To the girl who was standing next to me during Charley Crockett’s set at the Palomino Festival: I’m sorry.
It’s no excuse, but I didn’t see your foot there when I did my little, celebratory dance during Charley’s first song, “Run Horse Run.” Based on the look on your face (I couldn’t quite tell behind the big sunglasses) you were not pleased. So please, let me explain….
I didn’t think I’d get there in time for Charley’s grand entrance. At this particular festival, he was sandwiched back-to-back-to-back between Paul Cauthen and Zach Bryan, with no room for error or beers or bathroom breaks between them. So… I ran, darting in and out of my fellow festivalgoers, stopping, spinning, and hurdling my way into position.
Under the shadow of the Rose Bowl, I was the Reggie Bush of festival attendees…
I was eager for what is perhaps the best moment of a live show: seeing the artist emerge for the first time on stage. And, thanks to my Heisman-level skills at crowd navigation, I was in prime position as Charley Crockett strode on stage in a sky-blue suit, reminiscent of the UCLA Bruins who play their home games in the stadium looming over Charley’s head. The “big reveal” of Crockett’s on-stage outfits are reason enough to be on time for his set. And I’d made it.
He and his band launched into the second-most exciting moment of a live show: discovering what crowd-pleasing banger will kick off the set. Charley chose “Run Horse Run,” the second track from his 2020 album, Welcome to Hard Times, and I got stoked.
With a rapid, undulating beat that evokes a galloping horse, a chugging steam engine, or an exuberant bro sprinting through the crowd at a festival, “Run Horse Run” got my blood pumping. And, unfortunately for that girl standing next to me in a pair of fashionable yet unprotective sandals, it got my legs moving too.
As Lee Brice would say, “I don’t dance.” Yet, I started dancing, in a cringey, Steve Martin as “Cowboy Gil” in “Parenthood” kind of way. My legs kicked out, my hips started swinging, and (witnesses say) my hand started twirling an imaginary rope in the air.
And then I stomped on that poor girl’s foot.
Charley is an epic performer, so I’m sure he distracted her from the pain. He’s also a prolific artist who will be releasing a new album, “The Man From Waco,”mid-tourin September.
So, please be warned: if you do see him on tour this summer (which I highly recommend), wear some closed-toed shoes and keep your head on a swivel, just in case I show up for that first song again.