No doubt about, Joe Nichols can put on a show. Whether he’s at a county fair surrounded by old man hicks and farm animals, or performing in front of a nearly 1,000 member audience sitting at tables and eating and drinking, (as is the case on this night) the country music heart-throb knows how to entertain. Just as the last pieces of the chicken and rib dinners were being gobbled up by the anxious and apparently starving audience, the six man band walked onto the Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse stage taking their places in the new stage set up Nichols acquired for his 2008 touring season. The guys launched into Nichols introduction song “Why The Hell Do You Think I Drink?” an iTunes bonus track from Nichols 2007 ‘Real Things’ album.
The Burgettstown, PA crowd roared and cheered coming to their feet as Nichols strutted onto the familiar stage. He filled his song set with his own songs and fan favorites such as his # 1 single “Brokenheartsville,” plus “Size Matters” “She Only Smokes When She Drinks,” and “Cool To Be A Fool.” This set list fulfilled the wish of many Nichols fans for more of his own songs.
Nichols shared the importance of the next song to him, explaining it has a special meaning for him, and that’s why he put it on his ‘Real Things’ album. Now, “My Whiskey Years” has taken on an even more important meaning for him. Wrapping his hands tightly around the microphone and closing his eyes, Nichols uses his deep rich baritone voice to tell us a story that wrap us up in his genuine emotion as he shares a piece of his soul while reminiscing within the song about the man’s “wilder days” making the song a personal experience he was sharing with his audience.
Next, Nichols fans joined him singing along to his current single “It Ain’t No Crime,” then “What’s A Guy Gotta Do” and “The Impossible” before Joe sat down on the edge of the stage to sing the beautiful love song “I’ll Wait For You.” The song was obviously dedicated to his lovely wife, Heather. Joe’s emotional expressions brought Mrs. Nichols to the stage where she handed her husband a rose and stood up on the stage holding his hand as he expressed his love for her through this song. In between songs, Nichols showed he still had his sense of humor with snappy and quick witted one-liners that had the audience cracking up.
Then, Joe rocked the house with another ‘Real Things’ song about a couple wanting to have a good time partying and fighting called “Let’s Get Drunk and Fight.” Keeping the crowds energy high, Joe sang “Country Boys Can Survive” and his #1 single “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” before leaving the stage, sending the crowd into screams for more.
After a few minutes of yells and chants, Nichols and his band reappeared on the stage to close out the night with Charlie Daniels’ rebellious “Long Haired Country Boy,” and then “Blues Man” and “Comin’ Back In A Cadillac.”
Nichols’ fans had high expectations for his return and once again to their delight, Nichols delivers. To quote Nichols while singing the chorus of “Comin’ Back In A Cadillac,” “this backwoods boy’s gonna be an uptown deal,” and if tonight’s performance is any indication of what we can expect from Nichols in 2008, this lyric is right on the money!