Live: Texas Hippie Coalition in Pittsburgh

Well my good friends, it has been a long time since I’ve given you a review for anything, but I’m sure you noticed that things are returning to normal in so many ways that I felt it was time to start reviewing some shows once again. I also know that you’re really going to like who I’m gonna do first. It’s going to be those fine southern gentlemen of the almighty Texas Hippie Coalition. Texas Hippie Coalition was absolutely fucking incredible, but let me take a moment to give their openers Yigga Digga a shout out. These guys were totally awesome from their first note to their last and their drummer, Scott Pegram was solid as a rock and laid down the perfect back beat to their songs, kicking it into high gear and laying down killer double kick whenever needed. Their bass player, Bill Colflesh also laid down some funky licks that were just what the doctor ordered too. Guitarist Chris Semonik told a story with his axe and the riffs he had written not only told a story, but they gave the songs a sense of life and purpose; They simply flowed like a raging river, one flowing into the next. He even sang a couple of songs which showcased that he is a man of many talents. The real surprise was singer/guitarist Tom Dillon, who vocals sent shivers down my spine. He has a deep guttural growl that sounds like the devil himself and it wasn’t just his voice either, it was the way in which he worked the crowd and the swagger he carried himself with. This is definitely a band to keep your eye on. I expect big things from these guys…BIG. From the opening crack of the snare drum in “Hands Up” it was quite obvious that Texas Hippie Coalition was here to kick ass and take names. They were off and in serious business and their drummer Joseph Mandingo pounded away at the skins like a total madman. I have never seen a drummer who made it his business to entertain the crowd quite like him before in my life. He played both sitting and standing, but the thing that really got me was when he spun his head in a circle while playing, his enormous head of hair actually hiding the drum kit from view. At the same time bassist Rado Romo was running around the stage like a man possessed, thrashing his head about in a way that would kill the average man. He was the most watchable bassist I’ve seen in a while. He made it a habit to puff on his inhaler in between songs when Big Daddy Rich was talking to the crowd. I wonder what it was that he was puffing on? Then there was the dual guitar duo of Nevada Romo and Cord Pool. The two of them where everywhere, always playing off of one another each one periodically stepping up on the speakers to rip out another furious guitar solo. They both played well beyond their years, both physically and mentally. I can’t think of any other two guitarists that play that well together and they are writing killer songs- well beyond their years it terms of quality and flow. Then there was Big Daddy Rich. Good lord where do I even begin with this man? He is the epitome of a rock and roll front man, but he is so much more than that. He is a natural leader for this band of youngsters and he is a spokesman for everything that he loves, which is his fans, women, the music he plays and the almighty THC. No, I don’t mean Texas Hippie Coalition, I mean good old cannabis, or pot if you’d prefer. When I think of Big Daddy Rich I think of Jerry Garcia, two good old stoners puffing away and telling funny stories. Which is exactly what he did in between songs, told funny stories that had you laughing so hard you thought you pissed your fucking pants. All of this thrown in with classics like “8 Seconds,” “Dirty Finger” and “Turn It Up” alongside newer tracks like “Moonshine” and “Stevie Nicks,” which had a hysterical story attached to it. Then came their closer “Pissed Off And Mad About It.” It began with Big Daddy Rich telling more stories, all of which had a good point or meaning behind them. Then they jammed the song which got a huge response from the crowd. Everyone there screaming PISSED OFF AND MAD ABOUT IT at the top of their lungs. Then he thanked everyone for coming to the show and walked out to the merch booth where he spent time with everyone signing things and posing for pictures. A very good night had drawn to a close. -Eric Hunker