This past Thursday I left work a little early to make the trip over to Spokane for Blake Shelton’s “Well Lit and Amplified” tour. The trip pretty much came together just a week prior when I realized he was playing in Spokane. After checking ticket availability on Stubhub I decided to pull the trigger and bought a couple of “slightly” inflated second row seats.
I don’t think I had ever felt so pumped up for a concert before. Still nursing a nice high from the previous night when our basketball team advanced to the NCAA Tournament and really feeling in the mood after listening to Blake the whole drive over, I could not wait to walk through the doors of the Spokane Arena. After some great food at P.F. Changs and a few drinks, my friend Emily and myself drove across the Monroe Street bridge and entered the venue.
I don’t want to hate on Dia Frampton too much. The fact of the matter is, when you are the first opening act for any type of show, you already have the cards stacked against you. Most of the time you are playing to probably about 60% of the crowd that the headliner will receive later on in the night and of that 60% probably only half are really engaged in your set anyway. A lot of times, as in Dia’s case, you won’t be working with a very visually appealing stage either. Dia did not even have a backdrop with her name on it. So please forgive me if I say that her quick twenty-five minute set did not really impress me too much. Emily and I could never really put a finger on what type of genre her music was but it definitely wasn’t country. If we couldn’t get into her set by watching her from two rows away, something was definitely missing.
Dia Frampton at the concert on Thursday
Justin Moore was just as good the second time around.
After going through the same drill as we did during the first set change, we made it back to our seats drinks in hands (both hands) right before Blake Shelton took the stage. Only this time, instead of staying in our second row seats we climbed over the chairs in front of us and filled the front row, not thinking about the people who occupied those seats during the first two acts. Joining us in our front row assault were two very nice women who looked much younger than they were, Kathy and Serenity. The four of us were ready to party.
Blake Shelton came out on this Star Trek type elevator deal singing “Footloose.” Everyone in the arena went crazy. I had not received an adrenaline rush like that at a concert for quite a while. The opening of his set was absolutely superb. After “Footloose” he sang “It’s All About Tonight,” “She Wouldn’t Be Gone,” and then one of my favorite Blake songs of all time, “Don’t Make Me.” Talk about packing a punch! After he sang “Don’t Make Me,” and really established that tone, he started to really interact with the crowd.
Such a great entertainer.
Shelton then went into “The More I Drink” and then sang another one of my favorite songs, “Honeybee.” After a couple more songs, he left the stage.
Now Emily had told me that she thought Blake would sing “God Gave Me You” for his encore before the show even started. I disagreed thinking that artists usually end with an upbeat, energy rocking song. Going in, I would have guessed that he would have sang either “Honeybee” or one of his drinking songs to close out. But as he left the stage and the only song I could really think that he had left to sing was “God Gave Me You,” I knew Emily was right.
He sang some other song to open up his encore and then finished with “God Gave Me You,” my favorite Blake Shelton song. It absolutely rocked. As the band left the stage Emily caught another guitar pick, giving her three picks for the entire concert in addition to her phone and the multiple hand slaps with Blake. Kathy caught one of the drum sticks, proving that it definitely pays to be in the front row.
Blake Shelton holding Emily’s hand.
Leaving the concert I told Emily that it was one of the better concerts I had ever been to. Four days later I still think the same thing. It did not have the pyrotechnics, expensive videos, huge video screens, and massive production of say a Toby Keith or Keith Urban show but it had personality and it had a great entertainer singing hit after hit who had a great time with his audience. I will remember this concert for a long time. Don’t Blink.
Emily and I with our new friends, Kathy (white jacket) and Serenity (dark jacket).