It was all boots, flashing lights, and deep Southern vocals at Hard Rock Live last night. This, cowboys and cowgirls, was all thanks to Gary Allan.
It started out with impressive sound effects: the sounds of rain, thunder, and lightning, and the eery sight of gray smoke. Once the color of the smoke changed to pink, BOOM, out emerged Gary, clad in dark red pants and a black tee. The audience rose to their feet, and he greeted them with, oddly enough with "Tough Goodbye."
Gary was a straight ball of country energy, not pausing for a break even once. Talk between songs was minimal, with the usual "What's up Fort Lauderdale?" and "I'm so blessed to have all you come out." But he did utter an emotional, "I lost my dad a few years ago, and that's what I was thinking about when I wrote this song," before launching into his single "One More Time."
Although the backdrops were a bit cheesy, we couldn't help but be moved when the storm clouds transitioned to a sunny sky at the end of a powerful "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)." Aw, Gary! But, it was the guitar heavy "Bones" that was a personal favorite. Seriously, that song would make a dead foot stomp.
The audience got all riled up and wild when the crooner took a stance with the statement, "Nothing pisses me off more than going to see a band with a lot of history, and all they play are their new hits," before killing it with "A Showman's Life."
Gary closed out the night with "Drinking Dark Whiskey" and had two furry guests accompany him on stage. His dogs (in case you didn't figure it out) strutted across stage and then plopped at the top of the stage stairs. The highlight of the song, however, wasn't even the pups! The pianist played the keyboard with an actual bottle of Jack Daniels, proceeding to take a swig after playing his piece. This delighted the audience very much, of course.
Gary put on a damn good show despite those corny background images. Even if you don't like country, Gary may make you reconsider. He's worth a listen, because hell, why not?