On a chilled Saturday night in January, Tracy Lawrence returned to Mansfield to play a sold out show at the Renaissance Theatre.
Back in 2005,Â Tracy Lawrence first visited Mansfield, Ohio at the Richland County Fair only to be outplayed by Mother Nature and a torrential downpour. Â On Saturday night, there was no chance of rain as the show came indoors to the newly renovated Renaissance Theatre.
For 1,600 excited people, the day they had patiently waited for had come. Slowly entering the theatre, they stood in lines waiting to purchase Tracy’s merchandise before taking their seats for the night’s show. You could hear the crowds talking amongst themselves regarding the renovations of the theatre.Â With the freshly repaired and painted ceiling along with the cleaned and lighted Austrian crystal chandelier, the theatre had been given a fresh breath to its 88-year-old life with the restoration of its beauty and artwork.
Finally, the lights dimmed throughout the theatre and the stage lights came up with a spotlight on the center microphone.Â The anxious crowd rose to their feet cheering as Tracy entered with two musicians by his side. Darin Favorite stood to his right and played an acoustic guitar while Joe Caverlee played fiddle to his left. This evening’s show was only an acoustic show, but the crowd had reacted as if this was a large arena concert.
Tracy started the show with “Speed Of A Fool” from his 1996 released album,Â Time Marches On.Â With the crowd still on their feet, they sang along with Tracy word for word. Â By the time Tracy moved into “Renegades, Rebels and Rogues,” the crowd had already rushed to the front of the stage for photos and to be up close and personal with the star of the evening.
Tracy Lawrence has become one of country music’s most recognized voices. Â With a professional career that started in 1991, he has won numerous CMA and ACM awards and has gained a large fan following. Â Tracy has influenced some of today’s biggest superstars like Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, who pay tribute to Tracy by singing his songs at their own shows.
With 12 studio albums, one live album, five compilation albums, 45 singles, and nine #1 singles in his library, attending a Tracy Lawrence concert is sure to be a review of his greatest hits. Â As he is a big fan of traditional country music, he made mention he can’t do a show without adding a few songs from his favorite artist also. Â During the playing of his own hit “Alibis,” Tracy added an interlude with Merle Haggard’s “The Way I Am” along with George Strait’s “Troubadour” before finishing with the ending of “Alibis.”
He also added a song he co-wrote with Marc Nesler, who plays with Tracy Byrd, called “Used To The Pain.”
As Tracy talked about being in the business for 25 years, he mentioned that he is forever grateful for the love and support from his fans that have let him continue with doing what he loves. Â “Sticks And Stones” was his debut single back in 1991 and also became his first #1 single from the album of the same name.
The highlight of the evening came when the trio on stage played “Time Marches On.” Â As the wild crowd roared and sang along, Tracy took a step back away from the microphone and grinned. The crowd’s volume increased tremendously with the singing of the popular lyric, “brother’s wearing beads, and he smokes a lot of dope.”
The set ended with the playing of Tracy’s last #1 hit, “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” Â At the completion of the song, Tracy walked off stage as Joe and Darin ended with a big musical duo finish.
With the crowd still standing and cheering, Tracy, Joe, and Darin returned to the stage for an encore finish with “Starts Over Texas.”
Although some of Tracy’s fans felt the show wasn’t long enough and they didn’t hear their favorite songs, for the most part, the crowd in attendance walked away happy with the show they just witnessed.
With the crowd ages ranging from small children to the elderly, the music was great. There was no electronic additions and flashing lights, just three men standing on stage playing an instrument and entertaining a crowd. Contrary to radio play, traditional music is still alive and favorited by many. Attendee, Jim Carson (23) from Mansfield, Ohio, stated as he was leaving the venue, “George Strait didn’t get 60 #1 singles by not being popular. Tracy and his music are just as popular.”
So to Tracy, from your fans, thank you for staying true to traditional music. Â We will support you and return to your shows as you come to play for us, your fans.
- Speed Of A Fool
- Renegades, Rebels And Rogues
- Better Man, Better Off
- If The World Had A Front Porch
- Used To The Pain
- Sticks And Stones
- The Way I Am
- Runnin’ Behind
- If The Good Die Young
- Time Marches On
- Paint Me A Birmingham
- Find Out Who Your Friends Are
- Encore – Stars Over Texas