Blake Shelton is one of the biggest names in country music. I would argue that thanks to his success on the TV show The Voice, he is probably the most well-known country singer around, even to those who don’t listen to country music. Shelton has hit the road for a 15 city, fall tour presented by Gildan and he brought his protégé from The Voice, Raelyn, along for the ride.
They chose to open the tour with a two-night stint at the Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City and it wasn’t just the fans who were excited that Shelton was performing in his home state. Shelton came out swinging with his huge hits “Neon Light” and “All About Tonight” and then admitted that he was really nervous about playing at home; which, of course, meant he needed a drink. Throughout the night he made mention of how happy he was to be there and how he had always dreamed of playing to an Oklahoma crowd like the one there that night.
“If you go to see a Blake Shelton show, expect to be thoroughly entertained from start to finish.”
First of all, he only sings his hits – and he’s got a lot of them. So, even if you aren’t his biggest fan, you still know all the songs because you hear them on the radio all the time. He broke out some of his older songs like “Some Beach” and “Ol’ Red,” but also threw in songs off his latest album like “Came Here to Forget” and his current single “She’s Got a Way with Words.” Secondly, Shelton is a born entertainer. Not only is he a great singer and musician, but he also takes breaks to talk to the audience and you are guaranteed to laugh with and even at him throughout the night.
As most performers do nowadays, Shelton put an acoustic set in the middle of the show. I had incredible seats right at the end of the stage and for most of the show the security had done a good job of holding everyone back in their seats, but once Shelton sat down with his guitar right in front of where I was sitting, all bets were off and they let us crowd in to get closer. At this point, it no longer felt like we were in a room with 17,000 people, but instead, we were at an intimate, private performance.
He pointed out what a special night it was to be playing in Oklahoma and asked permission for him to go way back to his beginnings. He mentioned that many there that night had been with him from the start and the crowd roared in support. Then he joked that he could be getting ready to make a huge fool of himself because he was staring at people in the audience right then that weren’t even born when the song came out. He happened to be looking right at my friend’s 12-year-old daughter at that time. He was worried he wouldn’t remember the words so he begged the crowd to “please, dear God, sing” and the entire arena helped him sing his very first No. 1 song, “Austin.”
Many of Shelton’s songs are duets and he told the audience from the beginning that they needed to be his duet partner for the night. In true Blake Shelton fashion, he added that if they didn’t do their part, the songs “could potentially suck.” The Okie crowd sang their hearts out on “Lonely Tonight,” which he recorded with Ashley Monroe and the Trace Adkins duet “Hillbilly Bone.” They even chimed in on “Gonna,” which wasn’t technically a duet but became one when they repeated the “hey hey” part of the song and opening act, Raelyn, stepped up to help out with “Boys ‘Round Here.” However, the surprise of the night happened when Shelton’s girlfriend and rock star Gwen Stefani walked out with him and sang “Go Ahead and Break My Heart.” The chemistry they had on stage was undeniable and the crowd went crazy for the power couple.
Shelton has not only made great duets but has also covered songs that weren’t originally country and made them hits. That night he lovingly dedicated his rendition of “Home,” a song made famous by Michael Buble, to Oklahoma. As the encore started, drummer Tracy Broussard got the crowd on their feet dancing to another familiar cover as Shelton reappeared to sing his countrified version of the 80’s hit “Footloose.”
He ended the night with the heartfelt “God Gave Me You” and proclaimed “I love you Oklahoma! That’s why I call this place home still today!” Blake Shelton puts on an incredible show and if the rest of the tour is half as good as it was in Oklahoma City, it will be a night you won’t forget.
What city will you be seeing Blake Shelton in this Fall? Let me know in the comments below.