Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Concert Review: Robbie Fulks, Abbey Pub, Chicago, December 31

At first it was confusing: a guy in a Slash wig and Al Jourgensen-style crushed cowboy hat churning on guitar. Then the melody emerged. He was playing "Auld Lang Syne" like Jimi Hendrix's version of "The Star-Spangled Banner." And it only got better from there. The rest of the band, including Robbie himself, joined the guitarist. But Robbie was almost unrecognizable. Yes, the guy playing country music was wearing a silver lamé shirt, glam rock make-up including blue eye shadow, "sculpted" cheekbones and star on his cheek, and a "rock star" wig, like Tina Turner's 'do, but with optic fibers that blinked. Taking into account the music and the visuals, my friend asked, "Are you familiar with the expression 'cognitive dissonance'?"

I generally don't like country music, alt- or otherwise, because I can't get past the twang. Robbie has no shortage of twang, but I like him anyway.

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