Third Down: Vikings, Dixie Chicks and Bruiser Queen

Tom Smith

tom smith | make green bay weird | nov. 2016

Bruiser QueenThey say the third time is the charm, so I would like to amend my amendment in last month's Frankly Green Bay.

I am no longer picking the Carolina Panthers to win the NFC this season. I am now picking the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC. This is iron clad! Trust me on this; I will not be switching it to the Seattle Seahawks, the Arizona Cardinals or the Dallas Cowboys next month. Though those teams I just mentioned will be the ones that will come closest to making me wrong. Picking the Vikings has nothing to do with the fact that the first football card I ever owned was Fran Tarkenton. The reasons for which I am going with the Vikings include their nasty defense, solid special teams, Sam Bradford doing much better than any of us could have imagined and, quite frankly, I just think it's their year to win the NFC.

As I have stated before, the New England Patriots will win the AFC and the Super Bowl this season. Just think, if the Super Bowl is the Patriots versus the Vikings, the loser will become the first team to lose five Super Bowls. Since last month, when I proclaimed that the Buffalo Bills would basically become a huge dumpster fire, they have reeled off four victories. Well folks, that was part of my master plan. My sources inside the Buffalo Bills organization have clued me in that the locker room talk in Buffalo usually was centered around my column in Frankly Green Bay. I knew that if I predicted the oncoming collapse of the Bills and questioned whether Rex had lost the team, that this would propel them to have their first four-game winning streak in a decade.

In need of a new quarterback for your fantasy football team? I suggest Colin Kaepernick. My logic on this is Kaepernick is betting on himself by restructuring his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick will be highly motivated to have a high level of performance because he will be able to opt out and be a highly sought-after free agent.

I have been going to concerts at arenas since 1983. In the 33 years that have gone by since my first arena concert, Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot, I have seen many great bands put on stellar performances. Until very recently, number one on my list was the Rolling Stones in Milwaukee at the Bradley Center in 2005. You may ask, 'Who is the artist that dethroned the Rolling Stones? Who? Who? Was it the New Day?' No, but it's a good guess. It was the Dixie Chicks with their electrifying show before a sold-out crowd at the Resch Center. I have seen the Dixie Chicks on all three of their previous headlining tours, the last one being in Chicago 10 years ago, and their performance in Green Bay was the best of all four shows. Like a fine wine, they are getting better with age. The visual aspects of their stage show were stunning. The musicianship, as always, was top notch. During their first set change/wardrobe change, the video screens on stage played a footage shot in the style of Sin City with a little Mad Max: Fury Road thrown in, of them racing cars. The soundtrack for this was Dixie Chicks performing an instrumental version of the Motorhead classic “Ace of Spades.” I pretty much freaked out on that, because I love it when two things I really love intersect. I briefly questioned whether they did this for me.

Right before that first set change they played “Goodbye Earl” and the Resch Center just exploded. Greatest song about domestic abuse ever? Hell yeah. I didn't expect the Dixie Chicks to do a song by Beyonce. Don't ask me what song it was by Beyonce, because I don't know any songs by Beyonce. The only thing I know about Beyonce is that I liked her outfit at the Super Bowl last year.

The two hours and five minutes they played just flew by and I wish the concert would have never ended. Missed the opening act, so basically I saw a Prince song open up for the Dixie Chicks. Right before the Dixie Chicks went on, they played “Let's Go Crazy” and the crowd reaction was phenomenal. Everyone stood up and started cheering and applauding. It seemed to me the crowd thought the Dixie Chicks were imminently hitting the stage. About halfway through the song, the crowd started to figure out the Dixie Chicks were not about to start. When the song did end, the crowd still enthusiastically applauded the song, and then the Dixie Chicks came out. So that is why I believe I saw a Prince song open for the Dixie Chicks.

