It was nearly showtime for the Racin’ & Rockin’ Country Music Show at the Glens Falls Civic Center. It was Saturday night, party night. People streamed into the hockey arena – either heading to their seats or going to get a beer. The techs were buzzing around the stage finishing some last minute adjustments for the quadruple bill featuring some of country music’s biggest stars.
It was a joint headlining bill with Jo Dee Messina and John Michael Montgomery sharing the top spot with up-and-coming stars Jack Ingram and “American Idol” star Bucky Covington opening the show.
The show’s fuse was lit, and the festivities started burning with the first set by Bucky Covington and his band. No doubt some in the audience were there to see him sing “A Father’s Love (The Only Way He Knew How)” and “A Different World,” as well as tunes from his upcoming sophomore outing, “I’m Alright.”
When Jack Ingram took the stage, the audience was ready for more country heat with lots of guitar and more energy. “Seeing Stars,” Ingram’s duet with Patti Griffin, has made the charts, and lots of the fans at the civic center knew his songs. His most recent visit to Nippertown was as part of the Country Throwdown tour at SPAC earlier this summer. This guy is going places in the country music world… and fast.
Jo Dee Messina exploded on the stage with selections from her latest album “Unmistakable: Love.” The diminutive firecracker owned the audience and sang her heart out with the crowd singing right along with her for many of the tunes.
A little more reserved, but no less passionate than the preceding three performers, John Michael Montgomery unleashed the closing fireworks of the tour package with his workingman country croon, drawing from his 11 albums and five No. 1 hits. For just a little shy of two decades Montgomery’s been recording, touring and entertaining audiences with “I Can Love You Like That” and “Sold!”
And then the country music party was over. But not before the fans got a good musical buzz on – though some in the audience had an even bigger one with the help of a few beers, more or less.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk