Cowboy Mouth rocked it on 7/15 at Majestic (Madison, WI)

I pity the fools who sit down right before a COWBOY MOUTH show. Any CM non-virgin knows to take to the dance floor well in advance of any possible harassment by CM’s front man and drummer Fred. But at the same time, the couch potatoes are an integral part of the show, because their embarrassment at Fred’s hands (literally) is a joy to watch. Fred will actually stop the show (and by stop I mean repetitiously play a single rock-n-roll riff over and over) if he does not think people are LIVING hard enough.

And that’s a problem in Madison. One of the most entertaining bands from New Orleans comes to Madison to pour out their hearts and souls for us, and Madisonites (with the exception of me, but I’m actually from Cambridge, WI) just stand there like deer in headlights. Oh, they might tap a foot or bob a head here and there. But that just don’t cut it for Fred and COWBOY MOUTH. Oh no! As Fred eloquently informed the crowd, “You only live once…so don’t be shy!” He took every opportunity to verbally spank the people in the balcony who had the nerve to sit down while CM unleashed their 200 proof rock on them. On several occasions Fred entered the crowd with a wireless microphone and physically and mentally coerced people to get their lazy asses onto the dance floor. It was awesome.

COWBOY MOUTH wants their audience to have the best time of their lives. And they are uncompromising. If you are not there to have a good time – nay, THE BEST TIME – then they give you two options: DON’T COME or else change your attitude on the spot, no exceptions. And they put a lot of heart and soul into changing attitudes on Wednesday 7/15/09 at the Majestic Theater in Madison, WI. Resistance was futile and most of Fred’s targets realized this. If any of them attend another CM show, they will be quick to get off their hind quarters as soon as the band takes the stage.

Opening for COWBOY MOUTH was one of my favorite local Madison bands, SUNSPOT, another band who is all about high energy fun and having the best time of your life at a rock show. My band, GUPPY EFFECT, was almost the third band on this bill. Had that been possible, Madison would have been host to THE most rocking rock show it has ever seen.

Even without GUPPY EFFECT, however, the show was non-stop rock-n-roll, booty shakin’ heaven. I did not stop moving from the second I walked in the door during SUNSPOT until a few minutes after COWBOY MOUTH‘s 2-song encore (something they reported never having gotten in Madison before, so good work you dance-phobic but apparently vocally adept Madisonites).


(Courtesy of some dude in front filming it on his phone…)

The Majestic is a great venue. One thing I especially like is how they provide pitchers of ice water at the end of the bar for non-drinkers like myself who get high dancing and having fun, but need to cool off now and then. I realize it is to make less work for the bartenders, but it’s a win-win. Majestic also usually has a “sponsor” for shows, a marketing strategy whereby a local business underwrites a show and gets exposure to a target demographic by having a booth at the show. In this case it was SMART MOTORS from Madison and they were giving away cheap “Scion” t-shirts. Because I was sweating balls from all my rocking out to the bands, I needed a change of shirt. So thanks to SMART MOTORS for that. If I had a million dollars I’d go buy one of your cars right now. Sadly, I’m a poor (albeit hard working) musician.

The room sound was pretty good at this show, if a tad loud. I requested earplugs from the bar, but these were not provided, something I’d encourage them to change. I went with the old lo-fi standby of wet toilet paper in my ears. I guess my only other constructive critique of Majestic would be their security staff. I know they have to be tough guys, but they weren’t very polite to me and I’d recommend they try to improve that. When I asked a couple of questions (like, “Do you know where I can get some earplugs?”) they acted like they were somehow too cool to be talking to someone like me. But all it did was make them look like dicks. Just an observation. Customer service is very important, no matter who you are. On the other hand, the young lady employed by Majestic to (wo)man the merch table was charming and nice and we had a good talk.

I was too into the music to really care, but I felt really sorry for the 50% of the audience at the Majestic (you can’t see them in the video because they are in the dark area behind the dance floor and under the balcony) who refused to move to this great energetic band. There was no excuse. COWBOY MOUTH was as tight as I have ever seen them. Not a biff to be had, and a driving rhythmic groove that never stalled. Fred of COWBOY MOUTH asked everyone in attendance to “spread the word” about party rock-n-roll. That is what I am doing. See COWBOY MOUTH whenever and wherever you can. It is never a disappointment.

Watch SUNSPOT‘s Road Mania blog rendition of the show right here…


(There I am again!)

Now, as for you non-dancing cretins in the audience, I really can’t cuckold you enough. Madison, you are not “too cool” to dance and express yourself. You think you are, but you really aren’t. In fact, you are kind of lame by comparison to say, Seattle, the only place where audiences move LESS than in Madison (I was told by a guy named Matt at the show, who joined me in balls out rocking the house). Are you afraid of making a fool of yourself? Oh man, that is really going to make your life suuuuuuck. A COWBOY MOUTH show is no time to be self-conscious. Why did you come? Just unleash your soul fury! I’m watching you.

I thought I was going to be an “enabler” by getting crazy on the dance floor and leading by example. But Madison music fans have “THE FEAR” when it comes to any signs of extroversion. Maybe it’s the conservative University mindset. Maybe Madisonites are just “too cool” for movement of any kind, I don’t know. Just like the last time I went to COWBOY MOUTH at Majestic, my antics got a few people around me jumping up and down and excited, but most everyone else in the room was a sad, sorry, pathetic soul trapped in a body that wanted to go crazy but couldn’t, or wouldn’t. I pity you people.

You only live once.

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About Cactus Joe

Cactus Joe is a songwriter, producer, performing musician, and free agent in Madison, WI. http://www.cactusjoeproductions.com

Posted on July 17, 2009, in Journal of Cactus Joe. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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