It was a “hot” pairing for the Independence Events Center to capture for their inaugural season concert lineup. Two of country music’s most successful acts brought a near capacity crowd to their feet over and over again with a whole lot of rockin’ country and a good dose of traditional tinged selections. There seemed to be a little bit of something for every fan’s taste in this doubleheader.

It was a “hot” pairing for the Independence Events Center to capture for their inaugural season concert lineup. Two of country music’s most successful acts brought a near capacity crowd to their feet over and over again with a whole lot of rockin’ country and a good dose of traditional tinged selections. There seemed to be a little bit of something for every fan’s taste in this doubleheader.

Trace took the stage first and hit it out of the park with his high energy hits (accompanied in many cases by his hit videos running in the back). Songs like, “I’ve Got My Game On,” “Swing,”  “Ladies Love Country Boys,” and “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” had the audience up and movin’. 

But when the man goes for the soulful ones, they stop and listen. That they did with his classic, “Every Light In The House,” “Muddy Water,” (which featured a local choir) and the absolutely incredible, “All I Ask for Anymore.”

Trace’s banter was to the point, honest and tinged with humor. The audience took to his “down home” ways and his music, both rollickin’ and soulful. If you missed his opening, the commercial for BC Powder, you really missed something. It showcased his acting, but more than that his humor. 

Next up, “little, but loud,” Martina McBride. That “little, but loud” reputation was given credibility from her first song as a fan was heard to say, “that woman can wail!” The show was pure energy and she hardly seemed to take a breath. She brought to the stage her current hits, classic hits and unforgettable hits like “Independence Day” and “Broken Wing.” 

Martina seemed a bit feisty as she played to, and with, the audience. Her “if I had a beer I’d be cryin’ in it” comment after her rendition of Kristofferson’s, “Help Me Make It Through The Night,”(from her album, “Timeless”) had the audience offering her a beer. She was even good natured over the Missouri fans onslaught when she mentioned she was from the state of Kansas.

Like Garth (who is noted to have given her that little push way back when) Martina flew through the air, but with a style all her own. She came across the venue seated on a blue moon singing “Concrete Angel.” She was gently put down on a revolving mini stage that gave the crowd on that end of the venue their own little show and quipped to all, “now you can say you’ve been mooned by Martina McBride.”

She also made her way through the audience to the main stage, shaking hands with audience members singing along. Singing along is something the audience did with both artists most of the night.
There was, from both artists, a thank you for coming out and “spending their hard earned money.” Each  artist, in their own way, succeeded in bringing the fans that night  their money’s worth and then some.

The audience response to the two country concerts at the Independence Events Center has been very strong.  There is no doubt the upcoming Kenny Rogers (Feb. 10) show is bound to attract people to the new venue from throughout the metro area.