Posted by: Amy | November 25, 2010

November 18 – Gary Allan, The Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA

Gary Allan is one of those artists whose music I really enjoy and who always has great singles, but somehow seems forgotten by critics and the industry come awards season. I, too, am guilty of not always remembering his vast talent. He’s one of those guys who has had so many hit songs that it’s sometimes easy to forget just how many hits he’s had. But, after being thoroughly impressed with him at his fan club party in Nashville, I vowed to catch his tour when it rolled through Atlanta. It’s a decision that I’m glad that I made. He picked Randy Houser and Jerrod Niemann as his openers for the Get Off on the Pain Tour.

My friend Rachel went to the show with me. When Randy Houser’s newest album They Call Me Cadillac was released, Rachel and I decided to split the cost of the deluxe fan pack offered on Randy’s website. The pack included signed versions of the album in both CD and vinyl formats. I have begun collecting the vinyl versions of all of my favorite artists’ albums, so I was really excited to get an autographed copy. The pack also included two meet and greet passes for the show of our choice and several other accessories. We knew that we were going to be seeing the show in Atlanta and decided to take advantage of the opportunity to meet Randy.

When we arrived at the venue, we picked up our meet and greet wristbands and made our way to the designated meeting spot. After being led down a narrow staircase to the basement of the Fox Theatre, we waited to meet Randy. We didn’t have to wait too long before Randy was there to meet his fans. Rachel and I both love his infectious laugh and when he chuckled a few times, we cracked up, too. When it was my turn, I shook his hand and we took our picture. Then I handed him the album booklet for the Sweet Home Alabama Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute album, for which Randy recorded the classic “Simple Man.” At first he looked at the booklet and said, “What’s this?” and then a second later he realized what it was. After he signed my booklet, my turn was over and we headed back up the stairs to find our seats.

We arrived at our seats just as Jerrod Niemann was taking the stage. His album Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury debuted at the top of the Billboard country charts in July. He played several songs from the album, along with the Garth Brooks hit “Good Ride Cowboy,” which Jerrod co-wrote with Garth as a tribute to Chris LeDoux. My favorite song that he performed was “What Do You Want,” his current single. He co-wrote the song with Rachel Bradshaw, the daughter of NFL legend Terry Bradshaw. Rachel also does an amazing job of singing background vocals on the track. The crowd was a little slow to warm, but by the time that Jerrod played his number one hit “Lover, Lover,” everyone was singing along.

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Jerrod Niemann’s Set List

  • The Buckin’ Song
  • One More Drinkin’ Song
  • Good Ride Cowboy
  • What Do You Want
  • How Can I Be So Thirsty
  • For Everclear
  • Lover, Lover

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Randy Houser took the stage with guns blazing. He opened the show with the rockin’ “Whistlin’ Dixie,” one of my favorite Randy Houser tunes. It still surprises me that that song wasn’t a bigger hit. It seems to be played a lot and I’ve even heard it covered by other artists. He played several tracks from his new album, which is REALLY good! He’s got such a sultry, soulful voice that’s easy to recognize and hard to forget. When he’s on stage, he gives 110% and really works to engage and entertain the fans. I got chills when he sang the emotional “Anything Goes.” After “Anything Goes,” he cranked up the tempo for the rest of his set and he closed the show with his signature hit “Boots On,” which had everyone on their feet and singing along.

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Randy Houser’s Set List

  • Whistlin’ Dixie
  • Out Here in the Country
  • A Man Like Me
  • Anything Goes
  • Simple Man
  • Low Down and Lonesome
  • Boots On

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When Randy’s set was through, everyone was ready for Gary Allan. He kicked off the show with “Right Where I Need to Be” and continued rolling through his hits. Last month he announced that he was canceling his New Year’s Eve show and postponing a show in Cherokee, NC due to a scheduled surgery to remove a polyp on one of his vocal cords. The Atlanta show was one of his last before the surgery. I was a little concerned that the quality of the show would be compromised, but Gary proved to be a trooper. While there were a few times that he struggled to reach high notes or didn’t even try to sing those notes, his normal vocal range was unaffected. He sounded great and I doubt that anyone would have noticed, but for the announcement about his surgery.

