Dustin Lynch and friends unload for an acoustic evening of storytelling and songs in front of a “SOLD OUT” crowd in Shipshewana, IN.
As a long, horrified 2020 has come and gone, 2021 appears to finally be showing shines of relief. 2020 was filled with the COVID-19 pandemic that brought the whole world to a screeching halt. Now in 2021, life is slowly returning to some normalcy as people are beginning to go back to work and some restrictions are being lifted and giving people freedoms to gather and be together again.
Over the past couple of months, the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center has taken precautions in order to open their doors to attendees and artists. They have kept the limited capacity, socially distanced seated crowds safe by enforcing the mask mandate and placing hand sanitizers throughout the vigorously cleaned venue.
The Blue Gate Performing Arts Center has slowly ramped up the attendance inside the 1500 seat theatre. This evening’s show with Dustin Lynch is being limited at 70% capacity. Concert goers and country music fans have waited patiently to be able to get out of the house and attend concerts again. For this show, they bought up every ticket available early in advance and quickly lined outside the venue early in the evening, to gather with other eager guests.
Besides the fans, the music artists are also eager to return to the stages again. For the first time in 14 months, Dustin Lynch takes to the stage and is ready to get back to what is normal for him.
Just like the venues, Dustin is starting off slowly with a few soft performances to get back into the rhythm. This evening’s show is not the typical all-electric full band performance that people have grown accustomed to. Tonight is set up as an acoustic show with stools set up at the front of the stage for guests to join Dustin throughout the set.
The show begins with Pat (Dustin’s new utility player) breaking out with a fancy guitar lick before Dustin joins him on stage. Dustin appears shocked and amazed by the welcome shown by loud and thunderous applause from the crowd.
Through all the screams of the crowd, Dustin replies that his heart is beating 200 miles an hour and that it has been over a year since his last performance on stage. He and Pat warn the crowd of the way the show is going to be with Dustin’s 2014 single “Hell Of A Night” that leads into “Mind Reader.”
Admitting that he was scared to death to do a show, he wasn’t sure if anyone would show up. He is very thankful that the show is successful and sold out. He also tells the crowd that this show is going to be laid back and not very professional as it is going to be very fun and storytelling. He explains that he has brought a handful of songwriters with him that will join him throughout the show.
Before that happens, Dustin and Pat perform the song “Where It’s At” that landed him a spot on the Luke Bryan tour in 2016.
First out to join Dustin and Pat is songwriter Andy Albert. Andy has had the honor of writing songs for artists like Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, and Mitchell Tenpenny, among others. Andy performs his hit “Rednecker” by Hardy as the crowd approves.
As Andy walks off stage, Dustin tells of how all his songwriting friends wanted to make the trip to Shipshewana for the show. Laughing, Dustin explains that he had to cut out most of them as 12 guys on a bus is enough. That leads into Dustin’s second single “Riding Roads,” off his 2020 album Tullahoma.
The next songwriter Dustin calls to the stage is Tim Nichols. Tim is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame and has written songs for many, including Reba McEntire, Faith Hill and Keith Whitley.
Tim tells some of how songs come to be, just like a small conversation will spark an idea to eventually being a hit song. He then performs his hit single “Heads Carolina, Tails California” that was a career launcher for female artist, Jo Dee Messina.
Back to Dustin and Pat alone together on stage again, Dustin tells of how an old high school sweetheart broke his heart. He explains that he is glad she did as it inspired his hit “Momma’s House.”
Dressed in a leopard patterned suit and full of obnoxious energy, J.T. Harding comes hurriedly to the stage for his turn at the mic. J.T. has written songs for the likes of Kenny Cheney and Keith Urban. He performs “Beers And Sunshine” that is being sang by Darius Rucker.
Dustin next performs “Good Girl” that is the debut single off the Tullahoma album. It is also a song that was co-written with Andy while on the Brad Paisley Tour in 2018. That then prompts Andy to join Dustin and Pat on stage again.
With Andy back on stage, he tells the story of he and friends out drinking one night and writing a song. With the amount of alcohol consumed, they felt no fear as they emailed Blake Shelton to pitch their newest writing. He later went on and recorded the tune “She’s Got A Way With Words.”
Dustin calls a young female to the stage that is celebrating her birthday at the show. Dustin invites everyone inside the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center to join in singing Jenna “Happy Birthday.” After offering her everything she wants from the merchandise table and one of his personal guitar picks, he slowly takes off his jean jacket and hands it to her. Joking as she is walking back to her seat, he tells her that she may need to wash that jacket as it has seen many nights on stage in the past.
With Andy still on stage, Dustin has him join in the latest single “Thinking ‘bout You.” As the song is a duo featuring Mackenzie Porter, Andy contributes by singing her parts of the song.
