So, I'm cruising down the highway in my T-Bird to lovely
Merrillville, Indiana, and for a change, on my way out of the
Chicago area, there isn't any traffic. Great, I'm going to be way
early for this double bill of double trouble with Travis Tritt and
Marty Stuart. At least I got a good parking spot.
|Two good ol' boys!
Killing time, I'm just haplessly walking around the Star Plaza
Theatre when I notice all these Crown Royal banners. Now, all of my
friends just know how I love Crown Royal, and I was almost hoping
they were giving it away free, but, it's probably a good thing they
weren't or there'd probably be no review or pictures because I'd be
passed out in a corner somewhere. Nope, seems this show was one of
the stops on the Crown Royal Country Music Series. I know everyone
needs a sponsor, and hey, Crown Royal seemed like a good one to me,
but little did I know something. A few days after the show I get a
phone call. "Dude (well, she didn't really call me 'Dude', in
case you haven't figured that isn't my real name - my parents
weren't that cruel. Anyway…she continued), I noticed you were at
the show and wanted to let you know about the CRCMS (that's short
for Crown Royal Country Music Series)." And I thought they were
a boring old sponsor. Well, whoop my butt and send me to my room, it
seems that part of the proceeds from shows on the CRCMS actually go
to something cool, and that's Teach for America. They are a group
that takes college grads and sends them to schools in lower income
areas to help the little ones learn those important things in life.
You know, readin' and math and better writin' than us here at
Entertainment Ave! So, you'll be happy to know that the next time
you visit one of these CRCMS shows, your hard-earned dollar isn't
just going to the artist, the road crew, the venue, and just about
everyone else getting a cut of your ticket dollar - part of it is
also going to a good cause. I'm told they've given over $400,000 to
Teach for America in the four years they've been doing it, and well,
since I really should get to the review part of this article, if you
want more info on the CRCMS or Teach for America, e-mail me and I'll
direct you to the right people. (Sorry for the big-ol intro, I'll
plug near any good cause if it deals with a review. Just remember, I
may be easy, but I'm not cheap!) Well, on to the show.
Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart did one of these "Double
Trouble" tour type things a few years back, and I was sorry I
missed it because I heard it was a good show. I'm a pretty big
Travis Tritt fan, and although not big on Marty Stuart, I always
heard he was a good performer. Put the two of them together, and let
me tell you, they don't just put on a good show, they put on one
hell of a great show.
|Marty, look at that!
I wasn't sure exactly how this show was going to proceed. I knew
Travis and Marty would do some songs together, but I wasn't sure how
or when. But, I the end, it was really cool the way they pulled this
nearly three hour show off. The lights went out, the fans started
screaming, and Travis and Marty make their way to the stage with
Marty's band behind them. It was honky tonkin' time and time for the
first electric set of the pair. A couple of songs, "Honky
Tonkin's What I Do Best" being one of them, and Travis left the
stage for Marty to have his set. I'm sitting there thinking to
myself, "Self, that's it, two songs, what a gyp." But
Marty had his time, so I would see exactly what he was all about.
A lot of shows give me a greater appreciation for an artist, and
Marty's show was no different. With a sort-of prison set behind him,
complete with chain-link fence and barbed-wire, Marty blasted
through almost an hour of hits and new songs. I was impressed that
this guy is a much better guitarist than I had realized, I was
impressed that he played with Johnny Cash years ago, I was impressed
with his varying the set list from up-tempo to slower songs without
losing the interest of the crowd, and I was impressed he dropped
balloons on the crowd. Alright, the balloons didn't really impress
me, and maybe it was kinda cheesy, but balloons are always fun at a
|Marty flyin' solo.
things were no different here.
|Cheer up - the crowd loves you!
Marty Stuart rocked. He kicked ass and took names, and every song
had the crowd singing along (all except those new ones - but that
will come in time). From "Touch Me, Turn Me On, and Burn Me
Down" to "Hillbilly Rock," I must say Marty Stuart
made a newer fan out of me, and the crowd had a blast. Yep, it's TWO
THUMBS UP for the Marty-man.
So, Marty leaves the stage, the curtains are closing, and people
are heading for the beer stands and, well, to get rid of that beer
they had before. Too bad for them, they were caught holding their
money and other things when Travis and Marty came out and took seats
on two stools set up on stage. The curtain was closed behind them
and the boys proceeded to about three-ish numbers that had the crowd
who left throwing the money at the beer vv h every "turn around to
show his butt" moment, even though they couldn't dance, the
women loved it. The guys just loved being able to sing songs like
"Here's A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)" and "Ten
Feet Tall and Bulletproof." And the Travis-man get TWO BIG
THUMBS UP too.
But the night wasn't over.
Nope, Marty comes back and joins Travis for one last time, and
me, who thought at the beginning it would really suck if they only
did two songs together, had now gotten his fill of two
super-talented country dudes playing along. Yep, "Hard Times
and Misery," "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'," and
"Double Trouble" worked to close a show that was nearly
three hours of just hard drivin' country, tear-jerkin' ballads, and,
in the immortal words to one of the greatest bad TV theme songs of
all times, two good ol' boys never meanin' no harm. Travis and Marty
put on one hell of a show, and hey, it's even for a good cause. Way
And that's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right. L8R!