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He played a long show that included 22 songs. The bulk of the set list included his vast catalog of hit songs and a lot of the first half of the set featured his uptempo numbers. Midway through the set, he played several ballads, including the touching “No Regrets” from the Get Off on the Pain album. He played the song with the accompaniment of two acoustic guitars and the rest of the band took a break. “No Regrets” is a song that he wrote about his late wife, Angela. A couple of songs later, he played “Her Man” and afterward he said, “I just played my first single and here’s my current single,” before launching into “Kiss Me When I’m Down.” Upon reviewing the set list, I noticed that he only played five album cuts and one cover song the entire night. He’s had a really long string of radio hits!

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For the encore he played the Georgia Satellites’ “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” and he invited both Randy Houser and Jerrod Niemann out to sing a verse of the song. He closed the show with the party song “Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey.” That song was never a single, but as it was with all of the other non-singles in the set list, a lot of the audience knew the words and they were singing along. Gary is a born entertainer and he was able to captivate the crowd with an engaging set list and lots of audience interaction. He made sure to walk the length of the stage throughout the show so that all of the audience had a chance to experience him up close and personal. If you haven’t seen him live, I highly recommend that you check him out. He really plays a great show!

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Gary Allan’s Set List

  • Right Where I Need to Be
  • A Feeling Like That
  • Nothin’ on But the Radio
  • Man to Man
  • She’s So California
  • Smoke Rings in the Dark
  • It Would Be You
  • Learning How to Bend
  • Life Ain’t Always Beautiful
  • Like it’s a Bad Thing
  • Tough All Over
  • No Regrets
  • Bourbon Borderline
  • Songs about Rain
  • Get Off on the Pain
  • Her Man
  • Kiss Me When I’m Down
  • Best I Ever Had
  • Man of Me
  • Watching Airplanes

Encore

  • Keep Your Hands to Yourself (with Randy and Jerrod)
  • Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey

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See the whole photo album here.


Responses

  1. Love the review and could not agree more. Gary Allan may not be highly recognized in the country music industry but he should be. I have never seen a concert where a performer puts more of himself into the show outside of maybe, Garth Brooks. He is a man that I will never miss in concert if he is anywhere near me and didn’t miss. I was at all three of his finals shows for the “Get Off On The Pain” tour and he never disappointed. Randy Houser has an incredible voice and an infectious laugh. Jerrod Niemann is a man on his way up and knows how to entertain the crowd. It was worth every dollar spent and I can’t wait to do it again.

  2. IT IS ABOUT TIME SOME REALIZE HOW GREAT GARY IS WE THE FANS NEW THIS A LONG TIME AGO GARY IS GREAT TO HIS FANS THAT’S WHY WE LOVE HIM.WAY TO GO GARY

  3. I love this review–you hit it dead on. I went to this show with a friend and my 2 daughters, and they rocked The Fox!! I have gone to a lot of the shows and I wondered how his voice would be with the upcoming surgery pending, noticed a few things–but doubt anyone else did. Hoping the recovery goes well so the resecheduled show for Harrah’s goes on as planned—because I will be there!!!

  4. I have seen Jerrod, Randy and Gary 3 times on this leg of the tour–your write up did a good job capturing the evening. Thanks for sharing, and hope we meet at next year’s fan club party.
    (if you’re interested, i started a Gary Allan-centric blog last month at smokeringsandfellingslikethat.wordpress.com)

  5. they all rocked the fox!! YES, it is a very SMALL staircase to the bottom of the Fox for the meet and greet! it was one of the BEST concert’s I have seen in a long time! Conway & Alabama i think will always be my favs! they really knew how to play to the true fans and loved the fans!!

    oh, and mr. kilt tried to shoot a guitar pick down my shirt!! it almost went in!! LOL!!


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