I have never thought of myself as a big fan of country music, but my husband is. He loves all kinds of music. So it’s nice for me to get exposure to bands and songs through him. One of the first real country acts I’d ever gone to see in concert was with my husband in the late ‘90s and it was one of his favorites, Tracy Lawrence. Since then we have seen Tracy a few times. When I heard he was coming – and to Surprise no less (my very own current home town) – I was excited.
Part of the first annual SupriseFest, Tracy Lawrence headlined a show that began in the late afternoon featuring several other country artists and a classic car show; all at the Surprise Stadium spring training facility that is home to the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals baseball teams.
Lawrence hit the stage just after 8 p.m. to the roaring delight of concert-goers. I hadn’t realized this, but Lawrence has amassed a whopping 30 hits on the Billboard country charts with an impressive eight number one hits since releasing his first album in 1991. And for the next nearly two hours, he played many of those hits, as well as some great news songs off his latest record, The Singer.
His band was fantastic, I especially enjoyed the phenomenal fiddle-paying and beautiful lead guitar solos from two of the band, in addition to Lawrence’s vocals that were still as clear and strong as when I first heard him nearly 15 years ago.
The set was a 24-song journey through Lawrence’s career that had fans literally dancing in the aisles. That is one thing I wish I’d learn, how to country dance with a partner. These people, young and old, were having the best time dancing. Just when they thought they could sit down, Lawrence would start another tune to keep them up on their feet. And considering it was still hot enough in the desert evening to make you sweat just sitting there, this was impressive!
I had such a great time at this show. Tracy Lawrence impressed the heck out of me with the depth of songs, strength of vocals, tremendous energy and the really kick-butt band he brought to the stage.
Sure Surprise organizers can improve next year by having more concessions and beer stands open, by thinking about positing the stage to be a little closer to fans and so that the baseball netting behind home plate isn’t obstructing the views of the best seats, but that was all made obsolete because the thing they did just right — brining in the big guns with the hugely talented Tracy Lawrence.
I’d also be remiss if I did not recognize Mike Barna at 96.3 Radio and his team that included the very helpful Taylor Patterson for helping bring this show to town. I had not known about 96.3 “Real Country Radio” prior to this show and as I have been listening from time to time, I realize I like more Country than I thought. This station plays an array of real country music from way back in the day to current stuff. Not as much of the pop cross-over stuff and lots more of the “real” honky tonk and country-western stuff I really like. Kudos to you all for programming a great station and sponsoring great events like this one!
Also thanks to Ryan, Lawrence’s sound man for providing me with the set list from the show last night. See below for complete list. Ryan, if you are reading this, please add a comment the story and let us know the last two songs in the encore. I did not write those down because I was too busy walking over to see you!
I promised Josie, one of the yellow-shirt volunteers at the VIP check-in a shout –out! HEY Josie!
I love attending events at Surprise Stadium, the wonderful group of retired men and women that volunteer manning the entrance gates and seating aisles always bring a smile to my face.
Thanks again to everybody that worked so hard to bring this show to Surprise. Thanks for bringing great entertainment “way out” to the West valley! Thanks City of Surprise staff! I love this town and can’t wait for more great concerts and events!
Official Set List: Tracy Lawrence – Surprise Stadium, Surprise, AZ – Sept. 29, 2012
Stop, Drop & Roll
Renegades, Rebels & Rogues
Better Man, Better Off
Where I Used To Live
How A Cowgirl Says Goodbye
If The World Had A Front Porch
I See It Now
Can’t Break It to My Heart
Sticks N’ Stones
Stars Over Texas
Threw The Rest
Find Out Who Your Friends Are
Time Marches On
Pint Me A Birmingham
Better Man P.O
N/A at this time, stay tuned or comment if you can fill in.