Rootsy singer-songwriter band rock was the order of the day as a nearly full house welcomed Wade Bowen and Sean McConnell to the Sticky Fingerz stage Friday night. Bowen's reputation obviously preceded him amongst some in the crowd — even opening act McConnell acknowledged that he, too, was excited to see Bowen perform.
With his wide-ranging voice and a tight three-piece band, 23-year-old McConnell needn't have worried. Looking even younger than his years, but sounding older — or at least more jaded — than his years, McConnell's expressive vocals added a bright layer of soul to his songs of cheating, heartbreak and his “obsession with Bob Dylan.” A soulful take on “Folsom Prison Blues” closed out the set.
Waco, Texas, native Bowen later held court with a surprisingly aggressive triple-guitar attack — and a drummer by the name of Brooks Robinson. (Baseball fan parents?) Those cowboy-hatted fans who had been waiting not-so-patiently for their headliner were surely pleased — and those who wondered what the fuss was all about got their taste as well. Bowen's tour continues through Texas this week.