With a near capacity crowd inside the Shipshewana Event Center, Restless Heart and Diamond Rio deliver an energetic evening of greatest hits.

With the combination of two of country music’s harmonizing vocal groups of the 90’s, Saturday evening at the Shipshewana Event Center is sure to be the venue of the evening with a show to not be missed.
As part of the Blue Gate Restaurant & Theatre concert series in Shipshewana, IN, the show this evening has a fan following from multiple states based on the theatre’s reputation for great quality shows. Joined with the fact that each of the bands have their own fan followings creates for a packed house inside the large event center.

First to take the stage is Restless Heart, who is in the middle of celebrating their 35th year together. Restless Heart was created in 1984 as a band to record record demos for a record producer in Nashville. The band consists of: Larry Stewart on lead vocals and acoustic guitar; John Dittrich on drums and vocals; Paul Gregg on bass guitar and vocals; Dave Innis on piano, keyboards and vocals; Greg Jennings on lead guitar and vocals. Taking the stage with “Say What’s In Your Heart,” the band continues rolling through the hits that have made them famous with “That Rock Won’t Roll,” “Why Does It Have To Be,” “Wheels” and “Dancy’s Dream.”

Although getting help with the background vocals from the crowd, Larry acts as if he is gasping for air and jokingly confesses to the crowd “time out. That’s too many songs in a row for guys our age.” Larry continues on by claiming to the crowd that tonight’s show includes two bands that have been performing for 30+ years and still going strong with all their original band members.

Restless Heart takes a moment to thank the crowd and give credit to the bands that helped them when they were first hitting the road and gaining national attention. Larry sings snippets of a hit from The Judds “Why Not Me” and Vince Gill “Liza Jane” while Paul adds Hank Williams Jr. “Family Tradition.” John sings “Mercury Blues” by Alan Jackson before Larry finishes the melody with “Mountain Music” by the legendary Alabama.
At the conclusion, Larry adds that they toured with Reba McEntire “however, we didn’t sound very good singing “here’s your one chance Fancy, don’t let me down”” as the crowd burst into laughter.

During the fun, fast paced band musical showcase of “Hummingbird,” Larry stands beside Greg and gives a helping hand with the strings of his guitar before jumping up on the drum riser with John. Having fun with John by flipping his hat around on his head, he gets serious when he displays his stick technique on the drums with John before tossing them up in the air behind himself and John at the end of the song.

Not having any idea what this song was going to do to their career or the effects of it on their fans across the globe when they recorded it 33 ½ years ago, “I’ll Still Be Loving You” has been listed as one of the Top 50 Love Songs Of All Time by CMT. Dave plays a soft piano intro leading up to the band’s signature single “The Bluest Eyes In Texas.” As the song begins, the room of the event center lights up with cell phones as the crowd records the classic hit while singing along with the band.

The band ends their part of the evening’s performance having fun on stage with the ZZ Top cover of “Sharp Dressed Man.” While Paul sings, Larry and Greg stand off to the other side of the stage doing their version of the guitar swing.

The second band to take the stage is the Grammy winning, six time Vocalists Of The Year, Diamond Rio. The band consists of: Marty Roe on lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Dan Truman on keyboard and piano; Jimmy Orlander on lead guitar, dobro and banjo; Gene Johnson with mandolin, guitar and tenor vocals; Dana Williams on bass guitar and baritone vocals; and Brian Prout on Drums. The band starts off with “Unbelievable” and blends right into “Norma Jean Riley” all while the crowd sings along with the band. 

Since their debut self titled album in 1991, Diamond Rio has accumulated 10 studio albums with 36 singles. With all the hits they have attained in their 30 years, they have put some of their songs into medleys throughout the show in order to play as many of their fans favorites as possible. The first medley includes hits “Nowhere Bound,” “That’s What I Get For Lovin’ You,” “Imagine That” along with “Mirror, Mirror.”

Marty welcomes the crowd to the show and notes that you have to be careful saying “Shipshewana” and how you could get in trouble saying that if your tongue gets tied. He also talks of the enjoyment of spending time on the road with their friends, Restless Heart. He jokes with the crowd and mentions of how good a group of guys they are and how they all know a lot about each other including: each other’s kids, their parents and ….several wives.

As the song “One More Day” ends, Dana (in his deep baritone voice) leads the crowd in an acapella ending before he adds “Shipshewana” at the conclusion. The next medley of hits is an attempt to take the crowd back to the 90’s to relive memories of the beginning of their career. Some of the hits include “You’re Gone,” “In A Week Or Two,” “Mama, Don’t Forget To Pray For Me,” “Walkin’ Away,” “Holdin’,” “Love A Little Stronger,” “It’s All In Your Head.” Never a single, but highly requested by the men and women of the US military, “In God We Still Trust” is dedicated to our Veterans.

Dana takes a moment to thank the crowd for coming. He also speaks of how the band has seen a resurgence of 80’s and 90’s country music in the past year and a half to two years and enjoys it as that is where his heart is and jokes “that is where most of our music is also.” He also comments that it is being noticed on the radio too, and says that they will have to record again which brings applause over the crowd.

With Jimmy on banjo, the band joins in with “Layla” by Eric Clapton, then onto “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith, to “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas and wrapping up with “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf. Diamond Rio ends their set with the debut song that started it all for them in 1991 with their first #1 single “Meet In The Middle” and “How Your Love Makes Me Feel.”

With a loud applause and chants to call the band back for an encore, Diamond Rio returns to the stage being greeted by a standing ovation to end the evening with their crowd hit “Bubba Hyde.”

As the evening was a success and enjoyed by all, Restless Heart and Diamond Rio both were welcomed by a warm crowd who was in delight of a night of deep harmonies and a sound of pure traditional country music that is finally starting to stand again on it’s own two feet and able to make a stand against the sounds of today’s pop country.

If you’re a fan of traditional country sounds, be sure to get out and support the artists as they need you to help with their return to the spotlight. Links are provided below for Restless Heart and Diamond Rio if you are interested and want to keep up with the latest news or tour schedules. The Blue Gate Restaurant and Theatre and Shipshewana Event Center are constantly bringing artists of all genres to the folks in Shipshewana, IN. Be sure to follow their links and support the venues also. Artists, venues and fans alike all go hand in hand and need each other to be successful. Be sure to support all of them, in order for all of them to survive.

Diamond Rio
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Restless Heart
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blue Gate Restaurant and Theatre
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Restless Heart setlist:

  1. Say What’s In Your Heart     2. That Rock Won’t Roll     3. Why Does It Have To Be     4. Wheels     5. Dancy’s Dream     6. Why Not Me / Liza Jane / Family Tradition / Mercury Blues / Mountain Music      7. Witchita Lineman     8. When She Cries     9. Hummingbird     10. I’ll Still Be Loving You     11. The Bluest Eyes In Texas     12. Sharp Dressed Man 

Diamond Rio setlist: 

  1. Unbelievable     2. Norma Jean Riley     3. Nowhere Bound / Night Is Fallin’ In My Heart / That’s What I Get For Lovin’ You / Imagine That / Sweet Summer / Wrinkles / Mirror, Mirror     4. One More Day     5. Beautiful Mess     6. You’re Gone / In A Week Or Two / Mama, Don’t Forget To Pray For Me / Walkin’ Away / Holdin’ / Love A Little Stronger / It’s All In Your Head     7. In God We Still Trust     8. I Believe     9. Layla / Walk This Way / Carry On My Wayward Son / Born To Be Wild     10. Meet In The Middle     11. How Your Love Makes Me Feel     12. Encore – Bubba Hyde 

Event Date: 30-MAR-2019