Tuesday, October 26, 2021

CONCERT REVIEW: THE OAK RIDGE BOYS BRING LOVE, LIGHT, HEALING AND HOPE TO THE ALABAMA THEATER

Artist: The Oak Ridge Boys
Date: 10/16/2021
Venue: The Alabama Theater - N. Myrtle Beach, SC
Reviewer: Jennifer Smith


In the current world of uncertainty and divide, the Oak Ridge Boys gave fans an evening of personal clarity and brought us all together on Saturday night, 10/16. After years of regular performances at The Alabama Theater, March 14, 2020 was their last performance in Myrtle Beach and unbeknownst to them, it would also be their last performance anywhere for quite awhile due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When the announcement was made that they would finally return for their usual fall show, tickets went quickly and the energy in the auditorium the night of the show was so special and the atmosphere was so different that it made it almost feel like the first time all over again.

Before the show, normally the backstage area would be bustling with activity - the crew, venue employees, band and the Boys hanging out with friends and fans during their meet and greet, talking, laughing and discussing the latest happenings. This year, thanks to the devil names Covid and the fact that Myrtle Beach was a hot spot, it was anything but interactive - the catering area was quiet, the hallways were dark, and it was more like a quick wave hello in passing to those you happened to see back there. It was a distinct difference from pre-Covid shows, but when the stage lights came on and Darrick took to the stage to do his "Billy Mays" impression to open the show, it was whole different picture. These fans were ready to get back to "normal", ready to sing their lungs out. Then you heard it ... "Ladies and Gentlemen ... the legendary OAK ... RIDGE ... BOYS" and then it got so loud you couldn't hear the voices in your own head. Lawdy mercy.  it sure was great to not be able to hear yourself think again like this.

The music started, the lights came up and "Bouncin' Joe" Bonsall, "Big Daddy" Duane, "The Grand Papa of Mow Mow" Richard and "The Original King of Swagger", William Lee, took their places on stage and launched into 2 hours of their biggest hits and new songs that are destined to carve out a place in their musical "hitstory" books. Yes, I used a lot of puns and nicknames there, deal with it. LOL! The night was filled with the familiarity of songs such as "American Made", "Y'all Come Back Saloon", "Dream On" and others. People were singing and swaying and smiling and just enjoying themselves and it was such a good thing to see. The Oaks have a way of bringing comfort at times it's most needed and I can tell you that it is so much appreciated. One really nice thing they did on this particular night was having the drummer, Austin Curcuruto, bring out his young daughter, Gia, during "Thank God for Kids" and it was so cute. She was having the best time with her daddy and is too young to realize how special of a memory this will be for both of them years from now. They wrapped up the show with a rousing singalong of "Elvira" and "Bobbie Sue" and the crowd was just crazy, standing up, dancing and singing along. What a great night!












One more thing that needs to be mentioned, these four men did what they could to make sure their employees were well taken care of during their time off the road. The band and crew told me how appreciative they are to work for such a caring organization and how much it means that they went through the lengths they did to ensure their security in a time of insecurity and concern.

Thank you to the Oaks, the wonderful Mighty Oaks Band, the crew, and the Alabama Theater for a wonderful night. Can't wait to do it all again in the spring! 

Head over to www.oakridgeboys.com and pick up their newest album, "Front Porch Singin''". It's also available at most digital outlets. They're also getting ready to head out for their annual Christmas shows so be sure to check and see where they're playing this year! It's a show worth seeing, the best gift you'll get this year.

Photo credits: Jennifer Smith / Lovin' Lyrics



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