The Cotillion Ballroom
December 9, 2016
By Jeb Wright
Blast Off | My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine’s Ass | Mental Masturbation | Encore | Screwdriver | Rally | Down on Me | Push Comes to Shove | Just Because I’m Drunk | Secret of the Bottle | I Stand Alone | When Will It Rain | Dirty Little Mind | Redneck Punk | She Loves My Cock | Jesus Done Left Chicago | The Lumberjack
Jackyl is a live, loud, greasy, smelly and fun band that will leave your ears a-ringin’ for days after seeing / hearing them in concert—just the way a hard rockin’ band should be! Here in good ol’ Wichita, Kansas we get these southern fried rockers and we appreciate them just as damn much as they appreciate us!
The Cotillion Ballroom is a legendary Midwest venue; they have not changed the outside sign for decades and the powder blue interior has not seen a new coat of paint in nearly as long. This place drips attitude and live music. On this night, a collection of bikers and rockers did a darn good job of nearly filling the place up. After a rocking opening set of mostly covers by local rockers The Banned, the lights dimmed and Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy” took over the front of house speakers. The headliner took the stage and crashed into “Blast Off” from their new studio album titled ROWYCO... and away we went.
Look… the star of the show has always been and always will be Jesse James Dupree on lead vocals and sometimes guitar… and chainsaw. George Thorogood once told me in an interview that every band has that one member who is that band. In his band that was Lonesome George, and in Jackyl it is Jesse James Dupree. Don’t get me wrong, Jackyl is a band… and all members are important, but Jesse is a larger than life individual. His vocals cut through steel just like they did a quarter of century ago. As an emcee is he part Southern Baptist preacher, part rock ‘n’ roll biker outlaw and part renegade wild western Cowboy. Whether he is onstage telling the crowd about his love of country western drinking music, his love of pussy or that if we ever have the need to storm the White House to take it back he wants his audience to ride there with him, Dupree is something to behold.
Jeff Worley, on lead and rhythm guitar is second in command. Jeff has been there since the beginning along with his brother Chris on drums in addition to Dupree. What I love about Jeff is that he really is not a virtuoso guitarist. In this band he is, however, perfect. He plays three to four chords a song and then delivers a blistering treble filled pentatonic guitar solo, rocks his giant speaker cabinet back and forth, takes a swig of Jesse’s booze and flashes that shit eatin’ big toothed grin... all the while brother Chris bashes the shit out of the drums! Chris hits them so damn hard in some states he could be arrested for drum beating! New bass player Roman Glick –courtesy of Brother Cane- plunks the low end, makes funny faces and soaks in the action on stage. Dupree does the rest.
On the new tune “Rally” the band pumps out the rock with the force of an out of control Semi-truck flying down a NASCAR track, gobbling up race cars –and pit crew- in its wake. This is good old powerful frickin’ hard rock! The title track from their second album, Push Comes to Shove was very cool to hear this evening as well. From the same album “Secret of the Bottle” was very well received. The country tune from ROWYCO titled “Just Because I’m Drunk” is a huge hit with the Jackyl faithful without one shred of airplay. These fans love this band and don’t need no stinkin’ radio station to play shit! These fans do it old school… they buy the CD and use the plastic jewel case as a coaster for their mom’s table! The crowd, of course, got up on their feet for “Down on Me”... one of the group’s most classic tunes.
Jackyl played new ones, a few deep cuts and even some unknowns for the first half of the show and then they unleashed several huge fan favorites from their classic debut album. “I Stand Alone” is a classic hard rocker. This is the tune that introduced this band to the world and it is still as powerful today as ever. “Dirty Little Mind” is a killer live tune while “Redneck Punk” both rocks hard and sums up everything you need to know about these hard working, rockin’ motherfuckers from the South! “She Loves My Cock” is just a kick ass song and was fun to hear live… ‘nuff said right there. Jesse surprised his own band and the crowd when he began messing with the tuning on his guitar and then broke out into the ZZ Top classic “Jesus Done Left Chicago.” Truth be told it was a little rough around the edges, but damn ain’t that the way live rock ‘n’ roll is meant to be? After the song, Jesse explained to the crowd and said he did not make any mistakes during that song as he was “Flawless Jesse.” He then blamed “these three other dope smokin’ lollygagging hippies” for any issues that may have occurred (referring to his band mates, and not me and my friends...) The last song of the night saw Dupree break out his chainsaw and bring the already rowdy crowd to new heights of delirium with Jackyl’s most known anthem “The Lumberjack.”
Backstage before the show we chatted with Jesse and he was as 100% genuine, just as he was on stage during the show—although he was a bit mellower! This guy, and the rest of the band ‘get it’. There is no need for dance numbers, a wild light show or even video screens. All you need is three chords, a chainsaw and a batch of killer tunes played through really loud amps to give a crowd a raging rock ‘n’ roll hard-on (if it persists 4 hours after the show or you experience loss of hearing or vision, see a doctor). Jackyl is a pure, true, lewd, crude and tattooed rock band. Their show will leave a stain. Your ears will fucking ring for days and your jaws will ache from the big dumb-ass redneck rocker grin you can’t get off your face .
The only people more worn out after a show by this band are the band members themselves. And what do they do? They head to the merchandise booth to meet those who parted with their hard-earned money to thank them, take pictures and sign autographs. They may look rough and cuss a lot, but this is one group of sweethearts and a class act of a rock band. They are rock stars for sure—they just don’t know it!
A concert by Jackyl is hard guitar (and chainsaw) driven rock the way it was meant to be… in your face, aggressive, fun and exhilarating. As hurtful as it is to admit… their attitude is a dying breed. These old dogs—err—Jackyl’s—still have a few tricks left, however.
Thank the rock-gods for that!
Rock me, roll me, Jackyl-me-off indeed!