Charleston, USA, Charleston Music Hall (26.01.2008)

Source: Laura Flynn, Clearwater, Florida

The Killer Teases, Pleases, and Rocks Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, SC; January 26, 2008 at The Historical Charleston Music Hall; 8:00PM: Benefit for MUSC Children's Hospital

On primary day in Charleston, Jerry Lee Lewis thundered into town pounding on the piano and making himself and the crowd at the Historical Charleston Music Hall the real winners of the day.

The Charleston Music Hall was the scene of the benefit for the MUSC Children's Hospital and was the re-scheduled concert that had to be moved to Jan. 26 because of Jerry Lee and the Killer Band catching a flu bug when they played at the Hurricane Katrina/Brad Pitt event in N'awlins. The event was very-well attended even though it was a re-scheduled event, which could very well be due to the spectacular commercials promoting the event that were shown on television. This is the way a Jerry Lee Lewis concert should always be promoted.

The Charleston Music Hall is a strange sort of venue in the fact that the shell is an old historical building in the beautiful downtown area of Charleston. The building has been gutted and boasts a very modern interior. I didn't care for the interior, but I do want to say that the lighting and the sound systems were amazing. Whoever was in charge of those two aspects of the show did a wonderful job: it was very impressive and was once again something that would be nice to see at every JLL concert.

Before the show started, B.B. was chatting with a group of people in front of the stage and J.W. Whitten came on stage a couple of times to check on things.

Time for the Show!

I apologize but I did not catch the emcee's name, but he came onstage and made a statement that he chose Jerry Lee for this benefit because Jerry Lee was his favorite performer. He then introduced the band as being known as both The Killer Band and The Memphis Beats with Ken Lovelace.

This concert was such a treat in so many ways and one of those was the fact that the audience embraced The Killer Band's performance before Jerry Lee came onstage. The audience really got into it!

Kenneth started out by singing 'Columbus Stockade Blues' with Buck featured.

Then Kenny introduced the band and B.B. introduced Kenneth, mentioning that this was Kenny's 41st year of playing with Jerry Lee. Kenny made a comment that I don't have a direct quote on, but he basically said it was like no time at all. It really got a laugh and the crowd cheered for Kenneth's long-time association with Jerry Lee.


The crowd loved it. Kenny and Buck were both featured in this song.

Then B.B. really got things going with a foot-stomping version of 'Wooly Booly.'

Buck was next with 'The Fireman.' The crowd was pumped at this point and you could tell that it was a good feeling for the guys in the band who are great musicians, but are sometimes overlooked by the crowd only wanting to see Jerry Lee. This was a very respectable crowd who were there to appreciate all the great music from the stage.

The KILLER Is On Stage!

Jerry Lee Lewis walked onto the stage to a standing ovation along with thundering applause.

For all us gals? He was wearing an AUBERGINE shirt with black pin-striping, black blue jeans, and his fancy black patent leather pointed-toe boots. Spiffy!

Before I go on? Let's just say that after every single song the crowd went wild. Every song received at least a partial standing ovation. Many people yelling out to Jerry Lee. All I'm going to say about myself is that I have a very loud yell. LoL

Now wasting any of our time, Mr. Lewis started off with 'Roll Over Beethoven!' In the middle of the song, he had to switch a ring from his left hand to his right. A little ring change in mid-song isn't going to stop the Killer from giving it his all.

After the song, Jerry Lee finally took the ring off the right hand and put it his pocket.

'Ring won't set on. So, I put it in my pocket,' was the explanation from Jerry Lee. He said he'd never had that trouble ever before.

The second song was 'You Win Again.' At the end of the song, Jerry Lee said he was sure that Hank Sr. had said the words of that song to Miss Audrey on bended knee, 'You Win Again.' The song was very heartfelt and the lighting on Jerry Lee during this song was just lovely.

Third song: 'Hadacol Boogie!!!' It was smoking hot and I'm happy to say that after Jerry Lee did this song? I wasn't the only one dancing in my seat! Jerry did a HOTinstrumental in the middle of the song.
JLL was in a playful mood and decided to tease the audience. He looked at the band and said, 'Whew! We're rockin' tonight!'

The next thing I knew, he was playing the first few bars of 'Great Balls of Fire!' The crowd ERUPTED! (Side note: I was a little freaked out...thinking this could be the end of the concert because he always ends with GBOF and WLOS. I thought my concert time was almost over...LoL) Anyway, the Killer was just messin' with us and he stopped and said, 'I'll do it for ya'll in a little bit.'

He then launched into an explanation that he was building up for it (sic 'Great Balls of Fire) and that it was like making love to a woman. You had to build up to it and then you pay for it and pay for it and pay for it. <pause> And pay for it. This got a big laugh from the audience AND the guys in the band.

The crowd was pumped!

(All you guys don't read this part....this is for the gals only. LoL
Well, everyone WAS pumped up except for the French/goth looking couple who were sitting in front of me. They'd sat down with two drinks a piece right before the concert started. The woman took of a coat, a sweater, and a sheer blouse to sit in front of me in a strapless bustier number. They listened to the first two songs and then during 'Hadacol Boogie,' the woman started re-dressing herself and the couple left right after the song was over. The only thing I could figure out is that they were French performance artists who thought they were going to a Jerry Lewis concert. )

Okay, guys. The sarcastic girl part is over.

