Venue: Roanoke Rapids Theater - Roanoke Rapids, NC
Reviewer: Jennifer Smith
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Photo credit: Jennifer Smith / Lovin' Lyrics
If you've never seen an Oaks Christmas show, you've missed out on one of the best live shows on the road during the holidays. They truly make it an experience and so much more than just another show. It's memories of Christmas morning and the wonder of a child, it's an excited appreciation for the meaning of Christmas and it's a warm familiar feeling of home in your heart. The children in the audience leave with smiles on their faces and the adults leave feeling like they were kids again themselves. This year's Christmas tour included 34 shows, in 31 cities, in 18 states. In total, the Oak Ridge Boys performed 161 shows in 2016. These guys won't stop and don't plan on stopping anytime soon.
In the beautiful Roanoke Rapids Theater, the stage is adorned with simply lit white Christmas trees and various backgrounds of red, green and white holiday images, the Mighty Oaks Band is in place, and the Oak Ridge Boys put on a performance we won't soon forget that included hits like EVERYDAY, AMERICAN MADE, COME ON IN, GONNA TAKE A LOT OF RIVER, NOTHING BETWEEN US (BUT LOVE ANYMORE), Y'ALL COME BACK SALOON, LEAVIN' LOUISIANA IN THE BROAD DAYLIGHT, ROLL TENNESSEE RIVER and THANK GOD FOR KIDS and that was just their first set! After an hour or so of their most well known songs, they left the stage for a quick intermission and set change and then the Christmas merriment began. They delighted the audience with familiar Christmas favorites like CHRISTMAS TIME’S A COMIN’, JINGLE BELLS, WHITE CHRISTMAS, A CHRISTMAS LOVE SONG, BLUE CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS COOKIES, THAT’S WHAT I LIKE ABOUT CHRISTMAS, SANTA CLAUS IS REAL
They left nothing out, including snow falling from the rafters and a visit from Santa Claus himself who handed out presents to the youngest fans who were more than eager to accept and get a hug from the man in red and then once Santa headed back to his workshop, there was yet another set change. The crew rolled out a huge roaring fireplace complete with stockings on the mantle, large green decorated Christmas trees and 4 rocking chairs. Joe, Duane, Richard and William Lee sat in front of the fireplace and shared their favorite personal Christmas memories and sang SILENT NIGHT, BEAUTIFUL STAR OF BETHLEHEM, and THAT’S CHRISTMAS TO ME. This is everyone's favorite part of the show, we shared laughs and some of us even shed tears thinking of our own personal memories. The night unfortunately had to eventually come to an end with a few final songs - REST IN YOU TONIGHT, MARY DID YOU KNOW, COME TO THE MANGER, JESUS IS BORN TODAY and JOY TO THE WORLD. This may have been the end of another year for the Oak Ridge Boys, but with the start of the new year comes a beginning of even more shows, more fun, more friendship and more love. It's just another page in the story of the Oak Ridge Boys and each chapter leaves fans anxious for the next one.
There truly is something magical about an Oak Ridge Boys Christmas show. I don't know if it's the nostalgia for the days when we were kids and didn't have a care in the world other than ripping wrapping paper off beautifully decorated boxes to see what waited inside or if it was the feeling of love that seems to wrap the entire audience in a warm embrace or maybe a little of both. What I do know is that there's no other show like an Oak Ridge Boys Christmas and my Christmas wish for you is that you take the time to experience it if it comes to your town. It is a gift in itself and one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!