Blake Shelton rattles Buffalo’s ‘Hillbilly Bone’
blog by Kathryn Przybyla • August 17, 2012 @ 10:52am
He had some reservations about doing a show in New York. “You never know what to expect when you play a country show up north,” Blake Shelton said in between songs Thursday night.
“But you guys not only love country music, you love every type of music. And that’s exactly how I grew up too.” Everyone’s favorite Oklahoman and celebrity judge on “The Voice” played to a huge audience at the Buffalo.com Grandstand with people filling the entire venue. Not to mention listening on the outskirts of the in field.
Shelton surprised the crowd with a few mixed-genre covers including Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music,” Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” and J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold.” But the majority of the night was a perfect mix of current hits and old-school classics.
Some of Shelton’s older tunes including “Austin,” his debut single from 2001 and “Ol’ Red,” a successful cover of George Jones’ original tune garnered the most applause, despite a younger crowd. Fan cheered when he asked if they would even remember some of his “oldies but goodies” types of songs—they did.
A people-pleaser, Shelton can really work a crowd and told extensive stories in between songs while the band prepped for his next hit. Describing a jealously of Taylor Swift when her fans hold up lighters and cell phones to moving ballads, Shelton asked the crowd to humor him for the next tune. An immediate display of light illuminated the Fair grandstand, where Shelton exclaimed, “Wow, this is just incredible. Look at this place.”
“Drink On It,” “Kiss My Country Ass,” “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking” and “The More I Drink” were all crowd pleasers, with the fans singing along, louder than the man they came to see.
It’s clear to see that Shelton loves his fans. Referring to the crowd as his family, he said he never feels more at home than when he takes the stage to perform to such a great audience. Even with the huge success of “The Voice” and gaining a whole new fan base through network television, its apparent that they fans who have been coming to shows for years and can sing-along to every lyric hold a special place in his heart.
Overall, the show was a great success. I even knew of a few people who would never describe themselves as country fans, wanting check out what the big hullabaloo of Blake Shelton was about—all of them left fully entertained and impressed.
With his high-profile mariage to country superstar, Miranda Lambert, their relationship takes powerhouse couple to a new level. But for that amount of fame and success, maybe that is exactly what you need—someone who completely understands what it’s like to play sold-out fair shows every night.
The biggest concert of the Erie County Fair was one for the record books and I’m interested in who they can come up with next year. A solid choice by the Fair organizers for what was without a doubt a night where everyone got in touch with their “hillbilly bone, down deep inside.”