Fourth song: 'Drinkin' Wine Spo-dee-o-dee!' A song that definitely kept us all rockin' especially with Buck featured.

As a nice side-note to this story, the manager of the Charleston Music Hall is a very nice young lady named Holly. I had spoken with her numerous times on the phone concerning this concert. I finally got to meet her the night of the concert. After the concert, we spoke again and she told the sweetest story. Her father (who passed away three years ago) had always called her older sister 'spo-dee-o-dee' and has sung bits and pieces of the song her whole life. She said she never how her daddy had grown so fond of the song and it was one of those things that you always wonder about when you're a kid and just never think to ask for an explanation. She'd never heard anyone sing it before and she said when Jerry Lee started singing it in the middle of the concert that she called her Mom in Arkansas and held the phone up so her Mom could listen to the Killer sing the song that her Dad was so fond of. After the song was over, her mother told her quickly that she'd never known that the song was a JLL song, but that now she understood why he liked it so much because her Dad had loved JLL. Another sweet memory courtesy of Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis and his music.

Speaking of sweet memories: the fifth song was 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' and it was done by request from someone who had asked Kenneth to relay the request to Jerry Lee. Some of the people around me were singing along very softly during this song. JLL did an instrumental that included glissando's. This is such an important song for so many people who grew up watching The Wizard of Oz and you can tell that the audience was very appreciative to hear it that night.

Jerry introduced the next song by saying that he thought he was about to do a song that he didn't really know the words to. Everyone laughed and he launched into the sixth song: 'I Am What I Am.' He did mess a few of the words up and it was a slightly shortened verson....not by much, but a little shortened. He ended it by saying that he didn't know if he was a rock 'n' roll idiot or a rock 'n' roll movie star-r-r-r-r-r. Which was really funny, but it was so noisy that not a lot of people around me caught that one. (Sixth song)

Robert gets Jerry Lee's attention and whispers a song. Jerry Lee responds back with, 'Good one!' while pointing at Robert. Then he said, 'This'll take up 5 minutes....' Jerry was in a playful mood this evening. The song Robert suggested was 'Sweet Little 16' and Jerry Lee and the band tore it up. (Seventh song.)

Eighth song: 'Before the Night Is Over.' Jerry featured on piano....very nice. Kenny featured with Jerry Lee saying, 'Play it, Kenny. Yeah.'

Ninth Song: 'As Far As I'm Concerned.' Very poignant piano playing during this song. At the end, Jerry Lee wiped a tear away and quietly said that song was a 'lot of work.'

Tenth Song: 'CHANTILLY LACE!!!!' This is my favorite for very personal reasons and it seems like it was a favorite of a LOT of the women around me. Many of us women were standing throughout this whole song. Hopefully, the men around us didn't mind the fact that we were blocking their views! Jerry was very playful during this song and really got into it.


Eleventh Song: 'Great Balls of Fire!'
Glissando's! HOT! HOT! HOT! The crowd was already on fire, but somehow this song got the crowd to whoop it up even louder! Jerry Lee even moved the microphone completely out of the way to really get at the keys. He picked it up and slammed it out of the way. Smokin'!

Twelfth Song: 'Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On!' Jerry Lee stomped from GBOF right into WLOS. Everyone in the audience stood throughout both songs---clapping in time, singing along, yelling out for Jerry Lee, and dancing around.

Jerry Lee did not disappoint. He kicked the piano bench completely over and then sat down on the keys to the absolute delighted frenzy of the crowd.
He started to walk off and then turned around and I thought for ONE second that he was gonna come back for an encore, but instead he stood there and looked at everyone for a couple of seconds and then waved to everyone and actually bowed. You could tell he was completely overwhelmed. Everyone was screaming his name and still going crazy while the band continued to play.

The crowd was in shock that he was gone. You could just feel this electricity in the air that night. Everyone was still screaming for him to come back and finally Kenny thanked the audience and said this was the best audience in the world and that everything about this concert had been the best, the highest quality, etc. You could tell the band felt very appreciated, too.

People just refused to leave until the guys picked up some equipment and took it off the stage.
People were smiling and so happy as we all walked out. Often times people forget just how happy Jerry Lee Lewis seems to be when he's playing his music and how very happy he makes all of us who are lucky enough to hear him play.

As an added note to this story:
I am a floral designer and an artist. I made a really nice decoupaged vase and a big flower arrangement that I took with me when I drove from Clearwater, Florida to Charleston, SC.

The flowers disappeared after the show and the manager of the Charleston Music Hall and I were very upset that someone had taken them from the VIP lounge without even asking.

The manager found out that the flowers were taken backstage and when Jerry Lee saw them? He told J.W. Whitten to pick them up and Jerry Lee and the guys took the flowers to Jerry Lee's home in Mississippi!

This is the biggest thrill of my career to know that Mr. Lewis liked my work so much that he wanted it for his home.

All the best to you all and I hope you enjoy my review!