Jackyl • May 05, 2023 • OCC Roadhouse — St. Petersburg, FL • Photos by Randy Cook — instagram.com/horns_raised
JACKYL LIVE REVIEW
Jackyl | May 5, 2023 | OCC Roadhouse – Clearwater, FL
By Randy Cook.
Jackyl blew the roof off the OCC Roadhouse in Clearwater, FL on Friday, May 5th, 2023. Their blend of hair metal meets southern rock was the specialty of the rock menu for this day. I knew exactly what I was in for along with everyone else in attendance this evening. Some kick ass rock and roll delivered to an energized and approving crowd. This is such a fun band to see live, and lead singer Jesse James Dupree is quite the showman on stage.
This was my third ‘official’ time seeing the band live. I say official because I know there was a time prior when I saw them but I have no idea when it was, although I have clues. Being the statistical perfectionist that I am, I have to keep an asterisk on that count in my concert history list and Jackyl is not the only band with an asterisk. I have been a fan of this band since I discovered their self-titled debut album. Released in 1991 and I am certain that I discovered the band soon after as I recall a specific life event of mine in early 1993 that to this day still makes me think of their song “The Lumberjack”. Conversely, anytime I hear that song, the same mentioned life event of mine comes to visualization in my mind.
I arrived early enough to have quite the prime spot right at the rail in front of where lead guitarist Jeff Worley would be. Jackyl hit the stage exactly on time to an already loud crowd responding how ready we were. “Blast Off” is the band’s staple opening number and it was a Friday night rock n roll party the instant those first notes hit our ears.
I had quite the prime spot for photos and I tried to remember the golden rule that photos do not turn out well when I am headbanging at the same time. The band played an incredibly spirited seventeen song set list that included many of my all-time favorite Jackyl songs. “My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine’s Ass” is hard not to sing along with as well as “Just Because I’m Drunk” is one I had to put the camera down for those few minutes because it is an anthemic sing along for me. So many of their songs are a walk down memory lane for me, pretty much anything off of the first album mentally sends me back to being a young twenty three year old, so for much of this evening I was transported back to that time in my life.
Sadly with my stage facing positioning, bassist Roman Glick did not venture over to my side of the stage at all, and likewise for Jeff to venture to his opposite side but I was able to get some great shots of Roman in action holding down the rhythm section with drummer Chris Worley. Jesse kept the party going in between songs encouraging the crowd to join him in a drink to our founding fathers and how their responses between each other when asked to share drink and smoke amongst themselves was a resounding “Hear, hear!” and how we all have the love of Benjamin Franklins in our pockets.
Some of their songs are full pun intended sexual innuendos and Jesse offered any of the ladies whose dates may not be able to rise to the occasion that he was staying in room 329 of the local Holiday Inn which leads into “Dirty Little Mind” and with a turn of my head looking back there are lots of ladies in the crowd who do indeed have dirty little minds by some of the dancing and body gyrating I witnessed.
The band played spot on covers of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band” and Hank Williams’ Jr’s “A Country Boy Can Survive” and both of those songs were as much fun as the band’s originals. It is not just the transportation back to my party days inside of me that makes this such a fan band to see live but the fact that seeing Jackly is a party in itself. We all came together this evening to escape the realities of life and be bonded together through music.
To close out the evening and for their grand finale, Jackyl always closes out the show with their song “The Lumberjack” which brings out one of Jesse’s favorite toys, the chain saw. That was one of the disbeliefs among my group of friends all those years ago when I said “…dudes, you gotta check this song out where there’s a freaking chainsaw solo in place of a guitar solo!” Remember that sharing a song was not as easy as sending a YouTube link back then so it was always us gathering and listening to music and enjoying drink and smoke (Hear, hear!) so that is one reason why I associate this as such a party band beyond the fact that their live shows are incredibly fun and never disappoint. This evening, not only was the sacrificial stool dismembered by Jesse and his weapon of choice, they added a new wrinkle this time by setting the stool on fire as well. It was a great way to close out the show and the band stayed on stage for a few minutes after to take photos with the winner of a raffled off band autographed chain saw.
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