Last night (Friday, December 20, 2013) we had the opportunity to catch Dwight Yoakam show at Houston’s Arena Theater. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the best, I would give his singing an easy 9.5; this guy is terrific. For energy, another 9.5 is well deserved. He came out, started to play, and went just about non stop until the end of his show. The only time he took any time between songs is when he was changing guitars. Otherwise, it was end a song, count to 21, and start the next one. He was pretty much like the Energizer Bunny the entire evening.
In the category of punctuality, he was definitely a solid 2. He start almost 45 minutes late. No one ever said why. They were scheduled to start at 8:00 PM. In reality, he started to sing around 8:45 PM; not cool. However, for some reason, everyone who performs at the Arena Theater manages to start 30 to 90 minute behind schedule. We have now seen 4 shows there and only one of them started even close to on-time.
Finally, there the issue of volume. He had lots of volume and the volume slowly increased as the show progressed. It wasn’t just loud either. It was muffled, like it had too much bass turned up. I will never understand why a group needs that much power in a small venue like the Arena Theater. The way they were cranking it up, you would think they were playing in Reliant Stadium.
I can’t believe a well season professional like Mr Yoakam doesn’t realize he is doing himself and injustice playing at those sound level. His music and his vocals are both excellent, there just wasn’t a need to be able to hear them in the next county.
As for the Arena Theater, it’s old but nice. In most cases, we enjoy going there. Parking is pretty straightforward, seats are OK, and the popcorn is not too bad. If they had a solution for the drunks at the end of the night, it would be a top notch place to see bands.