Sunday, August 3, 2008

BIlly Bob Thorton and The Boxmasters

Last night I had the pleasure of going to see Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters at Merrimack Hall.


First of all, have you ever been to Merrimack Hall? If not you are missing out.

Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center

Merrimack Hall, the 25,000 square foot building purchased by Alan and Debra Jenkins in May 2006, was originally built in 1898 and expanded in 1920 by the Merrimack Manufacturing Company, a large textile manufacturer who had two large textile mills and a thriving mill village in Huntsville. Merrimack Hall was home to the Company Store and became the central hub of the village, providing a place for socialization and recreation to all of the village's residents. After nearly 100 years of operation, the Merrimack Mills were demolished in 1992. Today, 269 mill village houses and Merrimack Hall are all that remain of this important part of Huntsville's history.

With renovations complete in June of 2007, Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center now includes a 300-seat, state-of-the-art performance hall, a 3,000 square foot dance studio, and rehearsal and instructional spaces for musicians. Planned activities include a daily schedule of open classes in music, theatre and dance; workshops and master classes in all of the performing arts conducted by guest artists; summer performing arts camps; and regularly scheduled performances and productions. The Jenkins have established Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and are personally funding the purchase and renovation of the building.


With the concert last night, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I mean I knew I was going to experience a concert put on by a band with Billy Bob Thornton in it and I knew that Billy Bob's true passion was music and had been doing it long before he became famous with his film Slingblade. In other words, I didn't know if it would really be any good. I was pleasantly surprised.

When Billy Bob first walks out on stage, he lights a cigarette, and I knew we were in for a treat.

The concert, being held in Merrimack Hall, was small and quaint which made the experience even more awesome. We were about 8 rows back and to the right. The concert hall is set up like a movie theater, that is the best way to describe it.

The boys rocked the house for sure. And it was so loud but worth the ear drum ringing afterwards. The band started about 40 minutes late, but again, worth the wait. They started around 8:40 and we left the concert hall at around 10:30.

Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters first came out and played an hour in their cute little matching suits warming us up with their signature electric hillbilly rock and blues. After their break they all came back on stage wearing their own street clothes and you got the sensation that things were fixin' to get even louder and we were about to throw down. And we did.

Everyone ended up standing on their feet cheering, clapping, dancing, whistling, and hootin' and hollerin', present company included. They ended with about a 15 minute encore that just rocked the house completely. It was amazing. I will definitely go back to Merrimack Hall for more entertainment.

Thank you Billy Bob and The Boxmasters for coming to Huntsville and putting on a two night concert event. They released their debut self-titled 2-CD set on June 10 of this year.

I just thought it was awesome that they came to little ole Huntsville and did a two-nighter with us. Then again, he is a good ole southern boy after all. And this was NOT his first time to visit us at Merrimack Hall. He was here last summer too.

Thanks Billy Bob, you rock.


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Man, the south is gettin' all fancy and artsy. LOL.


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c.a. Marks
http://alabamaimproper.com
http://colormehuntsville.com
http://blog.al.com/color-me-huntsville/

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