John Pointer owned Antone’s Friday night. Dude was CEO. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’d seen him the night before in a little place called Skinny’s Ballroom and he was good, but the crowd was modest and subdued that night and the venue much more low key than Antone’s. But last night, whoa! Dude was on fire from the minute he hit the stage. That guitar of his is like an old familiar lover – he squeezes her and wrings her out until there’s nothing left to give. At one point he snapped a string and announced he didn’t need that damn thing anyway and launched into the most off the hook brilliant beatbox I’ve ever heard. By the time he was finishing out his set with a soaring interpretation of Kashmir, the audience was in such a frenzy I actually felt sorry for Monte Montgomery who had to come on next as headliner.
It was Monte’s birthday bash that night. His fans LOVE him and he has LOTS of fans. I’m new to town, but had heard he’s a virtuoso and perhaps the best in Austin. For some, he’s the best anywhere. Well, he put his foot straight through my chest within the first 20 seconds, his bottleneck work slicing to shreds any doubt I’d had about him holding his own that night. He’s a master, alright. Nobody blows Monte Montgomery off the stage – not even John Pointer.
My belly was pushed up against the stage – right where I like it – and I can tell you people, inhabiting Planet Monte for a few hours is a mind-bending experience. He was joined onstage by his old buddy, bassist Lonnie Trevino, then by John Pointer for some more crazy off the chain chickin’ pickin’ guitar and beatbox jams. Trevino then strolled back on to assist his old pal in a truly touching rendition of Willin’ by Little Feat. I could go on, but I won’t. See more photos of Monte Montgomery at Antone’s.
Hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed making them. Oh, and a special shout out to Michelle from the front row who offered to let me stow my spare lens in her stiletto.
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