Monday, August 5, 2013

No BS: Blake Shelton at Pittsburgh, Aug 2, 2013


Blake Shelton has a pensive moment

The Inky Jukebox does not know whether Blake Shelton, experienced entertainer that he is, should be taken at his word when he appeared taken aback at how populous and exuberant the Pittsburgh crowd was on August 2. It had been years since he’d played in the area, and his star has risen in recent years by dint of his role as a coach on The Voice. From what The Inky Jukebox heard, a number of concert-goers were there to see what he was all about for the first time. We’d like to believe he really meant it, that he wasn’t just delivering schlock when he expressed his appreciation. Why? Because Blake Shelton appeared to give his all and delivered a rollicking good show.
He may have said he was nervous, but he sure didn't seem it. 
What makes a good show, you ask? Well, playing hit after hit after hit helps. Playing them well doesn’t hurt. 
An acoustic set out in the audience
The banter with the crowd in between songs was not only detail-oriented (referring to actual people in the actual crowd), but funny as hell. It doesn’t matter if the old hidden-mullet-in-the-hat trick was a tad predictable; the way he pulled it off made us all laugh out loud. We did not LOL; we laughed our asses off. 

Some beach, somewhere. 
Mr. Shelton can also really play and really sing, and he makes being on stage look effortless.

Here’s Shelton singing his hit “Home” after getting the crowd to twinkle their cell phones. It was purdy.

Footage courtesy of The Inky Jukebox

The crowd at the First Niagara Pavilion was thick and in the mood to party, and sang along to every word. 

The hill already packed for the opening acts
They were even out in force for the opening act, country music nice boy Easton Corbin, who gave a solid set of the old-school country style, liberally sprinkled with fiddle leads and lap steel. He delighted all by pulling out two bang-on covers: Brooks and Dunn’s “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” and Alabama’s “If You’re Gonna Play In Texas.”

Easton Corbin
Corbin was preceded by actress-turned-country cutie-pie Jana Kramer, who flitted about the stage in an outfit designed to please (the boys): tank top, leather hot pants and Louboutin heels. 

Well hello, Jana Kramer. 
With her long dark hair and legs for miles, Kramer is one of those ladies who is clearly always the hottest girl in the room (or amphitheater). It’s no wonder Brantley Gilbert said “I’ll have her, thanks.” She can sing just like she does on her records, needing no celebrity partner to carry her weight. The line to meet her after the show was LONG.

The more he drinks, the more he drinks, the more he drinks. 
Go see Blake Shelton. The man is a born entertainer and gives you your money's worth and then some. He's no BS; he's the real deal.  

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