One of my favorite bands The Fox Hunt came to the area just over a month ago and was one of the most surreal shows I believe I have ever attended. First off, notice the location up there…Blue Ridge Bike Fest. That is exactly what you would think, a motorcycle rally/festival. No big deal, one of my favorite venues is The Shed in Knoxville and that’s in the parking lot of a Harley dealership. The place was full of a crowd you might expect….full time bikers, weekend bikers, crotch rocket bikers, the whole gamut….basically, not your typical string band crowd. Matter of fact, when I first saw this show advertised, it was Great White, Dokken, and…..The Fox Hunt. What a line-up eh. Well turns out the Hair Metal was for the Saturday night crowd, and The Fox Hunt were playing mid-day Sunday.
So I drove up to Roanoke, bought my all access wristband, walked past all the biker gangs out front, through the security (where they were checking for weapons) and into the corralled off area where all the stuff was. This included a stage, a bike “rink”, and a few vendors selling overpriced beer and BBQ. So I go buy myself a $4 can of bud light and locate myself front center of the stage waiting for the show to start. First thing I notice is off to my left they were “stunting” motorcycles in the bike rink. Hey cool I thought, something to watch until the show starts.
So I sit there noticing no one else is around the stage area and the band had already started setting their instruments up. I go chat with them for a minute and then it’s time for them to start playing. This is when I noticed that I was probably the ONLY person there to see The Fox Hunt and not some yayhoo break his neck on a motorcycle. The band forms into a tight circle and breaks into Hang Me. They sounded perfect up there. But there was one problem…the guys stuntin’ motorcycles just kept on stuntin’. Obnoxiously I might add. But the band persevered, with Matt Metz joking that if we stuck around after the show they would be stuntin’ their van in the parking lot. In spite of the continuing burnouts and wheelies, the band started to attract a small crowd with killer renditions of Murder In My Heart & Screw Me Up before cracking me up by breaking into a rendition of Plastic Jesus.
The band played songs from all of their albums and even threw in a string of covers that included Tennessee Border, Lodi, and Dead Flowers before wrapping up with a couple instrumentals and Trouble Makin’ Woman. What really impressed me about these guys was the way they traded instruments and vocal duties effortlessly throughout the performance. All in all the band put on a great show despite the motorcycles stunting less than 50 ft from the stage. I’m pretty sure they made at least a couple new fans there that day (judging from the ones buying CDs), and the cemented themselves as one of my favorite bands. I just hope next time they come to the area, they play a better venue.
Click on the song titles above to see vids, here is a vid of them doing It Suits Me. (If you really want to get an idea of the full surrealism of this show check out the beginning of the Trouble Makin’ Woman vid)
The Fox Hunt’s new album Long Way To Go, is one of the best things I’ve heard all year and highly recommended for anybody who likes good music.