MARTINA McBRIDE – A LADY FOR THESE TIMES
Martina McBride was the perfect choice to close out the concert season for Nissan Pavilion September 27th. Even with heavy downpours of rain there were committed fans that cheered and sang and stayed to the very end. They were rewarded for their faithfulness. Prior to the show fans were videotaped writing their hopes and dreams on a white board and it was shown on the big screen as Martina sang her recent single, “For These Times.” Cheers erupted for various comments written, causing Martina to turn as she sang to see what was on the video screen.
Martina has a delightful stage presence. You know how folks will gather in front of a stage to get their picture “with the artist” while they’re singing? I watched this happen several times but once when a young lady posed in front of Martina for a photo-op Martina leaned down, held up two fingers over the girl’s head and gave her “rabbit ears” for the photo. The girl was oblivious to what was going on behind her. It was priceless!
Before the concert started a young Marine approached our section and asked for a marker so Martina could sign his cap. I happened to have one in my purse and gave it to him thinking he wouldn’t possibly have the chance to get it signed nor would I probably ever see that marker again. I was wrong on both counts. Mid-way through the concert between songs security allowed him to approach the stage. He asked Martina to sign his cap and she said, “I can’t sign this,” to which he replied, “It would be my honor to have your name on it.” Martina signed his cap, handed it back to him and said, “Thank you very much!” His name? USMC Staff Sergeant Jonny Nobel.
Martina McBride has to be the most gracious artist I’ve seen in recent months. As she neared the end of her set she commented that she’s been singing for many years and she deeply appreciates the fact that people still come out to hear her. She truly loves to sing and always tries to pour her heart out every time she performs. I believe her too. Her vocals were spine tingling as she sang “Broken Wing,” “Independence Day,” “Concrete Angel,” and “Anyway.” Nobody sings those songs like Martina! Did you know she can play harmonica? Yep. She played it during “Loves the Only House.” And that’s not all; she has a brother in the band who plays guitar. Talent runs in the family.
Martina affectionately referred to her opening acts as “the boys” acknowledging that they were sure to have gotten the crowd warmed up for her and indeed they did.
Jason Michael Carroll was first to shake things up singing, “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead.” He moved us all with his ballad “Alyssa Lies” – the first time I heard it on the radio, it stopped me in my tracks. If you’ve never heard it before, you should give it a listen. When his 3 year old son, JW, emerged holding a Guitar Hero guitar during the final song, “Waitin’ In the Country” you could hear a collective “Awww….” from the audience. I’ve seen my own 3 year old grandson mimic his father with those Guitar Hero guitars so it was especially poignant for me.
Next up was Jack Ingram whose goal was to get everyone in the Pavilion on their feet participating at least once. He proved to be very convincing. If he saw you sitting down he pointed you out to the camera man. He encouraged audience participation on his older songs, “Keep on Keepin’ On” and “Barbie Doll” but it was his newer hits, “Lips of An Angel,” “Wherever You Are” and “Love You” that had the crowd singing along. Jack is obviously a people person because he jumped down from the stage and mingled with the crowd for a few minutes during his set. He took photos with one fan and chatted with some girls who had seen him jogging earlier in the day. He had asked them if they were looking forward to seeing Jack Ingram that night and they’d replied, “Jack who?” I bet they know who he is now!