I have known of Hank 3 (aka Shelton Hank Williams) for quite a few years, simply on reputation alone. This was thanks in part to a friend and fan that freely interacts with other fans both online and off, often times with Hank 3 himself. It became commonplace to inquire of my friend what was new with Number Three as if these updates were on par with my friend’s upcoming travel plans or temperamental household pets.
Hank 3 performed at The Observatory, fresh from another sold out LA show as part of the Sunset Strip Music Festival.
The genre-bending, three and a half hour set, started fast and bright, likened to what could only be described as a hillbilly party in hell. Fans sporting black band T-shirts shouted along with every word just as eagerly as those donning white cowboy hats. Throughout Hank 3’s time on stage performing to an audience he described as an “outlaw convention,” the music gradually took a turn for the sinister. The obvious country layers fell away, letting the intense, punk and heavy metal shine through. At the end of the night the stage was shrouded in darkness, illuminated only with a solitary green light at his feet.
With such seemingly polarizing musical styles, it was no surprise that not every fan lasted to the very end of the night, and this once sold out venue had emptied considerably by the time the last set started. As soon as the last notes of the evening stopped, Hank 3 took a few moments to compose himself before promptly jumping off the stage and into the photo pit. Here, he spent time shaking hands, taking camera phone pictures, and signing autographs, giving a sweet send-off home to those dedicated individuals that never left his side.
Photos By Leslie Kalohi.