Friday, January 1, 2016

Best Shows of 2015

Everyone is doing their “best of” lists so I thought I would too.  2015 was a great year for me - I attended almost 50 live shows, saw over 100 artists/bands perform and got the chance to meet more artists than I ever thought possible.  I tried to narrow my favorites down to a top 5 but just couldn’t so we’ll go with a top 10.

First off, what makes a great show?  For me, it is more than just a great singer.  Of course, the music and singing needs to be good, but more than that, I need to have an experience.  That doesn’t always mean a lot of fancy lights and big productions.  Sometimes it is the exact opposite and the pureness of a stripped down show is what makes it great.  If an artist can touch me with their emotion, enthusiasm, sense of humor or connection they create with the audience, the show is going to be at the top of my list.  There needs to be that extra something that makes me say to myself “I want to do that again!” So here are my favorite shows from 2015.

10. Nickelback – BOK Center, Tulsa, OK

I know, I know, a lot of people like to hate on Nickelback.  And I will say I’m not a huge fan of theirs but my husband is so I got us tickets.  Let me tell you, they know how to put on a show!  It’s not really a show but more of a party.  The audience was energized from start to finish.  And when they brought out the t-shirt cannons and tossed cups of alcohol into the audience, the entire place was having the best time ever.  Many say that if they had better music they wouldn’t have to do that, but I say their fans love it so why not.  I sure had a smile on my face that entire show.

9. Fleetwood Mac – Chesapeake Energy Center, Oklahoma City, OK

How can you go wrong with such a classic and amazing band?  The best part about this show was that Christine McVie was back with the group for the first time in 17 years.  She happens to be my favorite member of the band so I was very happy about that. I went for my birthday and it was the best present ever!  The energy on stage was incredible, the sound was amazing and Stevie Nicks is one of the best overall female performers I have ever seen.  They had no opening act and were on stage for almost 3 hours.  I hope they continue to tour as long as possible because this is one show I will go see again and again.

8. Wynonna and The Big Noise – The Joint at Hard Rock Casino, Tulsa, OK

Sass, sass and more sass - that is Wynonna.  My favorite redhead puts on an amazing show.  From the classic songs from The Judds to her own hits, Wynonna has everything it takes to entertain you.  She talks about her life with her mama and sister along with the love story and struggles of her and husband Cactus Moser.  The raw emotion she puts into her songs brings you to tears and her connection with the audience makes you feel like she is your best friend.  Read my full review of her show for #CMChat here.

7. 98.5 KVOO Jingle Jam – River Spirit Event Center, Tulsa, OK

Jingle Jam brought together 6 artists to play an acoustic show for the fans of the radio station KVOO.  This year the artists were Jerrod Neimann, Canaan Smith, Jana Kramer, Craig Campbell, James Otto and Waterloo Revival.  These shows where all the artists are on stage at once aren’t always my favorite because they only play about 4 songs each and the other times they are all just sitting there watching each other sing.  However, this one was great!  The chemistry all the artists had together was fantastic.  They were singing on each other’s songs and making jokes in between songs.  James Otto’s voice had everyone in tears, Waterloo Revival had all the girls screaming and topping the night off, radio DJs Sunny Leigh and Kelley Cash did the donkey noises for Jerrod Neimann on “Donkey.”  I do love seeing the artists in an intimate, acoustic setting and this not only showcased their talent but also showed their personalities and together that made it a great show.

6. Ed Sheeran – BOK Center, Tulsa, OK

How can one guy with one guitar and a loop station keep 15,000 people entertained for 2 hours?  Go to an Ed Sheeran concert and you will find out.  I was so amazed at how incredibly talented this man is.  He was on stage for 2 hours….just him….and you couldn’t keep your eyes off him.  He used his guitar to make all the instruments he needed, looped them over and over - live on the spot, sang and at times danced and ran around like you were at a rock show.  Not to mention he can bring you to tears with his voice and incredible ballads.  Go see him if you get the chance, he is freaking amazing!

5. Chris Stapleton – Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, OK

The biggest thing to happen to country music in 2015 would have to be Chris Stapleton.  His performance on the CMA's with Justin Timberlake was one of the most talked about stories all year long.  I had been a fan before that performance and was so glad see so many people finally discover him.  I got to see him in concert before all the buzz and let me tell you, he is phenomenal.  His show was very raw and stripped down.  Not a lot of fancy anything but his voice is so extraordinary that he captivates you.  His connection with his wife Morgane is out of this world.  There are times when you feel you are intruding on something you shouldn’t be because they are so in tune with each other.  I will make a point to see him anytime he is in town.

4. Josh Groban – The Music Hall at Fair Park, Dallas, TX

Being a 14 year fan of Josh Groban, of course he is going to make my list.  However, he makes it not just because he is my favorite singer ever, but because he brings everything to a performance.  This particular show was to support his Stages album that contained songs from Broadway shows.  Being a theater buff, this was a dream come true.  And he did not disappoint.  His voice was outstanding and to add to it, he is hilarious.  His jokes and witty comments in between songs had the audience smiling and laughing all night.  I found myself holding my breath during each song and finally letting it out once he finished with an “ahh.”  His voice is mesmerizing and his charm is undeniable.  I will continue to make the trek wherever I need to so I can see him in concert every time he tours.

3. The Swon Brothers – The Muskogee Event Center, Muskogee, OK

To say I am a huge fan of The Swon Brothers would be an understatement.  I actually saw them 6 times this year in 3 different states.  These Oklahoma boys really know how to entertain and being in front of their home town crowd made it even better.  Their mix of country and classic rock makes for a great show.  They involve the crowd, take jabs at each other and can harmonize like only brothers can.  They also include another favorite singer of mine, Seth Costner, in their show.  For the Muskogee show they went above and beyond and brought out Jermaine Mondaine to play saxophone and he blew us all away.  The Swon Brothers are rising stars in the country world and I highly recommend seeing their show.  It is a fun night full of great music you can get up and dance to.  Read my review of the Muskogee show for #CMChat here.

2. Rob Thomas – Brady Theater, Tulsa, OK

Rob Thomas really blew me away when I saw his show this year.  I like his music when I hear it on the radio but I was not expecting his show to become one of my absolute favorites of the year.  His energy on stage was unbelievable.  He ran around that stage for a solid 2 hours and his voice sounded just as incredible from start to finish.  His ballads were entrancing and his connection with the fans was genuine.  The crowd was on their feet the entire time – something you don’t always see at The Brady Theater – and he gave his all to that audience.  I will make a point to see him again.  He puts on a fantastic show.  Read my full review for #CMChat here,

1. Garth Brooks – BOK Center, Tulsa, OK

If you are going to make a comeback, might as well do it up big and Garth Brooks sure did just that.  He has managed to set records everywhere he has taken his show and it was no different in Tulsa.  I saw his show 3 times in 3 different cities and by far he takes the cake for the #1 show of 2015 for me.  He has everything I want in a show – incredible music, great singing, fun stories and astonishing energy.  He also has an un-paralleled connection with the audience.  He makes every single person in the arena feel like he is talking and singing directly to them.  A Garth Brooks concert is an experience worth having over and over again.  He is the ultimate entertainer and definitely my favorite concert of 2015.  Read my full review here.

2015 was a great year full of amazing performances and I am really looking forward to seeing many more incredible shows in 2016!

No comments:

Post a Comment