One of the best live shows I've ever seen was at the Double Door Inn about five or six years ago. The band was the Backsliders from Raleigh, NC. They were supposed to have an opening band and that band didn't show up so the Backsliders started early and played all night and, according to what the lead singer said late in the show, played about every song they knew and a few they didn't know. What I liked about the Backsliders was how they could play different styles of music. They could play ballads, honky tonk and some smoking rock and roll. They seemed to really have a talent for balancing their shows well. They knew when to slow it down and they knew when to kick your ass. The highlight of the show that night was a song called "Hey Sheriff." I imagine that song was the highlight of many of their shows. Real good bands seem to have a show stopper or two in their repertoire and "Hey Sheriff" was the Backsliders crowd killer. Each time I saw them this song was played late in their set because no other song they had could equal the intensity of this tune. Each time I hear it the image in my head is of lead singer, Chip Robinson prowling the stage working himself, the band and the audience gradually into a frenzy. I love songs that have a slow burn that builds to a logical explosion and resolution and "Hey Sheriff" does that as well as any song you'll ever hear.
This version of "Hey Sheriff" below is off the live EP called "From Raleigh, NC" and it came out in 1999.
Back sliders Hey Sheriff