Don’t dismiss Brett Eldredge as just another handsome face amid the onslaught of dude bro country. While his looks are undeniable, so are his wide-ranging country and classic crooner voice, showmanship and goofiness, and emotional and personal storytelling.
Eldredge hit the stage at Northern Quest Resort & Casino’s outdoor summer concerts venue Thursday night for his “The Long Way” Tour stop in a white, long-sleeve T-shirt, black sweater jacket and light blue jeans, while his entire band wore black. After only his second song, the self-deprecating “Something I’m Good At,” Eldredge proclaimed, “I’m feeling really wild tonight!”
During his 80-minute set, he mentioned his first show in Spokane years ago at the Knitting Factory. In terms of the night’s refreshments, he shared, “I’m on my second whiskey.” He also repeatedly mentioned the perfect weather (it dipped to the 50s by concert’s end) and his mood: “I’ve got no worries right now. Isn’t that how it should be?”
Eldredge ran across the stage to interact with his guitarists and spun around dizzily while dancing. The stage theatrics, however, didn’t disguise the fact that Eldredge can sing. Eldredge recorded a Christmas special a few years ago at Bally’s in Las Vegas and performed, in a white tuxedo, holiday classics and more in the style of Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Buble. The style of music really suited him, and he executed the show seamlessly.
Back to Thursday night, other highlights:
Eldredge talked about growing up in the small town of Paris, Illinois, and penning his touching acoustic song “Raymond,” about his grandmother’s battle with Alzheimer’s. He followed up “Raymond” with a sweet and sentimental rendition of “The Long Way.”
It wasn’t all ballads and sad emotions. His cover of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” had the crowd dancing and singing along, as did his other up-tempo songs, including “Lose My Mind,” “I Wanna Be That Song” and “Beat of the Music.”
One of Eldredge’s best sentiments of the evening: “The simplest things in life are the most beautiful things in life.” And after the audience obliged him during “One Mississippi” with a sea of cellphone lights, he said of the display, “I love you, Spokane. It’s beautiful.”
Concert opener Easton Corbin hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. in a gray short-sleeve shirt, tight blue jeans and a black cap. His 45-minute set was well-received, and he gave repeated nods to the ladies in the crowd, as well as toasted the audience with a red Solo cup. Corbin paid a nice tribute to Hank Williams Sr. and Merle Haggard with “Hey Good Lookin’ ” and “Mama Tried,” respectively.
Like Eldredge’s, his band was excellent and high energy. Eldredge and Corbin both hosted meet-and-greets before the concert for their fans.
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