I had the opportunity to attend Blake Shelton’s Well Lit and Amplified tour in Las Vegas on Saint Patrick’s Day. Wowzers! The show rocked my socks off. The line up? Dia Frampton (from the show The Voice) opening for Justin Moore and Blake Shelton. Here’s how it went down…
Walked from our room at Excalibur and made a…quick stop at the craps tables when we got to Mandalay Bay…
Okay, so it wasn’t a quick stop, but we’re in Vegas, so oh well. (My little brother would argue that we couldn’t get somewhere on time if our lives depended on it, but no one asked him.) We left the tables about 10 minutes after the show started. We got to the metal detectors outside the event center only to realize that we had both brought our pocket knives. Now before you raise your eyebrow at me, let me start by saying that I carry my knife on me just about everywhere I go. Its habit, so I didn’t even realize until the metal detectors were upon us. A very nice older gentleman tried to get us past security, as we were upstanding citizens and didn’t attempt to hide our weapons…to no avail. Then he suggested that we try checking them at the bell desk. He did caution us to the fact that they may not check them for us, since they’re weapons. Soooo….I tucked them into my hoodie’s pockets and handed it to the very nice bell desk attendant. Crisis averted.
Needless to say, we were not punctual enough to catch Dia Frampton’s performance. We also missed Justin’s first song.
Color us happy to know that we had made it for all of our favorite Justin Moore songs. I call that winning. He was charismatic, funny and connected to his audience instantly. He has a modest disposition and a “kiss-my-ass-if-you-don’t-like-my-music” attitude…it really felt like we were hanging out with friends than sitting in an event center with thousands of strangers. Maybe that’s just because we have a rough-around-the-edges group of friends (let’s face it, I’m pretty rough around the edges myself) but, aside from making amazing music, we found him very likable and entertaining. Extra kudos for putting on such a great performance despite having laryngitis. What a trooper he is!
Now, Blake Shelton. Well, the man is talented. Contrary to what some people think, he is not a new comer to the world of country music; he’s well established, though he has admittedly been on a hot streak, so-to-speak. His abundance of attention is well-earned, let me tell you.
He opened with a cover of Footloose that actually didn’t make me cringe. In fact, I enjoyed it very much, especially since he followed up with three more uninterrupted songs before pausing to speak to the audience. Like Justin, he was funny and modest and expressed his gratitude for his fans. Always nice to hear you’re appreciated, especially when you’re spending money you don’t really have on concert tickets. It turns out that he and Justin make excellent touring partners, considering their shared distaste in the suits trying to censor them and attempting to push conformity on them. He has an irreverent humor and attitude that made him immediately likable. He spoke about his experience with the tv show The Voice. He shared his admiration for his peers on the show and even played (most of) a Cee-Lo Green song. It made me smile.
In the middle of his performance, he let the band take a break and did an acoustic set at the end of the catwalk. Just him and his guitars. He tested the crowd’s “Blake Shelton music knowledge” as he played a number of songs from his early days. The crowd sang along…so we passed.
Later in the show, Dia Frampton took the stage to sing a duet that will appear on her upcoming album. I have to be honest. I wasn’t a fan. I don’t watch The Voice, so going into this, I had no idea who she was. It was my least favorite part of the show, even more so than having to wait in epically long lines for beer. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure she has a beautiful voice and is immensely talented. But she seemed and sounded very nervous and it made me glad that we had missed the opening act completely.
The set list as a whole was awesome, all the songs we hoped he’d play…all except for God Gave Me You.
The show ended, and the crowed cheered. Of course we weren’t going to let him off the hook quite yet. Blake kindly obliged us with an encore that even Justin Moore came out for. Our patience was handsomely rewarded as he closed out with God Gave Me You.
:::::sigh::::: I couldn’t have asked for a better show. We sat in the cheap seats, and still had a decent view that didn’t at all detract from our enjoyment. If you ever have the chance to see Justin Moore or Blake Shelton, I highly recommend that you jump on it.
I give this Saint Patty’s day show a two thumbs up to the sky. (Yes, my thumbs may be small, but powerful, they are.)