Last week in my summer soundtrack blog post, I wrote about how summer to me is country music. Well, that’s just how I spent this last Saturday night! I gathered with all my other country music fans at Wrigley Field to catch Dan + Shay, The Band Perry, and Blake Shelton on the Ten Times Crazier Tour. Believe it or not, this was my first real “big” country concert. I’d seen country singers before, but never the scale of Blake Shelton at Wrigley Field. My friend Emily and I showed up to find we had seats on the field!! The field! Out of all of Wrigley Field that we could have been, we were on the actual field! It was cool to see the stadium from that perspective.
When we first arrived, we met up with our photographer friend Paul Natkin to head up to meet Dan + Shay. Chase, their tour manager, came down and grabbed us as we walked up to find Dan and Shay playing cornhole. We hung around, and they thanked Shure for all the gear, but they were a bit behind schedule and going on in about a half hour, so we had to make it brief! Both were super-genuine guys, though, and you could tell they were very appreciative of Shure’s support. With only 20 or so minutes left till show time, we headed back down to our row, which would end up being pretty empty the entire night, which only made for more dancing room for me and Emily!
Dan + Shay got the night started off right. They brought the energy level of the whole place up a notch with their dance-worthy tracks such as “Stop, Drop and Roll” and “Show You Off.” I’m not sure I’ve been to a show where the opening act got so much attention from the crowd. You could tell there were people who bought tickets to the show specifically to see Dan + Shay, which was pretty cool. In fact, the lady next to us was wearing a Dan + Shay shirt and left the show before Blake Shelton to go over to Joe’s Bar and get a good view for Dan + Shay’s after-show performance!
Then The Band Perry came out, and man, do they know how to perform. Those people were born to be entertainers. The entire show was a mix of stellar vocals and quirky gestures and interaction with the crowd. Kimberley Perry’s energy is infectious, and you can’t help but smile when she’s performing. Between her movement on stage and her facial expressions, your energy is off the charts the whole show.
Next, Mr. Blake Shelton came on stage with an entrance I was not expecting from a country artist. All of the lights and big screens went black after lots of roaring from the audience after MC Neil McCoy introduced him. After a good lull of time and screams from the fans, “Bust A Move” by Young MC came on, and everyone immediately started dancing. At this point, everyone’s had a couple hours to drink and loosen up those dancing joints, so it’s full fledged hip-swinging. After the crowd is warmed up, a silo-looking fixture comes down from the top of the stage, and out walks Blake Shelton.
Short plug for Downbeats earplugs: thank goodness my colleague Nelson went to a swag festival a couple days prior and picked us all up some because we were right in from of the PA system. The noise between that and the crowd was crazy!
Blake Shelton put on a great show. At one point, he got the whole stadium to put on the flashlights on their phones to a song, which you know is the cheesy typical thing, but I must admit this particular time it was pretty insane to see all of Wrigley field lit up with flashlights. Blake Shelton is just a likeable guy, so the entire show was charming and fun. He ended the night with an encore including “Footloose,” and you can only imagine the dancing that happened when that came on so late in the night…it should have been like the movie where dancing was banned! I won’t be stealing any of the dance moves I saw anytime soon!
Overall, it was the perfect night for some country music!