Jackyl Live In Ft. Wayne, IN

By Rachel Miller, Contributor
Monday, August 5, 2002 @ 10:14 AM

Jackyl Jacks Up Piere's In Ft.

- advertisement -
Jesse James Dupree.. Rock Me... Roll Me... Jackyl Me Off... you just got yourself a converted fan.

Jackyl may alienate some concertgoers with their redneck antics, but if you're from south of the Mason-Dixon line, enjoy Pabst Blue Ribbon, sex and hard rock, this is band for you. A branch off the Ted Nugent tree of rock, they can easily be dismissed as "dumbass hicks," but I think they just might be the dirty secret of rock, for Jesse James Dupree and the boys sure know how to serve up a sultry dish of southern fried rock.

With their major release debut in 1992 and since, they have built a devoted following. Displaying unbelievable work ethnic, their relentless touring has enabled them solidify a place on the rock radar. They have been playing local bars and small venues for years. Consistency reigns in Jackyl, where they haven't wavered from their southern roots, which is refreshing in a world of music where bands change with the trends to make a buck.

I do have to admit, I was a little reluctant with Jackyl. When I saw them perform in June at Verizon Wireless, I was impressed with them, but not overwhelmed. In retrospect, that’s because a major venue is not where this band shines. Their true grit should be seen in a smaller venue and the small rock club, Piere's, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, was the perfect host.

After standing an hour and a half about three rows back, Jackyl was ready to hit the stage and a guy pushed me up to the second row. Whoever you are, God bless you. I got the best view in the house.

The first thing you notice is how striking lead singer Jesse James Dupree is. Long thick blondish-brown hair falls off his shoulders, draping over a black Harley-Davidson t-shirt onto his guitar. His stunning eyes accent a smile that hints of someone full of "piss and vinegar." And well... that voice. He screams, he cackles and dammit all to hell, he’s up there pouring his heart out into every song.

Since I haven't mentioned it, this is Indiana in the summertime and if you haven't had that experience, it’s a bitch of humidity and heat. It had been a very hot day and night didn't bring any relief. So I here I am, packed shoulder to shoulder with about 400 people in a venue that couldn't turn the A/C up high enough. Now, there is something that happens to humans when confronted with heat. You get a little crazy, a little hot and bothered you could say. And Jackyl being Jackyl, picked right up on that. Hailing from Georgia, I'm sure Jesse James knows a few things on what heat can do to a person, or in this case, a crowd.

They ripped through, "I Stand Alone," "Down on Me," "When Push Comes to Shove,” When Will It Rain,” and “Redneck Punks.” After toasting us with Pabst Blue Ribbon and sloshing through "Secret of the Bottle," we got a sexual diatribe that instructed the men to be sure to take their women to the store for more "batteries." They launched into "Dirty Little Mind," and a song left out of the set when I had seen them before, "She Loves My Cock." At this point, drummer Chris Worley is in his underwear, guitarist Jeff Worley is humping the amp and bassist Roman Glick, as well as Jesse James, are drenched through their jeans with sweat. Jeff Worley had to actually wipe the sweat off his guitar as he played. Now that's freakin' hot, in more ways than one.

The heat coupled with their already sexual songs made a potent combo. Jesse James’ vocals were right on, the playing was tight and it was a very good set. The encore, as expected, was "The Lumberjack." Jesse brought out the stool and chainsaw to a loud chorus of cheers. Before the song, Jesse got on the stool and carved "Jackyl" into a ceiling tile of Piere's and ended with lighting the stool on fire and breaking it into pieces. A 12-gauge shotgun doubles as Jesse's mike stand and he shot it off right above my head, which I'm pretty sure caused the people in first five rows to suffer from some hearing loss.

By the end of set, I was dripping in sweat myself and stumbled into the outer commons for some air. Boy, I sure needed a cigarette after that.

Tesla was awesome as always. The set was almost exactly the same as the last few times I had seen them, with a cover of “War Pigs,” and the classic tunes and radio hits. They seemed at "home" and much more laid-back than when I had seen them at a larger venue. It was a good set and they all were laughing and smiling, (even Tommy who usually doesn't) and when I met them backstage they were all laughing and having a great time. It was good to see, considering they have been on tour for a long time and are probably a bit road weary. This shortened version of the Rock Never Stops tour was great and I would have to say my favorite so far. I think the bigger then venue, the more sometimes a band holds back. Go see these two bands... and if possible, catch it at a one-off date at a small venue.

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