VENUE: 8 Seconds Saloon - Indianapolis, IN
REVIEWER/PHOTOGRAPHER: Jason Evans
Country music superstar Joe Diffie has had an amazing and successful career. Diffie has had success with twenty top ten hits and thirteen number one hits just to mention a few. Joe has one of the most recognizable voices in country music and was recently the subject of a hit song performed by Jason Aldean called 1994.
The 8 Seconds Saloon in Indianapolis, IN played host to Joe Diffie on Sunday night 4/12/15. Most of the fans filled the reserved seating area, while others were kicking up their boots on the dance floor and the rest standing and filling in where they could. Joe participated in a meet and greet before the show with a long line of VIP holders, fan club members and contest winners. I was lucky enough to be one of those guests and I must say Joe and his tour manager, Eric, were both great guys as they were very friendly and also gracious to those who were covering the show for the night. As the meet and greet concluded, it was finally show time and Joe would prepare to take the stage!
As the radio DJ's announced Joe to the crowd, the stage lights kicked on and a medley of his song clips played across the speakers as they counted down to his taking the stage with his first song of the night, "3rd Rock From the Sun", immediately followed by "Next Thing Smokin". He would continue on with his hits "C-O-U-N-T-R-Y", "So Help Me Girl" and one of my personal favorites "Pickup Man". With each song played, the crowd returned the love with lots of cheers and hoot'n and hollerin'. The 8 Seconds Saloon was a fun environment with great times being had by some great country people. Joe's guitarist, Shane Sutton kicked off a lick to Merle Haggard's "Workin' Man Blues". However, this was not a country style "Workin' Man Blues". Shane added his own bluesy twist of soulfulness to his version, which was captivating.
Joe wouldn't allow soul or blues take over his stage for long though as he went right into "Texas Sized Heartache" and "The Devil Danced in Empty Pockets". You can't get much more traditional than that! Joe would go from the 1990 classic to talking about Jason Aldean's 2013 hit "1994" which is a celebration of the artist that is Joe Diffie. Joe would talk about how honored he was to have a song written featuring he and his career and performed a portion of "1994" for the crowd. Joe even performed some of the hick hop style of music with a song titled "Girl Ridin' Shotgun" which he created a video for with D-Thrash of Jawga Boyz. The video has had over six million youtube views.
With so many hit songs, you will get your money's worth at a Joe Diffie concert! It seemed like the music would never stop. Joe and his band also played covers of Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors" as well as a George Jones cover. Joe performed "My Give a Damn's Busted", a song that he had written but passed on recording which went on to become a big hit for Jo Dee Messina. Joe's bass player showed off his own vocals during a cover of The Band's song, "The Weight (Take A Load Off Annie)" and was joined by a mystery harmonica player from the crowd who would eventually be escorted off by security once it was realized that he wasn't supposed to be up there.
The show neared it's end as Joe sent out a thank you to our military veterans and performed "Ships That Don't Come In" followed by the uptempo fun song "Good Brown Gravy". Joe took the time to introduce his talented band members who backed him up on the stage all night as Joe himself was under the weather the entire show. Joe mentioned to the crowd that he was taking antibiotics because he was under the weather, however no one could tell by the sound of his voice as he sang everything flawless in typical Joe Diffie fashion. With an interpretation of Willie Nelson, Joe broke into the lyrics of "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox" and interacted with the crowd, asking them to guess his interpretation and everyone would yell "Willie Nelson!" and sarcastically he would deny it and say "No, it was Jim Nabors! I guess I will keep working on it". Joe finished the night with "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox" and then followed it with "John Deere Greene", waving to the crowd and left the stage. With encouraging cheers and applause from the crowd, Joe returned for an encore performance of "Bigger than The Beatles".
If you have a chance to go see Joe Diffie in concert, you need to go! As I said, the man has so many hits and other recognizable songs that you will find yourself singing along to every word all night!
Take time to visit www.joediffie.com for more information, merchandise and tour schedule for an upcoming performance in your area!
- Jason Evans
Follow Jason on Twitter at @j_evansphotos