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Walk Hard in concert!

12.06.2007

The excitement was in the air. It was time for a legend to take the stage at the The Roxy on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. There have been many names that have graced this stage, including David Bowie, X, Jane’s Addiction and several others. It is a place of history where the echoes throughout these walls ring with some of the most influential music of the last few decades. But it was this night, when something that surpassed legend was about to spew all over this Hollywood institution. Yes, tonight… everybody wanted Cox.

Okay, maybe that is a bit of an overstatement. The Cox I’m talking about is Dewey Cox, the character that John C. Reilly inhabits in the very funny new film from comedic golden boy Judd Apatow and company, WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY. Directed by Jake Kasdan (who co-wrote with Apatow), the movie is a twisted look at recent music bio pics such as WALK THE LINE and RAY. But tonight, it was only a stepping stone for rock and roller at heart, Mr. Reilly.

His performance as Dewey Cox is surprisingly rich… or not surprisingly since the dude is a damn fine actor. But the real test was whether he could bring the Cox to life on stage, for an hour of music from the film. He started off with the incredibly catchy “Guilty as Charged”. Not one minute failing to exude his Coxness. He continued on with several “classic” tunes as the crown begged for more Cox. The music was raunchy and sometimes politically incorrect, especially when Dewey decided to play his more political numbers including “Dear Mr. President” where he decries that he will stand up for all people who he feels don’t have a voice to the evil Commander in Chief. I think the bouncer I was standing next to might have been offended by some of the lyrics, or else he just was sour all the time.

Another highlight was the wonderfully funny “Let’s Duet”, where he invited the lovely Angela Correa (the true singing voice of Jenna Fischer’s character, Darlene). The tune consist of several double entendres including ““In my dreams you’re blowing me… some kisses.” and of course a nice climax if you will, where she sings that he can always come in her backdoor. It was a lively performance by the two and offered up several laughs from the audience full of press folk and other “VIPs“. Apparently Shirley Manson of Garbage was there, which would have been cool if I had actually seen her.

To say that I was entertained doesn’t do justice to the blast that I had that night. The music, even though the lyrics are silly and sometimes ridiculous, is quite fantastic as was the band supporting him. And Dewey Cox, dressed in a black suit with a red shirt, and numerous silver buckles lined up on his pants, put on one hell of a show. John C. Reilly completely inhabited the character as much as he did in the film, right on down to the encore which he performed shirtless and sweating like any good rock star should. He belted out, “(Have You Heard the News) Dewey Cox Died” and rode it on home. He walked hard… yet this was a live show where he never missed a beat. And best of all, we have some footage for you here so you can rock the Cox yourself.

This was only the beginning for Reilly as he is taking the show on the road. As Cox Across America leads Dewey Cox and the Hard Walkers to Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on December 5, then along to Chicago (December 6 at the Cubby Bear), Austin, Texas (December 7 at Stubb's), Nashville (December 8 at Mercy Lounge), San Francisco (December 10 at the Great American Music Hall), back to Los Angeles (December 10 at Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard) and concluding at New York's Knitting Factory on December 19. And for all of you who can make any of these shows, WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY, which is being released on December 21st, will be screened before each performance. So if you happen to live in any of these areas, I highly recommend you make your way to see the legendary… you know who.

Let me know what you think. Send questions and comments to jimmyo@joblo.com.

Source: JoBlo.com

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