Best Rock & Roll Rep: Butch Walker
Let's be honest: After a few hours, it's necessary to take a break from the rambling, intricately detailed sermons that make up Bob Dylan's irreplaceable repertoire, if only to re-energize for the next round. Enter Butch Walker, a 200-pound tornado of rock & roll destruction who took the Ryman stage like a pro wrestler and would have body-slammed everyone in the audience if given a chance. His epic freak-out on the fiendish love song "From a Buick 6" was like nothing else on the second night's set list, a chaotic whirlwind of flying hair and 'roid-raging awesomeness that turned a polite bunch of musical academics into a rowdy mass of fist-pumping trailer folk. Walker only fed off the chaos, swinging his guitar and seeming willing to destroy anything that he came into contact with, only letting a few smiles sneak out to let the crowd know the fix was already in. The climax: Walker hurling his guitar toward a crew member off stage — who was absolutely not ready for the flying elbow of hardwood and steel. A cameraman walked right into its path, oblivious to the doom heading toward him as the roadie pushed through just in time, safely catching the projectile. The crowd went nuts and Walker raised his fist in triumph. Someone get this man a championship belt.