REVIEW: Reba shook The Joint as she took her fans on a tour of hits
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Sunday, December 02, 2012
12/03/12 at 10:32 AM
The blaze-haired Queen of Country burned down the house Saturday night to a sold-out crowd at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
The Oklahoma icon strutted on stage to a standing ovation with "All the Women I Am" as her nine-piece backing band revved behind her. The richly textured sound filled the 2,700-seat venue with a rare level of intimacy and energy that simply cannot translate to her arena shows.
"Well it's cool to be back in Oklahoma again ... It's been awhile since I've played Oklahoma," she said.
Someone screamed "I love you, Reba!" to which she replied, while smiling ear-to-ear, "I love ya more!"
On stage, McEntire is unabashedly in her element. On a stripped-down, straight-forward smaller stage, she is charismatic, energetic, comfortable and inviting. She peppered her set with "Thank y'all" and "Thankye baby" as she chatted about her favorite movies ("Tremors," she joked), her childhood in Oklahoma, her music and her band.
The audience settled into rapt attention as McEntire stood under the white spotlight, center stage, and crooned "Somebody's Chelsea," "The Fear of Being Alone" and "Strange," with her distinctive, sultry Sooner State twang.
The band swelled into the first few notes of "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" before the audience exploded in screams, one of the strongest songs on Saturday's cram-packed set. Her band harmonized, a slide guitar wept, drums rocked, and McEntire soared over it all.
Fans reveled in "Is There Life Out There," followed by a medley of lesser-performed hits "Somebody," "Till You Love Me," "You Lie," "And Still," "Whoever's In New England" and "I Want a Cowboy," a song about growing up on a ranch in southeastern Oklahoma and her love of watching "good ol' Westerns" filled with "good lookin' cowboys."
She's embarked on this tour in between shooting her new television series on ABC, "Malibu Country," and shared the full version of the show's theme song, "Goodbye Looks Good on Me."
"The Greatest Man I Never Knew" was dedicated to cowboys and daddies, "the hardest-working men we know," she said. That was followed with "Nothing to Lose," "Does He Love You" and "Consider Me Gone."
Another medley helped squeeze in even more No. 1 tunes from her nearly 40-year career and included "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," "Walk On," "I'd Rather Ride Around With You" and "Can't Even Get The Blues." What followed were more hits, including "Because of You," "I'm a Survivor," "Why Haven't I Heard from You," "Turn on the Radio" and "Fancy."
The venue is a jewel in McEntire's crown, and she wore it with aplomb, dressed simply in a chocolate-bronze silk sleeveless tunic top, black jeans and knee-high boots.
The Joint is one venue where every seat is a good one, the sound is immaculate, the views are unobscured, staff is friendly and all-around quality has not once failed this music lover.
A side note on etiquette to people at any music venue: If you pay $95 (or $15, for that matter) for tickets to a national touring act, don't yell at your bestie through the concert like you're on a stool at the bar on a Tuesday night.
And, by all means don't ever, ever, for any reason whatsoever, throw your hand up into the face of an elderly woman - and especially don't dare scream at her - if asked to shut the heck up. Just don't do it. Ever.
Original Print Headline: Reba electrifies fans in intimate show
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
Reba McEntire plays to a sold-out crowd Saturday at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. ANGELA TEMPLE / for the Tulsa World