Written By James Downing
Country music fans are some of the most dedicated fans in music. Each year thousands of them from all over the world make the journey to Nashville, TN to take part in the CMA Music Festival. This year as usual there were concerts, meet and greets with the stars, and fan club parties where the fan can get up close and personal with their favorite singers and bands. Sunday night June 14th 2009, Pam Tillis, daughter of country music legend Mel Tillis, played the Wildhorse Saloon. There was a larger concert going on that night at LP Field so the crowd wasn’t that big, but the fans in attendance were die hard Pam Tillis fans.
Pam did a meet and greet before the show where she signed autographs, took pictures with the fans, and did something that I thought was very special. When she first entered the room she told the fans to stick around after they had their pictures made with her. After everything was signed and all the pictures were taken, she did a question and answer session and even pulled out a guitar and sung a song. She wanted to do another song but her husband told her that she was going on in 7 minutes. I have been to many of these meet and greets, but this is the first time that I have ever seen someone make it so up close and personal like Pam Tillis did that night.
When Pam took the stage a crowd of people had gathered in front of the stage and they didn’t budge an inch through the hour and a half show. Pam started the show with the song, “Don’t Leave You Heart Lying Around”. She looked very cute in a pair of faded jeans, a black and white shirt, and a vest. The crowd roared and she jumped into the second number, “Shake The Sugar Tree”. The hits just kept on comming. Before the next song she said, “I hope you all know this one” and she jumped into her first hit single, “Don’t Tell Me What To Do”. She followed that on with such fan favorites as; “Blue Roses”, “How Gone Is Good Bye”, “Sure Could Use Some Company”, and the song that got the biggest response the whole night, “Clepatra, Queen Of Denial”.
Pam told the crowd that she wanted to do some songs from her latest CD “Rinestoned”. She said the title of that song pays homage to the way the country music stars of yesterday would dress with the coats and jackets covered in rinestones. She did three songs from that album; “The Hard Way”, “The Band In The Window”, and “The Train With No Whistle”. Although these were new songs the crowd still loved it and hung on to every word of every verse.
After Pam’s next song, “Sweet Hearts Dance”, she sang a couple songs that dear ole dad Mel had written. She mentioned the album of cover songs she did of her dad’s hits. She said she wanted to do a Vol 2 to that album. The songs she picked to do were; “Burning Memories” and “I Wanna Go Home”. You could have heard a pin hit the floor during the latter song and she did her dad good.
Pam told several stories during the show, talking about getting to sing with Ringo Starr last year and how she didn’t have the heart to tell him that Paul was her favorite. How a fan had told her in a Waffle House how much she loved her and had followed her carreer so closely, only to call her Patty Loveless. Another fan told her how much he loved her and made her promised not to tell Reba because he had told her that also.
She still had more hits to sing and that is just what she did, “My Crazy Life”, “Spilt Perfume”, and “Let That Pony Run” were the next songs in the set. This was where she talked about Ringo and said she would like to do her take on a Beatles song. The fiddles started playing as she launched into “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. She then sang “Celebrate Prayer” and said that this was her “Na Na Song”. She added that so many songs had “na na na na” in them that she wanted one too. The last two songs of the night were; “Maybe It Was Memphis” and a very nice version of “Ring Of Fire”. Pam said good night to the crowd and instead of going back stage she came down on the floor to meet more fans and sign more autographs.
I really enjoyed this show. It was a change of pace from the regular rock and roll shows I usually attend. One thing that didn’t work for me was the version of The Beatles song, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, but other than that it was a good show. On the Concert Blast scale I give it an 8. The two points that I took away are for the Beatles song. Yes, I didn’t like it that much. If you are a country fan, go see Pam Tillis. You will be delighted!
Written By James Downing