red lights

Concert Livewire
basement tapes concert reviews cd reviews interviewsticket swap music news

Boxmasters' Billy Bob Thornton brought
some Sling Blade swagger

Live Wire
Scottsdale, AZ
September 15, 2015

Review and photos by Mary Andrews

Performing and writing music is obviously a labor of love for Billy Bob Thornton. Like many of us, he has to hold down a day job to be able to indulge in his love of music. He happens to be very successful and is well known in his 9 - 5 job of acting. This can be a hazard when trying to succeed in other endeavors, but Thornton was in rare form on this night and we, the fans were the benefactors!

Opening the show was the Tommy Ash Band, a honky-tonk band from the Phoenix area. Tommy Ash is actually a female singer who has performed with the likes of Merle Haggard, Lorrie Morgan and Chris Young. The band performed a fun, lively 45-minute set before The Boxmasters took the stage.

There were several surprises during the Boxmasters set. I've seen two performances in the past and the sets were more in line with country music. However, rockabilly is a better description of their music now. Most of the tunes are not songs that are familiar to most listeners. They are original tunes that are penned by Mr. Thornton. As Billy Bob said, "you are not going to hear "LaGrange" or any other familiar song. " Billy Bob has a 'Dylanesque' way of phrasing and a voice much younger than his age. The band was tight to say the least. The real treat was that Mr. Thornton was in the mood to talk. His stories about the genesis of many of the songs were genuine yet amusing and he felt that this audience would understand the songs. He said many times the songs sometimes just "go over a crowd's head." "It's kind of like a pig staring at a wrist watch." That was his introduction to the song, "Dead Inside."

He revealed that the song, "Kathy Won't Share" is a song about a man whose girlfriend won't have a mŽnage a trois. The songs were a breath of fresh air, inventive, and thought provoking. It was a treat to have Thornton's narrative on the music. Early in the show, Billy Bob encouraged the crowd to be creative, to write everyday. "all the shit inside gets out." Art is about the truth and it is important to express oneself without trying to please everyone else. Thornton proceeded to do something that he 'never, ever does.' He did his best Karl Childers from "Sling Blade."

This was a fun, satisfying show for both the performer and the audience. It was music good enough to leave your day job!
Set List:
1. Emily
2. Japanese Girl
3. She Looks Like Betty Page
4. In The Middle of the Night
5. Providence
6. Beautiful
7. Sometimes There's a Reason
8. You'll Be Lonely Tonight
9. This Game Is Over
10. Dead Inside
11. Piece of the Sky
12. Kathy Won't Share
13. What Did You Do Today
14. Away Away
15. Somewhere
16. Turn Around
17. Look Up
18. Desperation Parade
19. I Shot Him Down
20. Island Avenue

21. Sylvia's Mother
22. That Mountain
Tommy Ash Band
Tommy Ash Band
Tommy Ash Band
Tommy Ash Band

What Do You Think?



City & State:

e mail:

Here's Your Chance to.... Respond!

Your feedback will be featured on
Rant or Rave within 24 hours.

Return to Reviews
Return to Menu