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69 World Tour Rolls Through The Apache Casino

Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters stopped in Lawton, Oklahoma at the Apache Casino Hotel on Friday night. The Boxmasters were touring in support of their latest album titled '69 their 14th career album. The rock band from Bellflower, California features founding members Billy Bob "Bud" Thornton (lead vocals) and J.D. Andrew (guitar) along with Raymond Hardy (bass), Kirk McKim (lead guitar) and Nick Davidson (drums).

At 7:30 p.m. a short documentary filled with still photos and video flashed on the two large LED screens followed by The Boxmasters coming out dressed in their mechanic uniforms with their names displayed on their blue work shirts. The Boxmasters worked their way through a 23-song set performing many 60's inspired original tunes.

The Boxmasters opened the evening with a string of songs, "Emily", "Jupiter Man", "She Looks Like Betty Page", "Go Like This" and "Garage." Thornton then welcomed everyone to the show, mentioning that he wanted to turn the intimate setting into a rock club by the end of the evening. Thornton then told the audience: "If you haven't been to one of our shows and do not have any of our recordings, I have to let you know we are not a country band and we do not play cover tunes. We are an original rock and roll band from Bellflower, California based on the 1960s."

The Boxmasters continued with the spacey sounding "Science Fiction," "I Still Want to See You," and "You'll Never Be Mine" which featured an energetic guitar solo by Kirk McKim.

The Boxmasters played three songs off their new album '69; "Anta Nica" which was written after seeing the missing lights in the Santa Monica sign one evening while driving. "Chestnut Eyes" has the grass roots sounding vibe and the lyrics describe a man who is infatuated with a woman he can never have. My favorite song off the new album is "I Must've Been High" which Thornton periodically would raise his hand up high in the air with the lyrics, I must've been high, which the audience thoroughly enjoyed.

Thornton took the time to talk about his newest drummer, Nick Davidson which he stated jokingly that he must have been in a marching band in high school, trained in jazz, classical and other types of serious music. Thornton then added that he would let Nick do a drum solo for the audience while the band took a short break. Nick saluted the audience with his drumsticks and went into a short very entertaining drum solo.

The next two songs "Summertime in L.A. Again" and "That's Just Me Shakin" were dedicated to the street dances of the 1960s. Thornton told the audience to get up and come on down to the front of the stage. The audience followed suit.

Thornton also took the time with the crowd in the front to sign pictures, take selfies, shake hands, and give you a hug if you wanted one pretty cool! The Boxmasters closed out the evening with "I Got a Girl" and "Island Ave". A two song encore followed with "Time" off the Help... I'm Alive album and "Sylvia's Mother."

There was no glitz, glamor or pyro that often comes with many rock shows it was simple authentic rock music.

Billy Bob Thornton
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The Boxmasters
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Author & Photographer: Vernon L. Gowdy, III
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