This was one hell of a show.
I had always heard that Koe Wetzel put on a high-energy, raucous live show, but I hadn't had the opportunity to see for myself. That finally changed on July 13th in Virginia Beach.
Koe is a very polarizing figure in the Texas Scene, and rightfully so. His supporters constantly sing his praises, while his detractors refuse to give him any credit. Most of the time, there's a generational split in the opinions on Koe --- with younger people loving him and older fans not so much. I've always counted myself as a pretty big Koe Wetzel fan, but then again, I am 25 years old.
However, I was stoked about getting a chance to experience a Koe Wetzel concert, especially after seeing video clips of many of his Texas shows.
The show was held at Elevation 27 in Virginia Beach, which was a very impressive venue. Firstly, the sound system was phenomenal. It was up there with the 930 Club in DC in terms of sound quality. They also had three conveniently located bars around the venue, meaning you never had to wait in line too long.
East Texas native Chris Colston was the opener. He brought his own brand of Texas-influenced rock n roll to the show, playing a mix of his own songs from his debut EP and some well-known covers. Most notably, he did a rock-tinged cover of Tyler Childers's "Whitehouse Road" that surely got the crowd to going. Colston is definitely one to keep an eye on going forward.
After Colston's set, the crowd was obviously amped up and ready for Koe. That's when the "Koe F'n Wetzel" chants began, and continued at various points throughout the rest of the nights.
Koe then hit the stage. The set started off with a raucous version of "Forever" from his latest offering Harold Saul High. He followed that with "Front Seat Show" and then continued to play one after the other from his latest album and also Noise Complaint. He closed the show with "February 28, 2016" aka the Taco Bell song, which had the whole crowd singing every single word.
Koe lived up to his rock'n'roll persona, that's for sure. He played one up-tempo rocker after the next. However, he also had quite the stage presence throughout the evening. Koe made sure to tell some outrageously tall-tales in between swigs from a bottle of Jack Daniels, of course. This was a straight up rock'n'roll evening.
Koe Wetzel is here to stay, ladies and gentlemen. You just don't see this fervent of a fan base very often. I highly recommend seeing this dude in concert, especially if you're in your 20s. I know I'm 100% going to see Koe when he comes to Charlotte in a few months.