BEAVER CREEK — A sold-out, rowdy, boot-stompin’ crowd whooped and hollered as country singer Trace Adkins took the Vilar Performing Art Center’s stage Monday night. The audience was ready and rockin’ before Adkins sauntered in — and they kept it going throughout the entire show.
The mosh pit was filled to the brim with people who wanted to be close to the tall, svelte alpha male, who donned a black T-shirt, jeans and hat, his hair in a ponytail. Adkins was there to strut his stuff — and he did just that, performing 19 songs during his 90-minute set.
DELIVERING THE HITS
Surrounded by his six-man Sarepta Gentlemen’s Club band (named after his hometown in Louisiana) and female duo Jill & Kate, who toured with Kelly Clarkson for six years, Adkins opened the show with “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing,” sung thoughtfully, sensuously, in his signature baritone.
Adkins followed with “Swing” and “Hillbilly Bone,” his 2009 hit with Blake Shelton, before stopping to take a hit of oxygen.
“Hell, I ain’t proud,” he said, with a laugh, before apologizing for not being in top voice. But the audience didn’t seem to care. They just wanted to hear more from the country heartthrob.
SHOWING HIS SOFTER SIDE
So, Adkins picked up his guitar and sang “This Ain’t No Love Song” and “Marry for Money” before rockin’ out with “Chrome.” And then he slowed it down with “You’re Gonna Miss This,” a thoughtful ballad about how quickly time passes.
He followed that with his first single, “There’s a Girl in Texas,” and his second, “Every Light in the House,” and then “Strongest Weakness,” all tried and true, highlighting Adkins’s softer side.
And then it was back to bad-boy Adkins with “Hot Mama.”
Next he played a couple of songs from his soon-to-be-released album, including “Heartbreak,” (no description necessary) and the naughty “I Am Her Maintenance Man,” which he said he wrote after a friend described a woman as being “high maintenance.” The song is raunchy and filled with double entendres and lots of fun. I think it could possibly be Adkin’s next hit song.
Then came “Ladies Love Country Boys” — Ivanka Trump’s favorite song, according to Adkins — that had the audience singing along.
That was followed by “Rock You Up.” Then, Adkins and his band, brought down the house with the racy tune “I Left Something Turned On At Home” and followed it with the rockabilly “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” which had the mosh pit in overdrive.
BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE
Adkins’s encore was “Ride,” which some consider to be the country cousin to Springsteen’s “Born To Run.” Adkins talked about how much he enjoyed touring the country on his bus and how lucky he was to be able to do so. And then he left the stage, heading for Wyoming.
The only distraction of the concert were the strobe lights that roamed the Vilar the entire evening and were not really conducive to the intimacy of the theater. Otherwise, Adkins had the audience in his hand. And although he’s had a tough year, beginning with the death of his father, much to the delight of his fans, Adkins is back — emotionally and physically — and in charge!