VENUE: THE ALABAMA THEATRE - N. MYRTLE BEACH, SC
REVIEWER: JENNIFER SMITH
FOLLOW JENNIFER ON TWITTER - @LOVINLYRICS
Photo Credit: Jennifer Smith
Country Music Hall of Fame members, The Oak Ridge Boys, came back to sweet home Alabama on Saturday, September 14 ... the Alabama Theatre in N. Myrtle Beach, SC, that is. This venue has been like home to Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, Richard Sterban and William Lee Golden since first opening in 1993, with appearances at least twice a year to a packed house (often selling out well in advance) of die hard fans. This night saw many familiar faces, some new fans and the songs that bring smiles to everyone's faces. Tonight also had a very special visitor, longtime Purdue basketball coach Gene Keady. It was so cool to see Duane Allen's awestruck little boy side come out. He's a HUGE basketball fan and a long time admirer of Coach Keady. It was really nice to see someone in Duane's position get excited over meeting someone he's looked up to for so long. I might have smiled so big I almost swallowed my entire head. LOL. Thank you for the highlight of the game, Coach.)
To say there's something special about the Oak Ridge Boys would be an understatement. After 40 years in the business, they show no signs of slowing down. You would probably think they've done or seen just about everything, but that could not be farther from the truth. They are ALWAYS in search of different ways to keep themselves current. From constantly releasing new music and not recycling the same "greatest hit" albums over and over, to collaborations with Nashville's younger crop of talent such as Blake Shelton and Home Free, working with top producers like Dave Cobb, and changing up their tour content every year, they prove over and over why they're a lasting fixture in an ever changing genre. They love making music and we love listening to it and watching them do it. That's as simple of an explanation I can give you. It's reciprocal love between 4 men and the fans that love them. You feel it and see it at EVERY show.
The lights went down, the room got quiet and there it was, the booming vocal introduction of "THE LEGENDARY OAK RIDGE BOYS!" and then came deafening applause and cheering. How cool it must be to walk onto that stage knowing each and every person in that room came from all over the country to see YOU, to hear YOU and to support YOU. It really has to be somewhat overwhelming, no matter if you've done it 2 years or 40 years. It speaks to how much people think of you and how endearing your music is to them on a personal level. The Oak Ridge Boys always give it everything and leave nothing on that stage at the end of the night. This night was no different, performing a total of 25 songs, including old favorites and new, telling stories and connecting with the crowd. The number of smiles in that auditorium easily equaled the total tickets sold because there wasn't a face in that room without a grin on it.
(Personal note: It was so good to see face like Miss Mary and Myra. Michelle, Shirley. Y'all are some traveling fools for these guys! I love it!)
ALABAMA THEATER SET LIST 9/14/2019
- Come on In
- American Made
- Y'all Come Back Saloon
- You're the One
- Love Song
- This Crazy Love
- Beautiful Bluebird
- Dream On
- Leavin' Louisiana in the Broad Daylight
- Roll Tennessee River
- It Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes
- I'll Be True to You
- There Must Be Something About Me That She Loves
- Pray to Jesus
- Did I Make a Difference
- GI Joe and Lillie
- Make My Life With You
- Thank God for Kids
- Amazing Grace
- A Brand New Star
- There Will Be Light
- Time Has Made a Change in Me
- Have a Little Talk with Jesus
- Bobbie Sue
I can't do a review and not mention the hardest working band, The Mighty Oaks, and crew in the business. Rex Wiseman, Scotty Simpson, Roger Eaton, Jeffrey Douglas, Ronnie Fairchild and Austin Curcuruto are six of the finest musicians in country music and they are there hours before the show, setting up, practicing, and making sure that signature sound is just right. They play the show and then are there hours after the show is over, breaking things down. The crew is always working - ALWAYS. They're making sure lights, sound, security, merchandising, stage set up, stage break down, etc are right. And you can't go without thanking Darrick, the tour manager. Without Darrick and all of these guys, there wouldn't be a show. Be sure to thank them if you get a chance. They hear it very rarely. Thank you Darrick, Zeke, Marko, Dave and everyone for letting me run around, getting all up in your business while doing my thing. I know I don't say it enough. Thank you Rex, Roger and Scotty for the good conversation.
Thank you to the Oaks and the whole gang, including the fans, who made me remember why I love this genre and why I love reviewing shows. I hadn't been to a show in a couple of years and I can sure tell how much I missed it. I left with a smile and I sit here now with one writing this.
If you get a chance to see an Oaks show, I can only say please go. They're starting up their brand new "Down Home Christmas" tour to accompany their new Christmas album of the same name. Tickets are on sale now, get 'em while you can!
Find out more about the Oaks, tour dates and merchandise at https://www.oakridgeboys.com.
Connect with them on social media:
Twitter - @OakRidgeBoys @JoeBonsall @DuaneAllen @WLGolden @RASterban
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/oakridgeboys
Instagram - www.instagram.com/theoakridgeboys
All photos credit: Jennifer Smith / Lovinlyrics