JD At Viper Room

Jesse blows up the Viper Room Anniversary!

Photos and review by Frank Mojica  Following a recent tour in support of punk rock band X frontman John Doe, Jesse Dayton returned to West Hollywood on a cool Tuesday night, bringing some Texas style heat to the famous Viper Room.  A true outsider, Dayton left the major label system to release music on his own Stag Records. Onstage, his rebellious spirit shone through an eight song set of energetic, old school rockabilly and honky tonk. In a city where various flavors of indie rock dominate the small venues night after night, Dayton’s vintage country rock sound was a refreshing change of pace. Dayton is not your kid’s Nashville pop country—he keeps it real. Backed by drums, a stand-up bass and a steel guitar, the Austin countryman strummed and hollered like an old school outlaw and supported his fierce guitar licks with a swinging showmanship. In addition to scooting along, loyal fans in the crowd brought Dayton drinks and exclaimed statements of their approval.  Between songs, Dayton dropped quotable quips, including, “I’m sweating like Dick Cheney at a Dixie Chicks concert” and “Every time you watch the Kardashians, a book dies.” Following a blistering cover of The Cars’ “Just What I Needed,” Dayton went into somber mode with “Miss Victoria,” a stirring tribute to his childhood nanny. After “Miss Victoria,” Dayton remarked, “Thank you for letting me do that hillbilly shit on the Sunset Strip,” before invigorating the crowd with a raw, dirty, booze-soaked rendition of “I’m At Home Gettin’ Hammered, While She’s Out Gettin’ Nailed.” And to Mr. Dayton, I say thank you for bringing “that hillbilly shit” to the city.

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