Wednesday, April 26, 2017

CONCERT REVIEW: OAK RIDGE BOYS CELEBRATION TOUR 2017 - ALABAMA THEATRE, MYRTLE BEACH, SC

Event: Oak Ridge Boys - Celebration Tour 2017
Date: April 1, 2017
Venue: Alabama Theatre - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Reviewer: Jennifer Smith
Follow Jenn on Twitter at @Lovinlyrics

Let me preface this review by saying when you walk out onto your hotel room balcony and see this, you know the tone has been set for a good time ...


The Boys are back in town! Any time the Oak Ridge Boys are in Myrtle Beach, SC, the skies are instantly bluer, the sun shines brighter and the day is a good day. This time, they were in town for another show at the beautiful Alabama Theater at Barefoot Landing on April 1. Seriously, no joke!

I arrived at the theater about an hour or so before showtime for some "pre-crowd" time with the Boys, the crew, to catch up, get some hugs, and just spend some quality time with mutual friends who have traveled in from various places for the show. This is always my favorite part of "Oaks Day", the friendship, the music is just an added plus. Everyone is always so friendly and fun to be around. You really can't beat this group of people. I wish every artist/crew/fan base was as friendly and kind as the this group. It really makes a difference. When you treat your fans as friends instead of walking wallets and your crew as family instead of simply hired hands, it creates a positive, encouraging environment for everyone and that's what this show is each and every time. Thanks to this entire crew of hardworking guys, the Oak Ridge Boys tour is one well oiled machine that keeps on rolling.

As always at the Alabama Theatre and most other shows, this was a sell out crowd and a very anxious and excited one. You could hear stories about the Oaks rumbling through the audience, people bonding over their ORB experiences, talking about their favorite songs and there were new friendships being made and old friends reconnecting. It really is such a warm and inviting place to be.

The hardest working tour manager in the business, Darrick, took the stage to tell the audience a little background on the history of the Country Music Hall of Fame members, to promote some of the newest merchandise and to .. well ... just be Darrick. As Darrick left the stage, the lights dimmed and the familiar music of the show opening started with the booming voice introducing "THE OAK RIDGE BOYS". The applause was nearly deafening. The lights came back up and on the stage stood four of the reasons God made country music - Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban and one of the best bands to ever back a group, The Mighty Oaks.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Smith / Lovinlyrics 

Country, pop, and gospel all came together as one enjoyable evening with no borders. The night was just good music that made everyone in that room smile and feel good. That's what these guys are all about and that's exactly how they became one of the most loved groups in music. The night was filled with hits that had everyone up and moving and had some simply seat dancing, but one thing we all did was smile. Let's talk set list ... how many artists do you know these days that play a set list of over 20 songs and that do it without an opener or without a break between, just go from song to song to song and constantly being animated? Not too many these days but the Oaks do it, night after night, over 100 nights a year, sometimes two shows a day and each song sounds like it's the first time they've performed it, fresh and new. They sounded great and don't get me started on the Mighty Oaks Band because this review would go another two pages on their talent and the great guys that stand in the background night after night. While I'm on that subject, if you get a chance, say hi and thank you to these incredible musicians. Let them know you appreciate what they do. 

SET LIST - ALABAMA THEATRE

EVERYDAY
AMERICAN MADE
YOU’RE THE ONE
COME ON IN
IT'S GONNA TAKE A LOT OF RIVER
LOUISIANA RED DIRT HIGHWAY
NO MATTER HOW HIGH I GET
DOWN DEEP INSIDE
NEVER HURTS TO HURT SOMETIMES
THANK GOD FOR KIDS
Y'ALL COME BACK SALOON
OZARK MOUNTAIN JUBILEE
LEAVIN’ LOUISIANA IN THE BROAD DAYLIGHT
ROLL TENNESSEE RIVER
LITTLE THINGS
DREAM ON
SAIL AWAY 
NOTHING BETWEEN US BUT LOVE ANYMORE
TIME HAS MADE A CHANGE IN ME
I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY
CRAWL TO THE RIVER
ELVIRA
BOBBIE SUE

If you've never been to an Oaks show, you probably don't get "it". Once you see them, "it" will sink in, I promise you. This is what a concert should be: enjoyable for all ages, full of music you actually can sing along to and an atmosphere that will have you in a good mood. One of my favorite new Oaks songs is sung with lead vocals by William Lee Golden, "Time Has Made a Change in Me". That may be and is expected with a history of 40+ years, when it comes to their music, time stands still. The music of the Oak Ridge Boys stands just as firm as the mighty oak and withstands the test of time and the weathering of years. 

The Boys are back at the Alabama Theatre on Saturday, October 21 at 7:00pm. 
Click here to get your tickets!

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