There was only one place to be in Newcastle on a Saturday night, and it was at the O2 Academy for Hayseed Dixieâ€™s sold out show.
Opening the show was acoustic singer/songwriter Tom Copson, playing a combination of original tracks, many of which had been inspired by his recent travels in Australia, along with covers of the likes of “Kiss” by Prince, and “Word Up” by Cameo. Tom was also joined on stage by Brother Jake from Hayseed Dixie who played bass on a couple of numbers.
Hot off the back of their recent appearance on the prestigious BBC’s Later with Jools Holland New Year’s Eve Hootenanny episode, the band made a welcome return to the North East. The anticipation was high as Nashville’s finest rockgrass band took to the stage. For those who have yet to experience rockgrass, it is a sub-genre of bluegrass, which has more hard rock elements to it.
The band comprises of Brother Jake (bass), Johnny Butten (banjo), John Wheeler aka Barley Scotch (guitar/violin/lead vocals) and Hippy Joe Hymas (mandolin).
Hayseed Dixie took the crowd through a superb 90-minute set comprising of their own material, as well as covers of classic rock tracks like you’ve never heard them before, a lot of which feature on their latest album Hair Down To My Grass. The crowd hanging on every word of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”, Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”, and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The band rocked their way through Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and it just worked so well.
The night was brought to a close with the Hayseed’s brilliant DJ Yoda inspired mashup titled, “Hotel Careless Whisper Rider”. It is an all-out rockgrass jam featuring fragments of The Eagle’s “Hotel California”, George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”, and Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”, to name but a few.
Hayseed Dixie were incredibly entertaining, seeing them is not like just going to any old concert.