Artist: Oak Ridge Boys
Venue: Alabama Theatre - N. Myrtle Beach, SC
Tour: 40th Anniversary Tour
Every time I know I'm going to an Oak Ridge Boys show, I get almost giddy, not "fan girl" giddy but excited because I just love their music so much and love what they stand for - tradition, faith, class, generosity and family. The list could actually go on and on but I think those sum these four men up quite well. You would think after being together 40 years, day after day, night after night, and city after city that they'd be complacent about their shows, you know, come out, sing, go home. That's far from the show that these guys give. Every show is like the first show, full of energy, enthusiasm, love and the gratitude for still being able to sell out shows after so many years. When Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban walk onto that stage, there is an indescribable energy that fills the air, a love that emanates not only from the crowd but from the Boys and the band. It's different than any other show you'll see. It's a show you not only see, it's a show you feel.
We started the evening with some quality time with the guys backstage, catching up on what's been going on since the last time we were all together, telling stories, laughing, cracking jokes and just having a good time among friends. I love these Myrtle Beach shows because not only do I get to see the guys and the band, I also get to see the same group of wonderful people that come to the show, familiar faces from Twitter, Facebook and locals that all share a love of the Oak Ridge Boys and their music. PS - The Alabama Theater is BEAUTIFUL.
The night was filled with hits we all knew and could sing along with, every word. You could hear people beside you, behind you and in front of you, tone deaf and off key singing along to songs like "American Made", "Sail Away", "True Heart", "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight", "Ozark Mountain Jubilee", and "Y'all Come Back Saloon". It was awesome! When Duane began to sing "I Get To", the lady behind me was crying. That song itself, combined with Duane's emotion, knows right where to hit you and that's what a great song is meant to do. Well, it's supposed to make you think and sometimes cry, but pretty sure blowing your nose isn't really something we want them to make us do in public. They sang a few that they've been hiding away for awhile like "The Baptism of Jesse Taylor" and "Dig a Little Deeper", then broke out some high powered clap your hands and praise the Lord gospel tunes like "Jesus is Coming Soon" and "Lead Me To That Rock". I swear I saw the face of Jesus and He was smiling and clapping along too! When we all came down off our express cloud to Heaven, the jam session and last few songs of the night began. One part of the night that those up front always love is when it's time to "Touch a Hand, Make a Friend". The guys shake as many hands as they can and even fans are shaking each other's hands and hugging, it's really a wonderful part of the night where you forget you're strangers and you seem more like family. One of the smiling faces that you can count on at every show is Ms. Mary. We love her. She is always the one reaching out, hugging, and making new friends at every show. Fan favorites "Elvira" and "Bobbe Sue" closed the night with an all band jam session full of smile, laughs and Joe's insanely crazy stage energy! The Oak Ridge Boys really do always leave their hearts on that stage when each show is over.
One note, there was a special request for a shout out to a 3 year old fan in the audience. Joe took the time to call out his name and talk to him from the stage. The smile on that child's face made us all realize that we should "Thank God for Kids." Great moment and shows that The Oaks take time out for fans of all ages. This is why I'm proud to do what I can to support this group, they never fail to support those around them.
The familiarity of faces, the open hearts and huge smiles are part of what makes these times stand out from other shows. It's a reminder of what a good concert is all about - friends, family, fun and just good music.
So, let's check the tour calendar and see when the next show is headed my way ... well, not anymore this year but to those of you who have the chance to catch one of the remaining tour dates, I recommend that you do so. You'll be a fan for life.