For the record, I have never heard “Let's Go Crazy” at such a high volume. I also noticed a number of cowboy hats at this show, which I guess may be a normal thing for country concerts. I wouldn't know, I don't go to country concerts unless it's the Dixie Chicks, the Run DMC of country music. To me, the cowboy hats made me feel like I was at a Supersuckers show. Another observation was that all the lines for the women's bathrooms were ridiculously long. Not so much for the men's restrooms. Plenty of open urinals and some tumbleweed blowing by. Speaking of the men at the show, it seemed like many of them had this look in their eyes like 'My girlfriend made me come to this show, you too, bud?' Which was very humorous to me, because I'm strolling around in my Sasha Banks t-shirt with a Dixie Chicks shopping bag filled with two different t-shirts (one of them not even black), a deck of Dixie Chicks playing cards and a set of pins. No way in hell was I not going to own an “Earl's In The Trunk” pin. Sadly, no refrigerator magnets like the last tour. The ridiculous amount of money that I paid to see the Dixie Chicks was totally worth it. Yes, the location of the seats was pretty posh. My only regret is that I only saw them once on this tour. At this juncture of the year, my holy trinity of live events is the Dixie Chicks, the Muffs and the Figgs.

In next month's Frankly Green Bay I will be reviewing the new CD by Holly and the Nice Lions, “Your Favorite Ghost.” I just received my copy and my first impressions of this album are great. Holly and the Nice Lions are doing a CD release show on Saturday, November 26 at the Lyric Room. Also appearing are the German Art Students from Madison (featuring Kirk Wall, former Green Bay resident) and Band of Seahorses. The Lyric Room this year has had a number of bands that also played at the late, great Concert Café, the Figgs and the Muffs two of them. This streak continues with the return of the Mr. T Experience to Green Bay. MTX are former recording artists for Lookout Records are arguably one of the greatest pop punk bands of all time. They laid the groundwork and set the stage for their former label mates Green Day to be the huge, worldwide success that they are. The band they're touring with is also no stranger to the Concert Café, The Nobodys. This bill is filled out by Rev. Norb and the Onions and George's Bush, Green Bay's current “it” band. This is going down Saturday, December 10. Tickets available at the Exclusive Company.

Bruiser Queen

Certified PR Records

“Telepathic Mind” b/w “Rainbow in the Dark”

Timebomb Rating: 13 of 13

Certified PR once again validates the continued existence of the state of Florida with the latest 7-inch by the motherfrakking pride of St. Louis, Bruiser Queen. If you love rock 'n' roll and don't know Bruiser Queen yet, well then you just had your own Gary Johnson Aleppo moment. The A side is a newfangled recording of “Telepathic Mind” (an earlier version of this song appeared on the Bruiser Queen cassette of home demos entitled “Let's Fall In Love Again All Over” also on Certified PR). This song is so rocking and toe-tapping inducing I tell you what I would do if time travel was possible (remember the Vulcan Science Directorate has determined that time travel is impossible) I would go back in time and force Alan Freed to play this song and watch the kids dance themselves to death at sock hops nationwide. This song will also be on the next full-length album by Bruiser Queen called “Heavy High” to be released early 2017. The flip side, when I dropped the needle, dropped me because it is a mind-blowing cover of the Dio classic “Rainbow in the Dark.” Trust me on this, if a cover of a Dio song impresses me, it is pure gold and you can take that to Fort Knox. Think if Doro Pesch was born in the Midwest and played guitar in a two-piece duo and was being all sultry and steamy. This song is exclusive to this release. Run don't walk to the closest Record Emporium to purchase this.

Live long and don't forget to vote.

Since 1984, when he first began selling records at Galaxy of Sound inside the Port Plaza Mall, Tom Smith has been part of the Green Bay music scene. Promoting his first show in 1986 and hitting his stride with the Concert Café (1995-2001), Smith continues to promote shows in Green Bay. He first honed his journalistic chops while serving as a student DJ at WGBW, interviewing such icons as Motörhead and the Ramones. Today you can find him championing live music and managing The Exclusive Company in Green Bay.

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