Posted on 7/14/2012
The main opening act from the Gang of Outlaws Tour with ZZ TOP and 3 Doors Down was also the most energetic and best live performance of the night, Gretchen Wilson. Concert Blast was invited to cover this night of excellent music, so Mike Arnold was on hand to bring you the concert review as he describes the details from the set list. Enjoy!
Written by Mike Arnold
As the crowd slowly came to the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN for the Gang of Outlaws Tour with ZZ Top, 3 Doors Down, and Gretchen Wilson, the music also slowly came alive. Outside on the arena plaza, there was a band performing southern rock classic hits, with a few originals, to get the crowd warmed up to go inside for the big night’s event. Once inside the arena and the time hit 7pm, we all thought that Gretchen Wilson was about to take the stage, but to our surprise another act appeared on the stage that seem to have entered a time machine from the 70s. There was no announcing the band’s name and no backdrop with the name either. I first thought it was Gretchen’s band members, but this act was the warm up to Gretchen Wilson. The lead singer/guitarist mentioned his name was Leroy Powell. I was just happy when they finished their 25 minute set so we could get to the true performers!
After about a 15 minute set change the arena lights went down and the stage lights came up as Gretchen’s band members consisting of two guitarists, a keyboardist, bass, and drums, took the stage, along with Gretchen Wilson strutting out front and center stage wearing her high heel boots, tight, ripped up blue jeans, and a v-neck grey top. With everyone on their feet Gretchen yelled, “Hey Nashville, What’s Up?” Before belting out one of her concert favorites, “I’m Here For the Party”. She continued her set with another favorite, the anti Nashville music industry song, “I Got Your Country Right Here”. In this song she mentioned a list of southern rockers, but when she mentioned ZZ Top, the guitarist began the famous riff from the hit “Waitin’ For The Bus”, which got the crowd to become much louder.
Gretchen Wilson asked the crowd of about 5,000 (at this time) if there were any hard working people out there? The crowd screamed as the band started another favorite, “Work Hard, Play Harder”. Gretchen thanked the crowd before introducing a new song that she recently recorded. She said this one is for all her friends, “One Good Friend”. Gretchen mentioned that sometimes in life we feel like we are ten feet tall and bullet proof. Like we can, “Walk On Water”.
It was now acoustic time, with Gretchen sitting on a stool, she said, “Here’s a song written by Jon Nicholson from the Muzik Mafia.” As they performed “Bring It On (Grandma)”. The band began to take the beat up a notch and expressed the loud rock guitar sound while Gretchen spoke to the rock fans. Gretchen said, “Since we are on a Rock and Roll Tour, I got a feeling, I got a feeling…” She then sings a line of the Black Eyed Peas hit, “I Got A Feeling” before saying, “No, we are Not going to do that!” Then she continues, “I got a feeling that there are some Classic Rock and Rollers here tonight!” To the delight of everyone in the arena, the band kicked in with Foreigner’s “Hot Bloodied”. Gretchen got the crowd into the song and the show more as she got everyone singing along with her. I’ve seen her perform that song a few times in concert before (and she does a great job with it), but the next song was the real surprise! The drummer started the song with a very familiar intro drumbeat, Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll”. Toward the end of the song, Gretchen shot an air gun loaded with rolled up t-shirts out to the crowd. As the band crashed out the song, Gretchen Walked from one side of the stage to the next while saying, “Thank You Everyone, I hope to see you again real soon! God Bless!” She waved, bowed, and left the stage with everyone on their feet yelling for more, but with the number of acts on this bill, there was no encore.
I’ve always been a fan of Gretchen Wilson’s live show and this one was no exception. I would love to hear more Gretchen Wilson on the radio, but I suppose some of the higher ups in the country music industry are not fond of her and her music (I really don’t know). Gretchen knows how to get a crowd on their feet and into her show, as well as leading the crowd in sing-alongs. On the Concert Blast Scale, I will rate this concert a 9.6 (out of 10). I am looking forward to the next time I have the privilege to see her in concert again!
Written by Mike Arnold