Classic country groups Restless Heart and Shenandoah entertain the socially distanced crowd inside the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center on Friday evening in Shipshewana, IN.
On a chilled Friday evening in October, country music fans of yesteryear’s hits line up at the doors to see two power house country groups of the 90’s perform on stage at the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center in Shipshewana, IN.
Opening the show this evening is the 1990 ACM Vocal Group Of The Year Restless Heart. The show begins with a highlight reel on the side video screens showing off performances and accolades from previous appearances at various shows of the past.
The band takes to the stage with their 1989 single “Say What’s In Your Heart” and continues on with “Fast Moving Train,” “Wheels” and “Dancy’s Dream” before lead vocalist Larry Stewart raises his hands to indicate a time-out. He then jokingly confesses that that is as many songs he and the band can do in a row without taking a break at the age they are.
After introducing themselves as Restless Heart, Larry announces that the band is in their 37th year as a band and continues forward with all the five original members of the band.
He also compliments the crowd in Shipshewana of the new Blue Gate Performing Arts Center as he remembers playing in the Shipshewana Event Center Hall next door just last year. Continuing on with the COVID-19 pandemic and social gathering requirements, it is nice to see people getting out and enjoying the shows and the music even though some are located in the back corners of the room and viewing tonight’s show on a video screen mounted on the sides of the stage.
In 2016, the band went into the studio and recorded some old tunes and really liked the outcome of this song. So they released it as a single on I-tunes and made a video to go with the song. As the music begins, Larry states that we will never hear great new music from the great Glen Campbell again. As a tribute to Glen, they perform “Wichita Lineman.”
With a deep depth of harmonies in the band, it is clearly evident during “When She Cries” as drummer John Dittrich takes over on lead vocals while the band follows along in harmony.
In the fast-paced up tempo song “Hummingbird,” the band shows off a bit as they highlight on the musicianship of the band. Playing right into The Surfaris cover of “Wipe Out,” Larry jumps up on the drum riser and joins John for a duo drum solo before introducing the band. Larry introduces the band that includes : Greg Jennings (lead guitar and back ground vocals,) Paul Gregg (bass guitar, background vocals) David Innis (piano, keyboard, background vocals,) John Dittrich (drums, vocals) and himself, Larry Stewart (vocals, acoustic guitar.) At the conclusion of the introductions, the band finishes up with the tail of “Hummingbird.”
Slowing it down for “I’ll Still Be Loving You,” a song they recorded 35 years ago. Larry confesses that at the time, the band didn’t realize what they had with the song until they started receiving emails and letters telling them of how the song affected their listeners.
Dave gives a stellar piano intro before winding into “The Bluest Eyes In Texas,” which has become one of Restless Heart’s signature hit songs. With the band harmonizing the chorus, Paul shows his high tenor vocal range as he follows along to Larry’s lead.
Playing one for all the ladies in the house tonight, the band performs their first #1 hit song “That Rock Won’t Roll” before ending their 60 minute show this evening with “Why Does It Have To Be (Wrong Or Right).”
The crowd shows their appreciation and joy by honoring the band with a standing ovation as they exit off the stage.
With a career that has surpassed 35+ years, it is hard to believe that Restless Heart only has eight studio albums that generated 31 singles and eight #1 hits. However, the quality of music is always better than the quantity.
Although we have all aged and are visually able to see it, you can sit back in your seat with your eyes closed and return in time as Larry, John, Greg, David and Paul sing the songs and sound just like they did back in the late 80’s and 90’s when they made the songs originally. Their voices and sounds are as incredible today as days past.
After a short break to prepare the stage, Shenandoah comes to the stage for their part of the show.
The band consists of original co-founding members Marty Raybon (lead vocals, acoustic guitar) and “Kit-Kat Daddy” Mike McGuire (drums, background vocals) with Austin Crum (lead guitar), Donnie Allen (fiddle, acoustic and electric guitar), Travis Mobley (keyboard and background vocals) and Paul Sanders (bass guitar, background vocals) joining in.
The crowd is entertained as Marty sings to them all the classic hits that Shenandoah is known for. Some of the songs included: “Next To You, Next To Me,” “Darned If I Don’t (Danged If I Do),” “Mama Knows” and the gut wrenching “Ghost In This House.”
As Marty welcomes the crowd to the show, he thanks Shipshewana and the country music fans for attending. He comments that these days it feels good to just get out of the house and play anywhere. He jokes that with COVID-19 taking over the world and putting regulations on shows, that with the social distancing and only 20% people capacity, he has performed to less people than tha at times.
With a brand new collaboration album Every Road coming out November 13th, the band performs two songs from the album. “I’d Take Another One Of Those,” is the first and is joined by Zac Brown on the album along with “Make It To Summertime” that is performed with Luke Bryan.
Shenandoah finishes off their set with a couple of classics “Two Dozen Roses” and “Church On Cumberland Road” that fans have come to love over the band’s 36 year existence.
With the crowd calling the band back out for an encore, Marty gives a small history lesson on the area of Muscle Shoals, AL where the band originates from. He tells of how back in the 1960’s and 70’s, that Muscle Shoals was the recording capital of the world and everyone that was someone would come and record songs from there. For an encore, the band plays a medley of hits that were created during that time. The medley consists of: “When A Man Loves A Woman” by Percy Sledge, “Mustang Sally” by Mac Rice, “Family Tradition” by Hank Williams Jr., “Old Time Rock And Roll” by Bob Seger and wrapping up with the popular “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
As the evening comes to a close, it is a successful night as all in attendance are happily entertained with great classic country hits by two quality bands.
To catch a show or stay up to date with news by Restless Heart, Shenandoah or even the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center, click on the links below to stay caught up.
Restless Heart setlist: (60 Minutes)
1. Say What’s In Your Heart. 2. Fast Moving Train 3. Wheels. 4. Dancy’s Dream. 5. Wichita Lineman. 6. When She Cries 7. Hummingbird / Wipe Out (Band Intros) 8. I’ll Still Be Loving You. 9. The Bluest Eyes In Texas. 10. That Rock Won’t Roll. 11. Why Does It Have To Be (Right Or Wrong)
Shenandoah setlist: (80 Minutes)
1. Next To You, Next To Me. 2. Janie Baker’s Love Slave. 3. Darned If I Don’t (Danged If I Do). 4. The Moon Over Georgia. 5. Rock My Baby. 6. Mama Knows. 7. If Bubba Can Dance. 8. Ghost In This House. 9. I’d Take Another One Of Those. 10. I Got You 11. Sunday In The South. 12. I Wanna Be Loved Like That. 13. Make It To Summertime. 14. Two Dozen Roses. 15. Church On Cumberland Road. Encore: 16 Medley – When A Man Loves A Woman, Mustang Sally, Family Tradition, Old Time Rock And Roll, Sweet Home Alabama
Event Date: 30-OCT-2020