Andy leaves the stage, and Tim returns to sing his Alan Jackson jingle “That’d Be Alright.”
Dustin tells how he used to follow Tim around and try to learn from him. One night during a songwriting session, there was nothing flowing between them. After Tim took a phone call, he returned to a magical moment in time as he and Dustin make a connection and come up with what became Dustin’s debut single “Cowboys And Angels.”
With the evening’s performance being centred around the songwriters and their circulating order, J.T. returns to fester the crowd with Blake Shelton’s “Sangria.” After the song concludes, he graciously gives the guitar that is signed by Dustin and the show opener to a lucky fan in the crowd. With the crowd revved up and feeling the vibe, they rush to their feet and help out with singing his version of Uncle Kracker’s “Smile.”
Pat’s mother drove to Shipshewana, IN from the Chicago area to see him perform with Dustin this evening. With that, Dustin invites her up on stage to sing “Seein’ Red” to her.
Due to a mistake of mixing medical records and a short-lived diagnosis, Tim Nichols returns and tells how his friend was given the news and later being told of the mistake. In turn, it caused his friend to take a different look at life. Afterwards, Tim wrote a song inspired by his friend’s new outlook on life and pitched the song “Live Like You Were Dying” to Tim McGraw who turned it into another #1 hit single for both. As the song was being sang here, Tim, Dustin and Pat were joined on stage by Andy, J.T. and the show opener Kameron Marlowe to help with the vocals.
Dustin celebrates his birthday on Friday, May 14th. On that same day, he has a new single “Tequila On A Boat” being released from his Broken Bow record label. Dustin asks the crowd for their support of the new song as he closes out his show with his “Small Town Boy” anthem.
This evening’s show is a big hit for all in attendance as it shows the return of music, shows and people reuniting together again. Before Dustin leaves the stage and all his happy, excited fans, he vows to return soon to the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center with his full band and stage show.
Opening the evening’s show is Kameron Marlowe, a young songwriter who calls Kannapolis. NC home. Kameron appeared on NBC’s The Voice season 15.
Kameron opens his short set with his debut single release “Burn’em All” from his Columbia Nashville record label.
In just a short time on stage, Kameron wins the hearts of those inside the theatre. His innocent but mischief grin is enough to get all the females excited while feeling like he is singing just to them.
As was the case of many artist sitting at home in 2020. Kameron had much opportunity to write during the downtime. Some of those songs are included in the show this evening including: “Steady Heart,” “Break It,” and “Ain’t Enough Whiskey.”
With the beginning of the show being a bit soft and depressing, Kameron tries to pick it up with his latest tune “Tequila Talkin’” that was released just three days prior to showtime.
Kameron ends his time on stage for the evening with the song that got him to Nashville and gave him his big break. The debut independently released hit “Giving You Up” brought the crowd to their feet cheering as Kameron stood up off his stool and exited the stage.
A big thank you goes out to Dustin Lynch, for bringing this acoustic show to Shipshewana. Although you have many singles and hit songs you could have easily filled the evening’s time slot with, you brought another show to the audience that told stories of other songs and introduced the songwriters to us. Sometimes it is not always about the songs as much as it is the story behind the song. Judging by the crowd’s reaction at the end of your set, I believe they agree also.
Be sure to catch Dustin or Kameron out on the road as they tour across the country, winning one heart at a time as they go along. Dustin will be doing sporadic shows getting warmed up here and there for the next month before hooking up with the rest of the guys in the band and kicking off the new tour. Be sure to click on their web pages to see where they are off to next.
As far as the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center, they continue to add new shows to an already busy schedule with some heavy-hitting artists on tap. Click on their links also to keep up with all the latest new happenings and show schedules.
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Dustin Lynch setlist:
- Hell Of A Night 2. Mind Reader 3. Where It’s At 4. Rednecker (w/Andy Albert) 5. Ridin’ Road 6. Heads Carolina, Tails California (w/Tim Nichols) 7. Momma’s House 8. Beers And Sunshine (w/T.J. Harding) 9. Good Girl 10. She’s Got A Way With Words (w/Andy Albert) 11. Thinking ‘Bout You (w/Andy Albert) 12. That’d Be Alright (w/Tim Nichols) 13. Cowboys And Angels (w/Tim Nichols) 14. Sangria (w/J.T. Harding) 15. Smile (w/J.T. Harding) 16. See’in Red 17. Live Like You Were Dying (w/Tim Nichols) 18. Small Town Boy
Kameron Marlowe setlist:
- Burn’em All 2. Steady Heart 3. Break It 4. Tequila Talkin’ 5. Ain’t Enough Whiskey 6. Folsom Prison Blues 7. Sober As A Drunk 8. Leavin’ To Me 9. Giving You Up
Event Date: 08-MAY-2021