I’m at Joe’s Bar in Chicago on a pretty regular basis.
Almost every weekend they have great country acts performing, but few excite me the same way The Cadillac Three does. Their raw energy and southern rock flair elevate a room unlike most artists that I’ve seen. It’s full-throttle, zero to 100, from beginning to end and we are constantly making jokes about how Joe’s better have roof insurance because every time they roll into town, they blow it off.
This past weekend was no different.
They build the tension when they first take the stage, as if nobody was excited enough and they finally explode into ‘Party Like You,’ which makes sense because this is the party that everyone is looking for when they go to see a live band on a Friday night. Neil pounds away on the his drums so hard that half the time he is standing up and you can’t help but love his energy.
They continued to rip through their classic hits such as ‘I’m Southern,’ I’m Rockin,’ and ‘Tennesee Mojo,’ which again is an understatement when it comes to who these guys are and how they perform. They are southern rock, Tennessee swag machines and the entire crowd knows every word. They performed their current single ‘White Lightning’ and the crowd went absolutely nuts. There wasn’t many people in the room that just stumbled in there or thought “Hey, these guys seem like fun.” It was a room full of die-hards, and they came to party too.
After about 40 mins the crowd burst into a “Let’s Get Weird” chant, which was a first for the band according to lead singer and guitarist, Jaren Johnston (wearing a Marilyn Monroe in a Jordan jersey shirt). “That’s a first,” he said, “but I like it,” and they continued right into their next song. As one of country’s top songwriter’s Jaren Johnston, performed his version of ‘Meanwhile Back At Mama’s’ which was really the only moment of rest for the band.
The crowded screamed more chants including “U.S.A.” and “T. C. 3.” after their killer rendition of ‘Days of Gold,’ which featured an insane drum solo where Jaren got involved, Neil was banging on the lights behind him and everyone was going crazy. Finally, they closed the show out with ‘The South,’ which was pure electric and when you hear them rock that song out live, you’ll know exactly why they save it for last.
These guys know how to bring it. Plain and simple. If you’re not paying attention to The Cadillac Three, then you really need to be. I’ve seen everybody perform at one point or another and nobody puts on a show like they do. Depending on who the artist is, me and Steve will bring some people with us, whether we think they’ll like it or maybe because they’re not country fans at all. With The Cadillac Three, we have people that WANT to go, ask us to get them tickets, and love every second of it. I told drummer Neil Mason after the show that we never bring more people to Joe’s, than for a TC3 concert and it’s the truth.
They are gifted performers to say the least, and one of the most bad ass group of guys in country music. Amazing every time.