The Aggie Theatre on Friday night received an attitude readjustment from Jonny Lang.
Lang, who has been playing professionally for more than 10 years, played to an overwhelmed and sold-out crowd. Although the ticket price cut into concertgoers' pockets at $30 apiece, Lang's performance kept the audience's mind on the music throughout the show.
Lang's style, which is steeped in a tradition of blues, rock and jazz all intertwined into a whirlpool of sounds, didn't make it in the door. Instead, there were chairs waiting in the shadows where the musicians would sit down to play an all-acoustic set. For an hour and a half Jonny Lang did what most musicians have never been able to do – keep the crowd from turning against him while strumming his acoustic guitar the whole time. The room's energy stayed at a peak until the final lyric was sung.
Known for his amazing voice and snappy blues licks, which resonate from the influences of such great players as Lightning Hopkins and Buddy Guy, sent waves of sound through the air that sounded as brilliant as his recordings. No microphone feedback, no bad notes and no rock-star arrogance were present.
Applause and screams thundered back at Lang after each song, all of which were received by the 25-year-old with a child-like grin of satisfaction on his face and plenty of "thank yous."
The whole time Lang's musical ability shined on. Despite him being on acoustic guitar, Lang showed off his chops with immaculate solos and a style all his own. It's hard to believe that Lang never received as much recognition for his guitar playing as Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Derek Trucks.
As the melodies got grittier and the guitar lines more elaborate, the musicians worked the crowd into an all-out eruption, climatic when Lang spilled out the first note of "Lie to Me."
Gasps filled the air and a silence came over the crowd while every pair of ears listened intently as each note of the song passed by. When the final chord was strung the audience erupted with screams of approval, but the evening's highlight had not even taken place. There was hardly time to reflect on the magic that had just filled the theatre before the melody of "Breakin' Me" came pouring through the speakers. Every female lost control of her ability to breathe and the entire audience swayed from side to side. This was truly the song every one was waiting for.
When the last note came to an end and the instruments that roared onstage became silent, the crowd again began to scream. The band left the stage while the audience's chanting echoed against the walls. After several minutes of high-pitched screams of approval, the theatre eventually became still and all that remained were a few guitar picks and a couple set lists.