Photo by Renee McMahon
Max Genereaux is the owner of Ballard's fine nightclub, the Sunset Tavern. But unlike most rock-club owners, Max harbors a deep>"/>
Photo by Renee McMahon
Max Genereaux is the owner of Ballard's fine nightclub, the Sunset Tavern. But unlike most rock-club owners, Max harbors a deep love for all types of teenage girl pop music. Last Friday, he attended Jessica Simpson's performance at the brand new Snoqualimie Casino. Here is another classic piece of Genereaux concert reportage.
Girls! Girls! Girls! And I’m not talking about the Motley Crue type. I’m talking about the Jessica Simpson type. They were out about 2,000 strong last Friday at the brand new Snoqualmie Casino. In their 20s, 30s and 40s, they came in big blonde hair and sparkly shirts with girlfriends in tow. I haven’t seen that much big blonde hair since I was a kid in Lubbock, Texas, going to high school football games. Just as she did in her hit reality show, Newlyweds, Jessica was letting it all hang out. Her first country music album, Do You Know, is a very personal account of her past and current relationships, both of which she spoke of at length as she introduced each song. It was like being out with the girls on a weekend night with boyfriends and ex-boyfriends the main topics of conversation. And I have to hand it to her: On Do You Know, Jessica writes from the heart and her fans, at least at this show, get it. This is not the contrived NASCAR-infused, Big & Rich, Taylor Swift new country that dominates the charts these days. While I don’t think Jessica is on the level of Carrie Underwood or anywhere near the queen of new country (Shania), her music is simple, honest and heartfelt. I admire that.
The show started with country music legend and Jessica’s Duke’s of Hazzard costar Willie Nelson.
Via recorded message, he introducing Jessica as a good friend, a Texas girl and a country star on the rise. Could Jessica deliver? Opening with a cover of the mega hit “These Boots Are Made for Walking”, Jessica lit the crowd up. Immediately, I notice three things: 1) The band is great, 2) Jessica, unlike her little sister, can actually sing (unfortunately, like many of divas of her generation, she likes to belt it out whenever possible. Just because you can carry a note out doesn’t mean you should. But that was just me. The crowd loved it.) And 3) Her oversized sparkly shirt was just like one a fat lady would wear to cover her stomach and ass. It hung straight off her boobs and below her waist eliminating any sign of her waistline or ass. Where was the stylist for this choice? Little did I know she had a plan for this long shirt. During “These Boots” she gyrated slowly, pulled her shirt just up over her ass, shook it, swayed it in 360, looked over her shoulder and screamed “Yeaaah!” The show was on and the Girls! Girls! Girls! were loving it.
Jessica asked the crowd if they liked her new boots, which she had just bought at Nordstrom. Or, in her words, “I just got done droppin’ a big penny on these boots. I love you all. I really mean that.” And I believe her. She does love us.
The next 3 songs were from the new album. Jessica speaks to the crowd just like we are one of her girlfriends. Her introductions to the songs are like Cliff Notes, letting us in on the inspiration and meaning of her very personal lyrics. I suppose anyone willing to let America into their house with TV cameras doesn’t have much to hide. With “Still Beautiful” Jessica reminds all of us that even when life is hard we need to remember that each day is a gift from God and still beautiful. “You’re My Sunday”, she let us know, is about current boyfriend, Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo, and how he is the calming force in her life. I’ve never been spoon fed song-meanings like this at any show, on any level. And it doesn’t stop there. Next, Jess spells out that “Sipping On History” is all about ex-husband Nich Lachey, before launching into the heartfelt ballad about how she thought they’d grow old together, and what would have or could have been, like having a big trampoline with lots of kids. Snapping back to reality and showing a sense of humor, Jessica covers Shania Twain’s, “Whose Bed Have Your Boots (Been Under).” Snap! Take that Nick. While I can fault her for over-singing each chorus, I can’t fault her for her honesty. Jessica sings from the heart and the girls with big hair hear every word and, thanks to Jessica’s intros, they understand them as well.
And on and on it goes. The band continues to kick ass, Jessica continues to explain every song before singing it, and the crowd eats it up. And why wouldn’t they? These are songs about something most girls can identify with: Boys, and how crazy they make you girls when they don’t do what you want them to. Things like, coming over in the middle of the night looking for love and you can’t say no; things like talking you back into bed or a relationship when you should know better. But “It still don’t stop me”, Jessica says. “I never knew I was bitter until I fell in love with the wrong person,” she tells us before the last song, the hit “Come On Over”. But she makes sure to let us know that this song is about someone else. Not Nick the boy band playboy, but Tony the pro quarterback. And the girls all melt. I guess in some crowds all the girls do still want to date the star quarterback. And there I am, right back in Lubbock, Texas at a high school football game. Congratulations, Jessica. You got the quarterback and your live show did something that every good live show should; took me and the rest of the audience on a journey to another place.