Blake Shelton Heroes and Friends Tour Delivered Saturday Night
Saturday night, September 25, I was in Fort Worth at Dickies Arena for the Blake Shelton Heroes and Friends Tour. This show featured newcomer Lindsay Ell, Tracy Byrd, Trace Adkins, Martina McBride and headlined by Blake Shelton. It was not only a great show but a very unique show that was full of laughs, nostalgia and great music.
Staring off the night was Lindsay Ell. Her 30 minute set was solid featuring her singing talent and some excellent guitar playing. Closing out her show was her number one hit, "What Happens In A Small Town" with Brantley Gilbert. It was a good start to the night.
This is where the uniqueness of the night began. You would think that either Tracy Byrd, Trace Adkins or Martina McBride would take the stage next followed by the headliner Blake Shelton. Nope. It began with the intro to Blake Shelton's "Neon Light" with Blake appearing on stage and going into the number one hit. Upon finishing, Blake greets us and tells "as I look at this setlist" get ready for a long night of country music.
Blake goes through several more of his hits then the stage goes dark. After a brief pause, the band begins the intro to Tracy Byrd's "Drinkin' Bone" with Tracy appearing at the back of the stage. We are entertained with "Drinkin' Bone" followed by "I'm From The Country" then "Watermelon Crawl." Obviously, the crowd loved it as did Blake Shelton.
Blake comes on stage to greet Tracy Byrd and give his praise. In one of many moments of comedic timing from Blake, he proclaims how he's "pissed off" at the reaction Tracy got, questions how people in the stands were line dancing and Blake asks us to give him a break because those (Tracy Byrd songs) were "songs we were born knowing."
Blake goes into a few more of his hits and the stage goes dark once again. This time we are greeted with the intro to Martina McBride's "My Baby Loves Me" with Martina walking on stage. She delights the audience with "My Baby Loves Me", "This One's For The Girls" and "Independence Day."
Blake returns with some of his early hits like "Some Beach" and "Ol Red." He then goes into some of his more current hits like "God's Country", "Happy Anywhere" and his number one hit, "Nobody But You," with Gwen Stefani. Gwen was not at this show but video of her singing her portion of the song appeared above the stage with Blake turning and singing to her. It was a very sweet moment.
After that, the stage goes dark again. We are then greeted with Trace Adkins going into "Honkytonk Badonkadonk." He follows that up with "You're Gonna Miss This" and "Ladies Love Country Boys." That wasn't it for Trace as Blake comes back on stage and they go into both of their duets, "Hell Right" and "Hillbilly Bone."
The show wasn't finished with those duets. Blake brings out Tracy Bryd and Martina McBride with Trace Adkins and they move to the end of the cat walk. Here, the four sat in a circle with Blake, in another of his comedic moments, saying that this will be a competition as to who has the best song of the four based on our responses and "celebrity judges" (who were obviously not there) George Strait, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan and Luke Combs (Blake declared Luke Combs the better of the two Luke's, too.)
Blake began with "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking" which got a nice response. After some more funny banter, Tracy Bryd goes into his huge hit "The Keeper of the Stars" which obviously got a huge response. Some more fun banter lead into Trace Adkins singing "Every Light In The House Is On" to the delight of everyone. Martina McBride closed out the round with "Broken Wings."
Tracy, Trace and Martina walk off to a huge ovation from the crowd. Blake sits down and talks about getting started in Nashville. He then plays his first number one hit, "Austin." This ended one of the best shows I've ever been to. The band and artists brought their A game and Blake's audience engagement made the moments in between songs entertaining. It was a great night of music in Fort Worth at Dickies Arena.