The night began with beer, middle fingers, rooster tattoos and even more beer.
As the temperature dropped to below freezing outside, the heat began to rise inside Tumbleweed Dance Hall once Giovannie and the Hired Guns started their set. They were opening for Kody West. Giovannie got the crowd energized with his hit song “Rooster Tattoo.”
Giovannie and the Hired Guns have a large following in their own right. With over 60,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, the young stars are from right outside of Dallas have a bright future in the industry, and they’re keeping busy. Giovannie are getting ready to go on a two-month nation-wide tour. They’ll be hitting Yukon and Ardmore on Feb. 14 and 15 and rounding their tour out at Calffry in Stillwater this May.
As an invigorated crowd gave the opening performance a standing ovation, the anticipation in the room only continued to grow. As folks attending the concert started to become noticeably drunk and dizzy, West and his band began setting up their equipment on stage. Only minutes away from the show starting, people began flooding the stage, leaving every crevasse of Tumbleweed not in the band vicinity empty.
West and his band performed 19 songs including five unreleased tracks from their upcoming album “Overgrown.” They began with the title track from their 2017 album “Green” and ended with their most listened to song off the same album, “Million Miles.” The band also played what West said was his favorite song to perform right now, a cover of “Wish You Were Here,” by “Incubus.”
As the concert persisted, some of the crowd slowly began migrating to the dance floor, others more rapidly to the nearest trash can. Although alcohol has a reputation of slurring speech, a couple of concert goers were willing to talk to give their opinions on Kody West and why they decided to come out to Tumbleweed.
Josh Edmundsberger, a musician from Cushing, said he was really excited when he heard that Kody West and Giovannie and the Hired Guns would be coming to town and couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
“I’m here to see Kody West and Giovannie and the Hired Guns, two guys I’ve never seen before, couple of bad-ass guys.”
Tyler Miller, an agricultural communications senior, explained that he was not only at the concert to see Kody West, but also to expand on experiences he has through the help of Tumbleweed. Miller explained that he helped coordinate all social media platforms for “Calffry” in 2019, and how that experience has helped him.
“I learned how to do a lot, I was working with pretty much everything Adobe Sweeps, I got a lot of experience with it,” Miller said, “The guys here at the Tumbleweed are really, really awesome, you know; they facilitate all your needs.”
The Tumbleweed is a country music institution for Stillwater. Bands like West’s like to perform there because of the atmosphere.
“I love Stillwater, it’s that college environment of Oklahoma that we get to experience, we have that in Texas obviously but in Oklahoma, for us, it’s a new kinda territory.” West said, “We’ve played in different places in Oklahoma but now we’re starting to get up to the college markets.”
West has many different influences in his music, and it would be short-sighted to label him as just one of them. Although Kody West falls under the country category, there is much more to their band than just that. Alternative rock has also had a big impact on the group.
“We all kind of grew up in the same generation, so we have a lot of that 2000’s alt rock in us.” West said. “Right now, I am playing music that I love playing, and that’s most satisfying, it makes soundcheck fun, it makes playing shows fun, I love what I do.”
West and the band are headed home to Dallas until Feb. 5 when they will be kicking off their tour in St. Louis.