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Michigan might be known for Motown music and rock legends like Jack White, but the country music scene in Michigan is growing at an unparalleled rate.
Country superstar, and now TV star, Blake Shelton proved that country fans are everywhere, playing to a full audience at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The energy level in the venue was off the charts, with the audience screaming at every chance.
Before Shelton took the stage, Michigan’s own female country artist Jenna Kramer opened the show, followed by Easton Corbin. Both opening acts had an incredible amount of energy and passion in their performances. It was exciting to see the next generation of country music and how, as artists, they are willing to push boundaries and not stay in the “country” music label.
Around 9 p.m. was when the lights dimmed for the last time and Shelton took the stage. From the very first guitar rift, it was clear that Shelton is not only a down-to-earth person, but also an amazing performer. His personality and talent came alive from the moment he hit center stage. Shelton addressed the audience right after his opening number, saying how shocked he was about how many fans came out to the show and that he is just going to sing about what he knows: “Beer, deer hunting and boobies.”
It seemed that Shelton was having just as much fun as the audience members. He even wore a white cowboy hat with a long hair wig attached. Shelton makes his “Ten Times Crazier Tour” feel like a backyard party, complete with beer, cowboy boots and fun jokes. That feeling made the venue more intimate and brought fans closer to their country idol.
Shelton did take a quick break from performing songs like, “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” and “Mine Would Be You” to have a little fun with the audience. Most fans in the audience were aware of the recent controversy with the West Baptist Church. Shelton acknowledged that some people might not like his tweets. Instead of worrying about the negative energy and press, he simply tweeted, “If you don't like my tweets you can kiss my country ass!” This tweet was a great lead into his country anthem “Kiss My Country Ass.”
The fun did not stop with the live tweeting. Shelton went on to explain how he became a coach on the hit NBC show The Voice, including describing the first meeting of all four coaches. Shelton, being the only coach on time, was able to see each coach walk into the room - he admitted to the audience that he was overly excited when he saw Cee Lo Green. Then, Shelton suddenly started to cover Green’s hit single, “Forget You.” The audience went wild. It seems that The Voice has exposed Shelton’s music to an entirely different audience and he has managed to win them over with his music, smile and charm.
Shelton did take time to slow down the set and head into the crowd for an acoustic set. Shelton sang "Over You." For the first time since the show had begun, the audience fell silent, only joining in singing with Shelton during the final chorus. Following the very personal performance of "Over You," Shelton played "Austin," his first single ever released.
Shelton not only knows how to keep a party going and entertain a crowd, but he can show that he is a true country artist with an incredible vocal range and songwriting talent with performances like “Over You” and “Austin.”
Shelton closed the show with his current hit “Boys Round Here” and gave an amazing encore performance by playing “Footloose” and “God Gave Me You.” Even as the audience filed out of their seats, everyone was smiling and still singing along.
It's no wonder country music is growing in popularity with music fans. The “Ten Times Crazier Tour” was just great honest music and an entertaining time. There was no over production, no elaborate dance numbers, just some amazing live music and of course, large amounts of beer.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons