The Merriweather Post Pavilion was transformed Saturday night, from a morden, suburban entertainment center into a dude ranch for a new generation of cosmic cowboys. A cloud of marijuana hung over a near-capacity crowd that was dressed in cowboy hats, bandannas and sneakers. They waved confederate flags and shouted things like, "Hey, dude! Boy am I wasted!"
The concert featured the Outlaws, a group that is one of the leaders in what could be called "dude Rock."
Their brand of music is a rough combination of rock, country and heavy-metal blues, that is supported by macho vocals and the constant jamming of three lead guitarists.
Their songs seem to be based on the same formula - crashing guitar introductions and thudding rhythms that are highlighted by double guitar solos a la the Allman Brothers in which the guitarists stand side-by-side and wall away at 100 decibels. At times, they traded solos, with each guitarist showing off his "licks" like frisky cowpokes doing rope tricks. And the crowd hooted and hollered as their grandfathers must have done at Bill Cody's wild west show. The only problem was that the songs and the solos all sounded the same. After a while the show needed something extra, like maybe an Indian attack.
At the end of the set the fans stomped their feet, flapped their suspenders and lit their disposable lighters while calling for an encore. The scene almost made you feel like turning in your jeans.