Monday, November 12, 2007
Up Close and Personal Tour 2007
November 10, 2007
The Paramount Theater
After the extended wait between Laura Byrna’s opening performance and replacing the soundboard, the restless, but understanding crowd arose to their feet to welcome Clint Black to the stage, the near forty-five minute delay was quickly forgotten as the strong country vocals of Black’s “The Shoes You’re Wearing” filled The Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia.
No flashy stage, (rather very simple large drapes in the background,) no pyrotechnics, no acrobatic tricks or running around from side to side. Just a little moving to the music and some toe tapping was in store from Black. An artist, his guitar (and for Black, his harmonica), and the importance of the music presented on a simple stage is all a true country music artist, like Black needs. Black’s music, lyrics, and vocal delivery are of such caliber, there is no need for any distractions.
“State of Mind” was played early on in the show, giving new fans a sense of Black’s highly talented harmonica playing. Longtime fans of Black’s music were treated to seeing him play live. Strumming and singing through his vast of collection of hit songs, Black’s facial expressions were animated, full of concentration, dedication, personal enjoyment, and a personal connection with the fans. He was having a lot of fun and so was the audience, no doubt.
In between songs, Black told a few short stories and entertained the crowd with his excellent sense of humor; yet at the same time he brought the true-life lyrical power of country music to life for the audience. The humor was shared by the audience in such form as an absolutely stellar impression of Willie Nelson and a story about his father before singing “Nothing’s News,” a lesser known song by title, but more familiar by sound. “Now I'm talking 'bout the good 'ol times / Talking 'bout the good 'ol times / Bragging on how I used to be / But I've worn out the same old lines / And now it seems nothing's news to me…” Black’s voice powerfully rose through the entire venue, filling every crevice and onlooker’s ear.
Along with the new single, “The Strong One,” a salute to Mothers (especially single Mothers) Black also featured his classic sound on a new song, “Can’t Quit Thinking” to be released in February. The attentive audience was very receptive to the music. Black then returned to the hits, performing “Nothing but the Taillights” to the crowd’s delight.
At 10:35pm Black ended his set with “Like the Rain” and “We Tell Ourselves,” the crowd wasn't’t in anyway ready to leave... After a lengthy standing ovation, Black came back to the stage for an encore including “Killin’ Time” and Black playing the drums on a Steely Dan classic. Following Black's time of playing drums, it was time for one more crowd pleaser. From the "Common Thread: Songs of the Eagles" various artist tribute album, Black performed "Desperado" that again amazed the audience.
Performing just fewer than 20 songs throughout the evening, Black’s country filled distinct voice remained powerful, consistent, and filled the beautifully renovated theater.
The fans tonight that were in attendance are real country music fans; if they weren’t before the show, they were when Black finished. Black brought the audience just what was expected; a well delivered show by an artist of the highest level of musical talent.