by Donte Kirby
“If you are a hard working american, I implore you to do us this favor tonight. Free your mind and let your ass follow,” said lead singer of Hard Working Americans, Todd Snider. Every ear that listened did him a solid.
Todd Sheaffer from Railroad Earth opened up the show. He stood onstage with just his acoustic guitar and a gray patterned rug under his feet, strumming his brand of Americana. His sound was more mellow and folksy, a stark contrast to the bombastic six piece to follow.
“Ladies and gentleman, I fucked up my song. But I rather keep playing than to get it right,” said Sheaffer. His honesty on stage was appropriate for someone who wasn’t singing songs, instead he was telling stories musically. Sheaffer played stripped down versions of Railroad Earth songs such as “The Good Life” and songs from his solo record, Dream of Love, such as “Where Songs Begin.”
The tiny crowd in front of the stage for Sheaffer seemed to explode the moment Hard Working Americans hit the stage. From beginning to end the audience moved- the dancing couple in the shadows stage right to the girl with the white backless top dancing with the energy of a raver at Coachella. Everyone had a drink in their hand and the show had a festival-like atmosphere.
Solos were a plenty from the six piece super group consisting of Snider, Neal Casal of Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Chad Staehly of Great American Taxi, and Duane Trucks (brother of Derek). And one more- a scream from the crowd of “yeah Schools” for bassist Dave Schools of Widespread Panic. This was a common occurrence until the end of the show.
Before the night ended, the crowd screamed one last time for those Hard Working Americans.