Hank Williams III, Marquee Theatre, 8/15/12

See also: Hank Williams III Rips the Rulebook to Shreds

Hank Williams III @ Marquee Theatre| August 15, 2012

"The kind of country I hear nowadays is a bunch of fuckin' shit to me."

That lyric from Hank Williams III's "Dick in Dixie" sums up his performance Wednesday night at Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Hank's family practically invented outlaw country, and true to form, Hank III makes sure you know just how little of a fuck he gives. The venue was jammed to the rafters with sweaty shirtless dudes in cowboy hats and country girls slamming Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Hank 3 opened the show with "Night Time Ramblin' Man," moving through "Trashville," "Little Bit of Smoke & a Whole Lotta Wine," and "Guttertown." He was relentless, battering the crowd with his own brand of pill-poppin', whiskey-chugging jams, including "The Devil Is My Friend," "Country Heroes" -- about wanting to get drunk and high with deceased country legends -- "3 Shades of Black," and "Troopers Hollar," a song backed by vocal tracks of barking dogs.

His 90-minute country set included two-dozen songs.

After that, things got a little weird.

For most of the crowd, what came next was probably nothing short of shocking and awful. The stage went dark, save for a green neon light at center stage. Suddenly, the giant projector screen behind the stage was awash with fast-moving clips of old black-and-white movies and disaster footage. Suddenly a hard-hitting double bass drum and distortion that had no business being there began to shake the audience.

Hank Williams III
Hank 3 had ripped into his Attention Deficit Domination album. This 50-minute doom metal album, which was released in September of 2011, was more than anyone could handle and the place began to clear out. Only the hardcore fans remained. By this time, many were well past inebriated. Hank went on to play the album in its entirety. But Hank 3 wasn't finished.

He segued rather seamlessly into his speed-metal album 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin', which was released the same day as A.D.D. The vocals featured on the album are made up entirely of auctioneer calls, and Hank 3 was prepared with his own auctioneer, who took the stage and began rattling off his auction- talk at light speed. Again, from what I could gather, Hank didn't stop until every track was accounted for. The Marquee was nearly empty by this time, but Hank 3 thanked the remaining crowd for staying around for the four-hour set.

There is no doubt Hank Williams III is hardcore. Probably more so than half the "rock" bands out there now. Need further proof? He has a song written and dedicated to the infamous GG Allin. Hank's no showboater. He'll probably never be a judge on American Idol. He may single handedly destroy pop-country music. Is any of that bad?

Set List:

"Night Time Ramblin' Man" "Trashville" "Guttertown" "Thrown Out of the Bar" "Lookin' for a Mountain" "The Devil is My Friend" "Crazed Country Rebel" "D Ray White" "Country Heros" "Rebel Within" "3 Shades of Black" "I Don't Know" "Troopers Hollar" "Gost to a Ghost" "Day by Day" "Six Pack of Beer" "Pills I Took" "Low Down" "P.F.F." "Not Everybody Likes Us" "Dick in Dixie" "Go Fuck You" "Hellbilly"

Attention Deficit Domination 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin'

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Hank Williams III at The Marquee Theatre

The Crowd: Mostly under 40.

Overheard: "I haven't seen shit like this since I was in Virginia 20 years ago."

Random Notebook Dump: "Why is everyone wearing the same Johnny Cash T-shirt?"

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Richard Noel
Contact: Richard Noel