David Allan Coe – John’s Alley, Moscow, ID – 9-26-10
Review and pictures by thenaturalstoner
I must admit, coming into tonight’s David Allan Coe concert in Moscow, Idaho I was not very familiar with the country legends musical catalog. I had heard some of the stuff he did with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings and a few other things, but never was a super fan. However, tonight I was ready to let loose, let my inner cowboy fly and enjoy a night on the town with only 400 outlaw country music fans from the Pacific Northwest (in a hippie bar no less!!!). Sadly, this night was one for the record books, in a not so great way.
About 8pm we were standing outside the bar when I noticed David Allan Coe driven up in his Suburban (with Texas plates) and parked immediately in front of John’s Alley Tavern. The 71 year old was getting dropped off a few minutes after 8pm and was helped into the bar and up on the stage by his wife and a walker. I was the only one who seemed to notice him walking by and I gave him a “Thanks for coming David” and didn’t even get a passing glance. The old bastard just walked past me and up to the stage, not giving one shit about anyone else. This set a tone for the night that was only enhanced about 60 minutes later.
Coe walked on the stage and belted out a bunch of classic tunes, including “If that Ain’t Country”, “Jack Daniels, If you Please” and “Willie, Waylon and Me” and the crowd, mostly white cowboys and cowgirls from the nearby Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest was loving every minute of it. Beers were flowing, lots of stage banter and swearing (“Mother fucker” was a huge hit all night) and this little hippie bar was in full fledged hoe-down mode. Coes “only son” was on guitar and his wife was singing backup on most of the tunes. I was even having a BLAST and really having a good time along with everyone else.
A couple more songs passed and then a mostly classic rock medley ensued including “Cant You See”, “Drift Away” and “Only God Knows Why” (see Kid Rock with Trey Anastasio’s version here) and more “Mother Fucker”s were dropped and the crowd was lapping it up. Coe talked about his regular occurring relationship with Kid Rock, recording an album with Dimebag Darrell, and then played one more song.
It was at this point David Allan Coe said Goodnight to us all and (with help of course) limped off the stage and back into his Suburban. His band played a couple more minutes and then left the stage as well. Everyone looked around, waiting for a second set or at least an encore, did some “DAVID ALLAN COE” chants, and was left hanging high and dry. Coe had left, wasn’t coming back, and no one expected that at all. I looked at a phone next to me and the time was 9:07, barely an hour after he had walked on to the stage. This was easily the shortest concert I have ever been to in my 30 years of life. (Side note: The only other one even close was a Derek Trucks Band gig I saw at this exact same bar in Moscow about 5 years ago).
The bar staff was bewildered, having been told to expect TWO one hour sets. I talked to one of the main bar crew and he was livid. “I guess the lesson here is to not book old dying death bed country acts anymore”, and was super-ticked because of all the lost bar revenue. The place was emptying out and it wasn’t even 9:30 yet. I heard one guy say “I feel like I’m being raped”. It was a rowdy scene and these were cowboys here, not John’s Alleys normal peaceful hippies. People were pissed and the stage crew just broke down the stage like nothing else mattered. David Allan Coe was long gone and everyone else was left hanging $25 cheaper.
Later we found out his Spokane and Boise shows both got the same 60 minute treatment, making me wonder why anyone pays decent cash to go see this guy if this is a normal thing. I consider this a lesson learned and tonight just reinforced why I love so many of the great bands that I do. Bands that put out two sets (or one nice long set) are who deserve our money. Not old country hacks looking to make a quick buck on the way to the next gig.
And where were the old vulgar songs, the ones that made you a celebrity Dave. That’s what I was hoping to hear. BOOOO on you all around Mr. Coe. Well, except for when you WERE actually on stage, that was actually kinda pretty fun.