::Southern Culture Draws Huge Crowd
By R.Gregg, Raleigh Chronicle Editor In Chief
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
RALEIGH - Southern culture was very hot in Raleigh on Saturday night in more ways than one.
At the NC Museum of Art's popular music and movie series, the combination of the band "Southern Culture on the Skids" and the Will Ferrell movie, "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" drew a sold-out crowd of thousands of people outside at the museum's amphitheatre. Many people had to be turned away because the museum's venue was full.
For the first half of the night, as they've done for over a decade, the band "Southern Culture on the Skids" played in front of a packed crowd their unique brand of Southern upbeat rock. If you haven't heard their music, it's definitely upbeat and funky.
Some songs sound like a combination of guitar twangs of surf bands like the Ventures with definitely Southern lyrics, while some other songs sound well...country.
However you describe their music, it's a lot of fun and the crowd seemed to love it. Many people went up on the stage to dance along with the group, obviously enjoying the evening outside. Many people could be seen wearing "Southern Culture on the Skids" hats and knew the words to the songs, so definitely a lot of their long-time fans were there.
After the show, the band eagerly signed autographs and talked with members of the audience, spending time with them to pose for pictures. It was obvious that the band enjoyed meeting their fans and vice versa.
Some of the fans had "dressed up" for the event, wearing old cowboy hats, bouffant hairstyles, or other southern stylings (see photos). And although it may not be the first time that a camoflauge trucker hat has been worn at the NC Museum of Art, it may be the first time that one has been worn with a hunting license attached to it for flair.
After a break and a careful watch on the threatening thunderstorm off in the distance, the feature film was started on the giant outdoor screen. Many folks ate dinner on blankets outdoors as they watched the movie.
"Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" was chosen appropriately enough for the evening. The movie is about a Southern race car driver who loses his will to drive, but then gets it back thanks to his tire squealing father who tells him "if you're not first, you're last." Filmed partially in North Carolina, the movie poked a little fun at NASCAR and the South while celebrating it at the same time.
Laughter from the audience started at the beginning of the Will Ferrell movie and continued all the way through to the end of the credits when they showed outtakes from the movie and fake commercials.
Between the great concert and the hilarious movie, those attending last Saturday seemed to have hours of fun.
And while many people think of an art museum as a stodgy upper crust kind of place, the popularity of this past Saturday's music and movie event proves that everyone can enjoy a little Southern culture on the skids every now and then -- even at an art museum. ::