it to one of the baddest bands at Hootenanny bring a slice of metal and mayhem to the table. In the middle of a set filled with punk-propelled power chords and howling charisma, LA trio Three Bad Jacks
stepped their game up with a cover version of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades." This riff-tastic tune is primarily known for being one of the easier songs to play on Guitar Hero. But hopefully, the ballsy rendition pounded out by guitarist/vocalist Elvis Suissa, bassist Dan Eckles and drummer Kyle Helm was a reminder that anyone wasting their time playing that game outta pick up a real guitar and learn something other than the multi-colored button version of the song. Something tells us you'll feel a lot more accomplished afterwards.
Best Side Stage Band: Whorehouse Massacre
Any band that can pull off looking like a mix of zombies and transvestites on any day outside of Halloween is alright by us. So naturally, we were drawn to Garden Grove's Whorehouse Massacre
, a local five-piece who were one of the best reasons to schelp all the way down to the side stage at the end of the festival. Sporting fake blood, fishnet stockings and an appropriately whoreish miniskirt, front man Josh Evil and his crew stirred up quite a circle bit that packed the area in front of the stage for the first time all day.
Nick 13 of Tiger Army and Brent Harding of Social Distortion
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Best Female Response: Nick 13
With all the fresh crew cuts, tight pants and tattoos in the audience, you could tell that a third of the guys at Hootennanny were hellbent on looking exactly like Nick 13
of Tiger Army--and rightfully so. This dude drives the bettys wild. Gracing the Hoot's line-up with his rarely seen solo act (according to him this was the fourth solo show he'd ever done) 13 and his band emerged to a heroes' welcome from a front row packed with females in tight-fitting '50s garb. The Tiger Army front man was notably reserved during his set as he played multiple numbers from a forthcoming solo record that draws heavily on hillbilly, honky-tonk and, any other genre with roots south of the Mason Dixon line. But seriously, this guy could've been playing the scrub board and women would still be throwing themselves at him.
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Best Celebrity Sighting: Johnny Knoxville
Yeah, we know that Jack Ass star Johnny Knoxville
Jack Ass star wouldn't even describe himself as a celebrity. But he was the most famous person we saw there, so there ya go.
Biggest Bummer: Jerry Lee Lewis Cancelled
Those who came to see 75-year-old icon Jerry Lee Lewis
must've been crushed to hear the news that the man who brought us "Great Balls of Fire" was forced to cancel due to health concerns. We even saw a few cars just turn around and go home. Sad. Here's hoping for the Killer's swift recovery.
Best Reason to bring a Camera Phone: Chuck Berry
At age 83, most people are content with rocking in a chair, not on stage at a summer festival full of screaming fans. And though his chops sounded a bit rusty here and there, Chuck Berry's
third performance in Hootenanny history since 1997 proved that the man can still draw an OC crowd. Igniting one of the biggest camera phone frenzies of the day, Berry gave us all a piece of personalized rock & roll history with earnest and able-fingered renditions of "Roll Over Beethoven," "Sweet Little 16," "Carol" and yes, "Jonny B. Goode."
Donning a white naval hat and a salt and pepper mustache, Berry's boisterous, well-preserved vocals were more than impressive. Though his body struggled to churn out 30-plus minutes of wailing guitar classics, it was worth staying until the end to witness. If even one of the other acts on the bill was lucky enough to be able to hold a guitar when they're Berry's age, they'd be in pretty good shape.