Sunday, March 11, 2012 Blake Shelton brought his "Well Lit & Amplified" tour to the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon.
Dia Frampton, runner-up on season one of "The Voice", got the music started.
After a short break, Justin Moore was next up. It occurred to me that I've always thought Moore sounds quite a bit like Blake Shelton; and now I was seeing them both in the same evening.
Another short break, and it was time for headliner, Blake Shelton.
The next time I saw him, the venue was a bit bigger, the Tillamook County Fair, in Tillamook, Oregon. The hair was shorter, the eyes just as blue, and a few more hits under his belt. By then the shyness was mostly gone, but not the friendliness.
Now, there I was in the huge Rose Garden Arena, and the same man was onstage, taking full command of the show, with very little shyness, if any.
Shelton did joke around that he drinks when he's nervous; and proceeded to be "nervous" a lot throughout the concert.
The sound for Shelton's set was really good, whether the song was quiet, or a more rocking one. And Shelton did plenty of both types of music; all the while talking, joking and interacting with the audience. He, and his voice were in excellent form.
It was like having seen a bud come into full bloom. Sometimes artists don't make the transition from small venues to large ones very well; Shelton made it look easy.
From Dia Frampton, to Justin Moore, to Blake Shelton, there wasn't a dull moment from beginning to end. If these three artists weren't enough, the crowd in Portland got another surprise that night.
About half way through his performance, Blake started talking about his wife, Miranda Lambert, and how she and Blake have varying tastes in music. Blake then started singing Lambert's song, "Baggage Claim"; but before going too far, said his wife could do the song better than he could, so she should be the one to do it.
Blake then asked the crowd if they'd like to hear his wife do the song. Of course the entire arena went crazy, screaming and cheering. To be honest, I thought Blake was kidding around, since his set that night had opened with "Baggage Claim" being played over the speakers. Lo and behold though, amidst all the hubbub, who walked out on stage but
After Miranda was done, she left the stage and Blake continued with his songs. Both Dia Frampton and Justin Moore joined Shelton on stage at different times, to perform with him.
The "Well Lit & Amplified" tour is one of the best large venue shows I've seen in awhile. If there's one complaint, it's that Blake didn't do "The Baby", which is one of my favorites of his songs.
I'd say those attending the concert definitely got their money's worth; both in quality, and length. The concert had started at 7:30pm, and didn't end until after 11pm.
I'm fairly sure this post is a bit more rambling than it needs to be. I blame it on a lack of sleep. By the time the concert ended, and I made it home to bed, it was 1am, and I was up for work at 4am.
For anyone looking for a shorter version of what I thought of the concert that night, I'll leave you with the email I sent to Scott, Jolynn and Jake, Monday morning, after the show:
Three hours of sleep--WORTH IT!