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WebbFest X (10)
Webb Fest X (10) was held in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday November 14th, 2015 at the Exit/In at 9PM
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Webb Fest X (10) was held in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday November 14th, 2015 at the Exit/In at 9PM

A review thanks to Nashville Scene (click
here for original)

Set list for WebbFext X (10)

1st set (WW Trio- WW, Tom, Jimmy)
1 No Great Shakes
2 Big Time
3 If It Aint Broke
4 How Long Can She Last (Goin' That Fast?)
5 I Gotta Move
6 Only A Fool
7 Yard Dog
8 Ju Ju Man
9 Lucy Mae
10 Carryin' The News To Mary
11 Lonely Blue Boy
12 Everyday ( I Kick Myself)
13 Pretty Is As Pretty Does
14 Human Cannonball

2nd set (with George Bradfute- guitar)
1 Poolside
2 Pretty Little Lights Of Town
3 King Of The Hill
4 I'm Burnin'
5 Hittin' Where It Hurts
6 I'm Not Just Anybody's Fool
7 Stay Out Of Automobiles
8 Slow Death
9 Who Will The Next Fool Be?
10 Sittin' Pretty
11 (I'm A) Lover Not A Fighter
12 Louisiana Hannah
13 The Rest (Will Take Care Of Itself)
14 Tough It Out
15 It Takes Time
16 Baby Please Don't Go

Onstage at Exit/In Saturday night for the eponymous Webb Fest X, Webb Wilder peered out from beneath his perfectly placed hat, squinted through his glasses and mused: "We used to have crowds so big here, we'd have to hire our own security."

Significant parts of Wilder's first album It Came From Nashville were recorded in this very room nearly 30 years ago, and the crowds have thinned from the heyday of Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks in the ’80s, when cow punks, Gen X-tonkers, the curious-looking and the curious onlookers would cram into Exit/In and The Sutler and other staple clubs in Nashville's bubbling Reagan-era alt-country scene.

But The Last Of The Full-Grown Men is even more fully grown now. The idle youth for which the singer was once the self-proclaimed idol aren't as youthful as they once were. He definitely needs those glasses now. But Wilder and his band — playing the first set of the night as a power trio with regular guitarist Bob Williams attending to a family matter; former member George Bradfute “The Tone Chaperone” joined Wilder, bassist Tom Comet and drummer Jimmy Lester for the second set — brought back the wonders of those glory days. Wilder & Co. opened with shout-along show staple "No Great Shakes," encapsulating exactly what people in Nashville and beyond have loved about Wilder for years: his ability to write funny, poignant songs that bat around and unravel cliches like a cat playing with a ball of yarn, and whipping together the classic craft of roots with a swampy swirl of rock ’n’ roll, making music like the comeback sauce his home state of Mississippi is famous for.

Webb Fest started a decade ago on a whim — a surprise appearance by Wilder at a party hosted by a longtime superfan — and has evolved into an annual event, rotating around the country's midsection. But this was the first time for the fest to be held in Nashville, where much of The Legend of Webb was forged, and Exit/In was the perfect venue for a two-and-a-half-hour-plus frolic through the rocker’s rollicking catalog.

The sets heavily featured cuts from Wilder’s latest, Mississippi Moderne — another long-playing helping of classic Wilder wordplay, with a title simultaneously referencing a retro-future-retro architecture style and a Magnolia State vowel-mauling pronunciation. Like the singer’s best work, the songs are nostalgic without sounding dated; old-sounding but not anachronistic. Moderne, if you will.

Wilder even made the album’s covers his own. There was The Kinks' "I Gotta Move," introduced with a story of a young Wilder hearing the Britpop progenitors and their North London accents for the first time — he thought the Davies' brothers were "drunk Puerto Ricans." Then there was a tune from obscure Mississippi garage-rockers One Way Street, and Conway Twitty's "Lonely Blue Boy," on which Wilder, delightfully reminding us that Twitty was a rocker before he was a countrypolitan crooner, played a Flying V.

Because Wilder exists in a place where’60s Britpop, Southern-tinged proto-garage and genre-straddling roadhouse rock all rise and converge, none of the covers felt out of place or forced when slotted alongside Wilder originals. The plaintive pleas of a boy in love with a fast girl in "How Long Can She Last (Going That Fast)," with its gospel call-and-response middle-eight; the shotgun-blast ass-kicker "Hittin' Where It Hurts," with its oddly-numerous poultry metaphors; the crowd-pleasing "Human Cannonball," which plays homage to Austin, Texas, and Gibsonton, Fla.,in the same power-packed four minutes; and the cheeky red-dirt stomper "Tell Me Why, Charlene." Though he always lacked the dervishness of his era-mate Jason Ringenberg, Wilder's always had the licks and chops and stage presence — wearing a fuck-you blue blazer Saturday, he ensured all eyes were on him — to keep the audience at the edge of frenzy or at rapt attention.

And when he sings ballads, or plays the part of crestfallen desperado in "Only a Fool," or the gleefully resigned and dumbstruck puppy dog in "I'm Not Just Anybody's Fool.” the rich molasses of his warm baritone tests the tensile strength of the steeliest heartstrings.

Wilder may never test the nerves of the fire marshal with his Exit/In shows again, but at Webb Fest X, when he's preaching to the converted, the pious turn up their faces and turn up their voices and turn up whenever he asks to rock hard.