Mother Nature tried. Mother Nature failed. Like other women before her, she ended up with a broken heart after failing to stop the Texas-based Band of Outlaws. She should have seen (or heard) this one coming!
Minnesota got a double dose of Texas Hippie Coalition this past weekend, with Burnsville’s High Five Bar & Grill doing the honors on Saturday night and Buster’s Sports Bar & Grill in Mankato getting their THC on Sunday night. While most bands would hear about a winter storm warning on Saturday and Sunday and end up cancelling, rescheduling or failing to make the show, Texas Hippie Coalition is not that band. “Snow? Turn It Up and let’s get it on!”
In fact, Sunday night’s lineup had two opening bands — both from Minnesota — on the bill with Texas Hippie Coalition. Guess which non-Minnesota band was the only one to make it to Sunday’s show? THC vocalist Big Dad Ritch said the other bands should be used to this weather in their own state, and the crowd responded by calling the other bands “pussies,” especially for not even trying to make it before calling to cancel — definitely not a favorite tactic of promoters putting on the show, snow or no snow.
Texas Hippie Coalition would make up for it and ended up putting on another great show. Playing through tracks off of 2008’s Pride of Texas, 2010’s Rollin’ and 2012’s Peacemaker, the band (and their fans) were on top of their respective games tonight in this cold weather, including crowd favorites like “Leavin’,” “Turn It Up” and “Pissed Off and Mad About It.” The last track probably describes Mother Nature’s mood since she had to be upset that they messed up her plans to blanket Minnesota in snow and get everybody to stay home.
This was the first opportunity for Minnesota fans to check out THC’s new drummer Gunnar Molton live, and he definitely held his own — we cannot confirm or deny at this time that Cecil, Arkansas, is planning to create a statue in his honor. As for guitarist Wes Wallace, it’s great to see him continue to “shred n’ shine” each show as well; in this writer’s opinion, it’s Wes Wallace who is the best guitarist that THC has had, and it’ll be great when more fans discover the talented axeman in THC. You know what you get with Big Dad Ritch and John Exall (the Chairmen of the Board), who never seem to have a bad night — on or off stage. Exall is, without a doubt, one of the most fan-friendly musicians in any band, taking pictures and signing autographs before and after the show for anybody and everybody. Looking through fan pictures of the shows this weekend, Exall is in a good number of them, along with the rest of the Minnesota “hippies.” It might not matter to some people, but it makes a difference to me when I go out and support a band, buy their merch and music, and tell others about their music. If a band is “too good” or “too busy” to hang out with the fans for awhile, they shouldn’t be surprised if fans are “too busy” to check them out next time.
Like it is with all THC shows, one of the highlights of the weekend was hanging out with the band and other fans before the show at the hotel; in fact, they should have just made it an all-Hippie wing of the hotel since everybody was there for the show. (Fun fact: The movie Titanic is much better if you mute the sound and have a heavy metal soundtrack featuring bands like Hellyeah in the background, especially during the ship-sinking scenes!)
The dedicated fans of Texas Hippie Coalition are like a mini-family, and it’s great to see them every time. The band is like an extended family, stopping by and visiting before the shows as well. They don’t have to do this, especially after so many gigs and being on the road away from their families for so long, but they do. That’s one of the reasons I’ll always pen an article or two about their new CD or latest gigs to continue to get the word out there for more people to “test positive for THC!”
What’s it going to take to stop the Band of Outlaws from rollin’ onto the next show? A tornado? Hurricane? Maybe an asteroid hitting the planet? They’d probably survive. In fact, if the world does happen to end in a few weeks, there’s a good chance that Texas Hippie Coalition will survive the so-called “Mayan Apocalypse” to rise out of the red dirt and continue putting on a show.
Turn it up!