It’s rare to see a power packed country show these days particularly in Michigan which is why it was nice to see three of country music’s biggest stars make a stop in Auburn Hills at the Palace on Saturday night.
The epic Lee Ann Womack/Reba McEntire/George Strait tour began last year and was the year’s highest grossing country tour. The tour’s success made it an easy decision to extend it’s run into the new year.
Saturday’s show was fantastic from start to finish beginning with Womack’s 30-minute solid set filled with her many well-known hits.
The stage set up for the tour was in the round and allowed all of the artists the freedom to face all ends of the crowd and Womack took full advantage of that weaving from end to end.
With the influx of “poppy” country music on the airwaves, it’s nice to see a contemporary artist who stays true to the old-fashioned sound in the vein of Tammy Wynette.
Womack’s music is a nice mix of country and blues with her own spin on female empowerment.
She opened her set on Saturday with the uptempo “Buckaroo” and continued through a number of her hits including “You’ve Got To Talk To Me”, “I May Hate Myself In The Morning” and “I Hope You Dance”.
The highlight was her performance of “Ashes By Now” which allowed her accompanying band to shine.
After Womack exited the stage, the crowd began to get excited as they packed in ready to see two country music legends.
McEntire was up first as the lights went out and a montage of some of her biggest career highlights over her 30 plus years in the business played on the venue’s video screens before she took to the stage to the crowd’s delight.
The Icon has sold more than 55 million albums worldwide as well as performing on Broadway and in her own hit television show. Recently she released her thirty-fourth studio album All The Women I Am.
During Saturday’s set Reba mixed in songs spanning her entire career remarking to the crowd at one point that, “We are going to take you on a journey tonight.”
She opened the show with “Can’t Even Get the Blues” and moved through a number of her hits including “The Fear of Being Alone”, “Is There Life Out There”, “Fallin’ Out of Love” and “Why Haven’t I Heard From You”.
She enthusiastically moved from one end of the stage to the other working the crowd into a frenzy while also pulling out some of the songs off of All The Women I Am including “If I Were A Boy”, “When You Have A Child” and current hit single “Turn On The Radio”.
Her performance of “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” and “I’m A Survivor” stood out but it was her medley of “Somebody Should Leave” and “For My Broken Heart” followed by a appearance of Womack to duet on “Does He Love You” that highlighted the set.
The performance was the evening’s brightest moment and ended with McEntire exclaiming, “Well that was fun!”
After her hour and a half set, Reba exited the stage only to return in a cab and flashy red dress to recreate her “Fancy” video for a performance of her most popular song.
After McEntire’s frenetic set, it was hard to imagine Strait would be able to top it but he took to the stage for a two hour performance that more than held it’s own.
Unlike Womack and McEntire, Strait did not spend much time moving around the stage. In fact, four microphones were set up in each corner of the stage allowing him to sing a couple of songs in each area.
Despite the lack of movement, the crowd was on it’s feet and singing along throughout.
Strait holds the record for most number one singles for any artist and he showed why that is on Saturday as he showcased those decades worth of hits.
Seeing Strait live is a eye opener as he sounds just like he would in the studio, something that is pretty rare and impressive.
The country music legend and his fantastic Ace In The Hole Band kept the crowd entertained with more than thirty songs that moved back and forth between a slower pace and more uptempo beats.
He opened with the iconic “Ocean Front Property” to the crowd’s pleasure and kept them going with songs like “I Hate Everything”, “Run”, “Check Yes or No” and “A Fire I Can’t Put Out”.
Throughout the set, the crowd would erupt into cheers as their favorites were played.
Fantastic performances of songs “Fireman” and “The Chair” had them singing along.
His performance of “Amarillo By Morning” was the highlight as he told the crowd that it was still his favorite song after all of these years.
After exiting with the playful “Unwound”, Strait returned for a four-song encore that included a performance of “Folsom Prison Blues” and his most popular song “All My Ex’s Live In Texas”.
As the crowd stood for the end of “The Cowboy Rides Away”, Strait tipped his hat and did just that leaving them more than satisfied and proving that he deserves the respect that he is given.
Lee Ann Womack Setlist:
You’ve Got to Talk to Me
San Antonio Rose @Cover[Bob Wills]
I May Hate Myself in the Morning
I’ll Think Of A Reason Later
I Hope You Dance
Ashes by Now
Can’t Even Get The Blues
The Fear Of Being Alone
The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia
Is There Life Out There
If I Were A Boy @Cover[Beyoncé]
The Bridge You Burn
Fallin’ Out Of Love
Nothing To Lose
Medley: Somebody Should Leave/For My Broken Heart
Does He Love You @With[Lee Ann Womack]
I Want A Cowboy
When You Have a Child
Consider Me Gone
Why Haven’t I Heard From You
Because Of You
I’m A Survivor
Turn On The Radio
George Strait Setlist:
Ocean Front Property
Honk If You Honky Tonk
I Can Still Make Cheyenne
I Hate Everything
The Seashores of Old Mexico
Check Yes Or No
Same Kind Of Crazy
Blue Clear Sky
A Fire I Can’t Put Out
Where Have I Been All My Life
How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls
The Breath You Take
River Of Love
I Gotta Get to You
I Cross My Heart
I Saw God Today
Amarillo By Morning
Living For The Night
Give It Away
All My Ex’s Live In Texas
Folsom Prison Blues @Cover[Johnny Cash]
The Cowboy Rides Away