LIVE REVIEW: William Elliott Whitmore at New World Brewery 09.22.12
“I’m sorry to the folks who can’t really see,” William Elliott Whitmore explained to the large crowd gathered at New World Brewery in Ybor City Fla. on Saturday night, “I’m a lazy motherfucker — I sit down.” That statement was just one of the dozens of playful interactions that the 34-year-old Iowa-based singer-songwriter had with the 200-plus people gathered on what Whitmore described as a place “not quite like any other” he’s played before. ”It does feel like a front porch,” he said at one point of the set “a super hot front porch.”
It was a fitting setting for Whitmore, who played to a near empty Orpheum about three years ago. Fans in the front had assumed sitting positions to accommodate those behind them and Whitmore — whose tattoos revealed themselves as his sweat soaked through a white button down — commissioned only a guitar, banjo, and solitary kick drum to deliver an hour-and-fifteen minute set that ranged from racous (“Johnny Law,” “I Lift My Jug”), uplifiting (“Let’s Do Something Impossible”), and heartbreaking (“Everything Gets Gone”).
Whitmore even took requests at one point.
Throughout it all, the warmth that Whitmore displayed onstage was the most impressive thing. Despite possessing a bellowing tenor that should belong to a hardened, angry man, he is grateful and lighthearted every step of the way. He joked about Mike’s Hard Lemonade (“Hi I’m Mike, here’s my lemonade — it tastes like piss”), PBR (“PBR is good, but the only trouble is that it that gives me a hangover while I’m drinking it.”), and even complimented New World’s own excellent selection (“They have really good local beer here.”)
He skipped walking off stage before his encore, which included a floor-shaking performance of “Mutiny,” and he stuck around after the show to greet fans at the merch table. In a world of artists that sometimes forget their fanbase, it was great to see someone show love to those who came to see him. Maybe it’s because he’s from the midwest, or maybe it’s because there were actually people at the show this time, but Whitmore didn’t take one thing for granted. There were about 200 souls in attendance who were better for it too.
Check out Nicole’s shots from the show below, and watch the full performance here.