A fun night by all as Sawyer Brown delivers a night of musical hits and laughter during the Grand Opening weekend of the new Blue Gate Performing Arts Center in Shipshewana, IN.

On the second evening of opening of the new state of the art 1500 seat theater, fans arrive in droves to visit the new Blue Gate Performing Arts Center and enjoy the sounds of pop country music group Sawyer Brown.

Shipshewana, known as an Amish community with the Midwest’s largest flea market is located in the north eastern section of Indiana. Along with it’s shopping and fine foods, Shipshewana holds many genres of music performances each year that brings thousands of visitors to this small community of 700 residents.

Having an illustrious 38 year musical career behind them, Sawyer Brown returns for another visit to Shipshewana to entertain the near capacity crowd. The band is made up of original members Mark Miller (vocals, rhythm guitar), Gregg “Hobie” Hubbard (keyboard, vocals), Jim Scholten (bass guitar), Joe Smyth (drums) and since 2004, Shane Hill (lead guitar, vocals).

The show starts off with Mark introducing himself and the band with “The Boys And Me” and continuing on with “Drive Me Wild” and “This Time” while showing off his fancy foot work and dance moves.

“Cafe On The Corner” is dedicated to all the farmers in the crowd tonight, before the band slows the mood down for “The Walk.” At the end of the song, Mark softly sings “I am going back to Indiana” before saying “Michigan” and having quite a few people in the theater cheering.

Mark announces that they are going to be playing 38 years worth of Sawyer Brown songs when Gregg comments to Mark that his (bright red) shoes will keep him awake. As the crowd laughs, Mark replies that he is showing respect to the Indiana Hoosiers, when Gregg jokes back that Mark is wearing them because he bought them for $17 at Pic And Pay.

After the 1992 hit “All These Years” the crowd cheers and Mark gets a puzzled smirk on his face. “That screaming and cheering about adultry, now I know what we are dealing with.” The crowd begins to laugh and Mark continues “In that case we are going to have to turn this trip around and make your heart right.” He then leads the crowd into “Mission Temple Fireworks Stand.”

Doing a poll with the audience, only half admit to seeing Sawyer Brown before the evening’s show. Mark responds “we have been together for 38 years. If you have haven’t seen us before….you need to get out more….or we need to come to Indiana more” in which the crowd loudly cheered on.

Telling the crowd that the band is going to play a medley of songs starting all the way back to 1983 and the beginning, Mark mentions of the band playing and competing on the TV singing competition Star Search. Winning the first year for Vocal Group, Mark now tells his kids that Sawyer Brown is actually the first “American Idols.”

Mark wants to play the first song they performed on the show and the first song they ever recorded, but before the band starts he would like to go down memory lane. With his shaved head, he imagines to be fluffing his mullet hair style back in the wind. As the crowd laughs and applauds, Mark looks over to Shane and his shoulder length hair and smile on his face and comments, “I hate you” as the crowd laughs even louder.

After starting the medley off with “Smokin’ In The Rockies” and “Leona,” Mark begins talking in a slow soft deep voice “I like to sit around the house and talk like Trace Adkins….sometimes I like to sit around the house and do a goofy little dance. Sometimes, I like to put on my bathrobe (imitates tying the robe).” Hobie interrupts, “You should put another knot in that.” After a long pause, Gregg responds “the Amish DO NOT want to see that….and neither do the horses.” At this point, everyone in the theater is laughing while Mark stands at center stage looking speechless.

After composing himself, Mark continues with his low soft voice saying “I like to get in my bathrobe and put on NICE THICK SOCKS….so I can slide” as he slides across the stage and says “Risky Business.” At that point, the band begins to play “Step That Step” and “Betty’s Being Bad.”

“Do you now see what you have been missing?” Mark asks at the conclusion.

After going all the way back to the very beginning, the band fast forwards to 2011 and their most current studio album Travelin’ Band. Joking once again, Mark makes mention that they are not even called albums anymore. But back when they first started the first three albums they made were available on 8 track tapes also.

Mark and his wife have been married for over 30 years and in that time, he has never written her a song. He has finally written her a song and it was recorded and put on this most recent album. The song is called “Smokin’ Hot Wife.”

Having some fun amongst the band, they lead into the Joe Walsh cover of “Life’s Been Good For Me” when Gregg takes the microphone right from Mark’s stand as he begins to sing. Gregg dances across the floor imitating Mark and some of his dance moves. The song concludes with Gregg ripping open his long sleeved snap up shirt to reveal his t-shirt with a Superman logo on the front.

Shane takes over on vocals for the Steve Miller cover “Rock’ N Me” before the show concludes with “Thank God For You” and “Six Days On The Road.”

Once returning to the stage after a cheerful request for an encore, Gregg gets started with the Tom Petty and The Heartbreaker’s “Learning To Fly” while Shane covers “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield.

Mark wraps up the evening’s show with “The Race Is On” and one of the band’s biggest hits to date, “Some Girls Do” before drifting off into the darkness.

Some comments being made after the show were of wanting to see the band again and others wishing the band would have played longer as they missed other hit songs in their setlist for the evening. Overall, the show was a hit for all as everyone left feeling entertained and having a good evening.

As for the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center, congratulations on a new beautiful venue. We look forward to working with you more in the future with upcoming shows.

In order to keep up with news and schedules from Sawyer Brown or the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center in Shipshewana, IN, click on the links provided below.

Sawyer Brown 
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blue Gate Performing Arts Center
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Sawyer Brown setlist: 

  1. The Boys And Me     2. Drive Me Wild     3. This Time     4. Cafe On The Corner     5. The Walk     6. (This Thing Called) Wantin’ And Havin’ It All     7. Hard To Say     8. This Night Won’t Last Forever     9. All These Years     10. Mission Temple Fireworks Stand     11. Smokin’ In The Rockies / Leona     12. Step That Step / Betty’s Bein’ Bad     13. Smokin’ Hot Wife     14. The Dirt Road     15. Life’s Been Good For Me (Joe Walsh cover)     16. Rock’ N Me (Steve Miller band cover)     17. Thank God For You     18. Six Days On The Road     Encore – 19. Learning To Fly (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers cover)     20. Jessie’s Girl (Rick Springfield cover)     21. The Race Is On     22. Some Girls Do  


Event Date: 07-MAR-2020