Koe Wetzel turns Helotes into the loudest town in Texas

A recap of the country-rock singer’s sold-out show

Cesar Soto, Staff Writer

Rating: 3.5 stars

With 9,000 people strong, American country artist Koe Wetzel performed for a sold-out crowd in Helotes on Saturday, Nov. 26. The rising star came to the Helotes Festival Grounds to deliver a rock show that had everyone in a frenzy and having a good ol’ time.

After opening acts Dylan Wheeler and William Beckmann finished their sets, Wetzel and his band took the stage at around 9:15 p.m. Emerging in front of the crowd on a custom-built stage that is comparable to one at Coachella, the Texas native launched into “Creeps,” the hit track from his most recent record, “Hell Paso,” which was released this past September. Concluding the last leg of his 2022 tour, Wetzel felt it was best to end up in the Lone Star State “because there ain’t another motherf—kin’ state in this country that’s as good as Texas.”

While flashier than your average concert, with strobe lights moving around and the occasional pyrotechnics, it was a show that highlighted the pure talent that has propelled Wetzel to a rise in popularity. He took his studio material that already worked well with his fanbase and elevated it to fit a live setting. In addition, his band added more textures to the sound, allowing the crowd to hear the full depth of the instruments and see Wetzel have a great time performing these songs and being himself, just the way his fans enjoy.

While Wetzel is primarily a country singer, it often felt more like a rock show he was playing. His band used their guitar and drum solos to modify songs like “Something to Talk About” and “Cold & Alone” into rock anthems. When the song “Fuss and Fight” came on, Wetzel declared that it was time to “crank this motherf—ker up a little bit,” and the rock show was unleashed with loud guitars and smoke effects taking over the stage.

He transitioned smoothly into his slower cuts, like “Austin,” which featured a memorable xylophone refrain that added more depth to the music. Another highlight was “Love,” featuring piano playing that suited the slower nature of the song. The singer teased that featured artist Parker McCollum had made a surprise appearance on stage, and when the fans realized he was lying, he giddily exclaimed, “I got you motherf—kers!” It was that charisma and interactions with the crowd that made it more enjoyable to see him live.

In fact, his personality shined just as much as his music, taking many moments to get his fans excited. Wetzel yelled out, “how ‘bout them motherf––kin’ Cowboys” in response to their Thanksgiving win over the Giants, to which the crowd roared in delight. Having first played in Helotes in 2015, he has always had a great time playing in town, taking the time to thank everyone “for coming out here and supporting live Texas f––kin’ music.”

The crowd was most excited towards the last stretch of his set, with tracks like “Forever” and “Drunk Driving” having the crowd singing along and approvingly chucking their beers into the audience. “Kuntry & Wistern” seemed like the early contender for the loudest singalong of the night had it not been for the finale song, “February 28, 2016.” It is overwhelmingly still his most popular song with fans, making it the perfect song to send everyone out in good spirits. Wetzel gave a final thank you to all the fans as the band and pyro effects went wild to close the show.

Koe Wetzel entertained the Helotes crowd with plenty of good country feels throughout his hour and some change on stage. Accompanied by his guitar and a trusty bottle of Jack, it was all he needed to turn Helotes into the ultimate party town. With as much fun as he and all the fans had, he summed it up best when he said, “It’s good to be home.”