Butch Walker & The Black Widows: Bolder And Better

Butch Walker & The Black Widows
House of Blues – Chicago, IL
May 9, 2010

Butch Walker The Black Widow Chicago

Butch Walker is one hell of a songwriter, I can tell you that. Even if you are not digging whatever song he wrote, you have to admit that the guy has great stage presence live in concert. Nobody in their right mind could deny the fact that Butch Walker obviously loves what he does for a living. It is blatant in the way he sings his heart out while playing his guitars so roughly that the strings break repeatedly. Walker started off the night seated behind the keyboard. From here he performed three tunes with just his voice and the black and white keys beneath his fingers providing the music. Once finished with his stint at the piano, Walker sauntered over to the microphone waiting to be utilized at center stage. Walker proceeded to pick up an acoustic guitar and played one more song solo before The Black Widows walked out to join the frontman for the rest of the evening.

More photos of Butch Walker after the jump…

Set List / Chicago

(in no particular order)

Passed Your Place, Saw Your Car, Thought Of You


Be Good Until Then

Pretty Melody

Here Comes The…

She Likes Hair Bands

Ponce De Leon Ave.

Trash Day

They Don’t Know What We Know

The 3 Kids In Brooklyn

Temporary Title

The Weight Of Her

Closer To The Truth And Further From The Sky

Once The Black Widows were enlisted to play along with their band leader, the party was officially launched into high gear. Not to offend any Walker fans, but I am not that entertained by his slower tunes where he is accompanied by just the keyboard or guitar. On the other hand, I absolutely adore his uptempo compositions and could watch the man play his faster material all night long. Walker’s latest release I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart includes a few midtempo tunes reminiscent of what you would find on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. One clear stand out track from Walker’s new record is “Pretty Melody,” which particularly reminds me of “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes and I dare you to disagree.

“Trash Day” is another favorite of mine from I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart. The tune begins with the lyrics: Trash day in Beverly Hills / All the sad little mommas with their happy little pills / They flirt with the lawn boys as they clean out the pools / While the Mexican nannies take the children to school / So much to be and nothing to do / How did it ever end up that way? I could not have put it better myself when describing how so many women live in the 90210 zip code.

The only element that could have made the show just a bit more awesome would have been if P!nk was present to sing vocals on “Here Comes The…” with Walker. The fierce and feisty singer makes a guest appearance on Walker’s previous album Sycamore Meadows, which is always a welcome surprise in my opinion. Love P!nk. That woman is the ultimate fun, fearless, female artist out there. “She Likes Hair Bands” recalls Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” mixed with a slight tinge of P!nk’s “Mean.” But all this similarity is to be expected seeing as how Walker has collaborated with both Weezer’s songwriter Rivers Cuomo and P!nk, co-writing and producing various songs and records by both artists.

Unfortunately, Walker did not play my absolute favorite song of his: “Vessels.” If this tune off Sycamore Meadows had been included in the band’s set last Sunday night, I would have left the House of Blues completely satisfied with Walker’s Chicago gig. Although the concert was somewhat shy of being 100% sold out, Walker & The Black Widows had no issue whatsoever giving 110% of their energy, talent, and skills to the audience for two solid hours. Originally planned as an hour and a half set, Walker mentioned multiple times that he was having too much fun to leave. Ending the night dancing and singing along with the crowd on the main floor, Walker undoubtedly favors audience interaction during his live show.

From a fan’s perspective, Walker is a dream come true. Not familiar with Butch Walker & The Black Widows? Check out the band live in concert and you will find yourself an enthusiast of the singer/songwriter/producer, the music he pens, and the musicians he tours with. I guarantee it.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

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  1. Katy says:

    Nice! I love the part about the guitar strings haha


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