Views on pop culture through my eyes

Blake Shelton in Concert
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Hollywood Bowl

Ten Times Crazier Tour 2014

Special guests: Dan+Shay, Neal McCoy, the Band Perry

Songs performed: 19 You+ Me (Dan + Shay); The Shake, Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles on (Neal McCoy); Done, Night Gone Wasted, You Lie, All Your Life, I’m a Keeper, Timber (Pitbull feat. Ke$ha cover), Chainsaw, Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen cover), Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, If I Die Young, Better Dig Two (The Band Perry); All About Tonight, The More I Drink, She Wouldn’t Be Gone, Over, Doin’ What She Likes, Kiss My Country Ass, Mine Would Be You, Nobody But Me, Some Beach, Ol’ Red, Who Are You When I’m Not Looking, Hillbilly Bone, Sure Be Cool If You Did, Neon Light, My Eyes, Over You, Austin, Drink on It, Home, Honey Bee, Boys ‘Round Here, Footloose, God Gave Me You (Blake Shelton)Blake Shelton

Comments: Blake Shelton brought his Ten Times Crazier Tour to a sold-out crowd at the Hollywood Bowl this past weekend. He’s been riding high the past couple of years after various wins as Entertainer of the Year from fans and peers, #1 singles and albums, plus a mentoring role for the #1 singing competition ‘The Voice”. He showed the city that he can party like the country rock star that he is and still be a sensitive romantic too (his wife is fellow singer Miranda Lambert).

The evening was MC’d by Neal McCoy, the Filipino country star from the 90’s. I was not familiar with this guy at all. But he kept things moving along between the acts. First up was country duo, Dan + Shay. They share the same record label as Blake Shelton, Warner Bros.. They started with “Paradise City” by Guns ‘N Roses. I know it from the movie/play “Rock of Ages.” They proceeded to sing songs from their debut album. Their vocals were very nice — stronger than Florida Georgia Line, who are very popular at the moment. Their big hit from last year “19 You + I” closed out the set. They also did Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” in the middle of their set, so they definitely love their 80’s rock music.

Next up was Neal McCoy. He joked about how he was going to take things back to the 90’s…. and he played a few of his hits that I had never heard of. Two of them sounded like novelty songs to me, with one OK ballad. He also introduced his band members, who all took turns singing solo…. Everything from Justin Timberlake and One Republic to Adele.

The next act up was the family group, the Band Perry. Consisting of brothers Neil and Reid, and sister Kimberly on lead vocals, they are definitely on their way up thanks to their 2nd album “Pioneer” and it’s hit single “Done”.

This group has really won me over with their appearances on TV awards shows. It is apparent that the group has out-grown their opening act gig, and is ready to be a headliner. I remember seeing Blake as an opening act back in 2005 as an opening act for Rascal Flatts. I knew he was going on to bigger things soon and I was right! The Band Perry for me has taken over the hole left by the Dixie Chicks. They have catchy songs, with a lot of attitude. The crowd really was into it, and ate it all up including the inspired covers of Pitbull & Kesha (Timber) and Queen (Fat Bottomed Girls). “Done,” “You Lie” and “Better Dig Two” were the highlights of their set. They employed 3 large video screens, plus 4 towers of lights on the stage to add to the production value.

Neal was back between acts… covering CeeLo and Lionel Richie. Plus, he also chose a couple of winners from the people that tweeted him for better seats to the show.

Blake Shelton finally took the stage around 9 PM for his 2 hour+ show. Named after a song on his “Based on a True Story” album, I found it curious that he didn’t even sing the song the tour was named after (Ten Times Crazier). But we did get one new song —“Neon Light” from his brand new “Bringing Back the Sunshine” album that was released the same week of this show.

Blake is one of those men who genuinely seems like a nice guy. He’s the guy you want to hang out with and have a drink with at a backyard BBQ. He talked about how he was going to 2 things in his show: play country music and drink. And he definitely did. Plus he displayed his sensitive side too, with his romantic ballads. He played guitar on most of the songs, switching instruments often.

He played 5 songs from the “Based on a True Story” album, the 8th of his career. He even went back and made fun of the fact that he used to have a mullet and wear a cowboy hat. He put on the hat when he sang “Nobody Like Me” from his “Barn & Grill” album. That was the album that won me over back in 2005, long before “The Voice”. I loved the stories he told with his songs, and his sense of humor. Gwen Sebastian, one of the finalists from “The Voice” that was on Team Blake, sang with him on the #1 song “My Eyes”. He mentioned how him and Miranda take turns taking her out of tour with them.

His staging seemed more sparse compared to the Band Perry. There was a tower of lights near the back of the stage. Plus a large screen, that had different backdrops projected on it during the night.

He performed 2 songs acoustically, 2 of the most important songs of his career according to him. The first was “Over You,” a song he wrote with Miranda about his brother who died in a car crash. He never recorded it, but she did and had a hit with it. The second was his first #1 hit “Austin.”

The pacing of his set was not as strong as the Band Perry’s was. But then again, they had half the time that he did. A sea of cell phones accompanied his cover of Michael Buble’s “Home”. He was saying how he wished they were filming that night, cause no one would believe all the country fans in Hollywood.

The first encore was his cover of Kenny Loggin’s “Footloose.” Still a fun song to dance to, no matter who is singing in. He chose to end the night with his ballad “God Gave Me You” from his “Red River Blue” CD. This is a song that would be perfect for a wedding. And for anyone in love… that’s why he chose it to end the show. The lyrics could also apply to a singer and his fans.

It was nice to see a gay couple embracing and singing the lyrics to each other to the last song. The crowd was about 60% female that night. Unfortunately, there was an issue with some drunk people arguing, and security had to be called in. I do feel that the venue has placed too much emphasis on drinking lately. This was the 2nd time this summer that an incident has occurred near where I was sitting.

It would have been cool if Miranda had shown up, but it was not to be. Thanks to Blake, his band and crew for a great evening of music at the world famous Hollywood Bowl.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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