CONCERT REVIEW: Vince Gill at Emens Auditorium
The Star Press
By MICHELLE KINSEY • firstname.lastname@example.org • September 28, 2008
MUNCIE - Vince Gill was happy to take the stage last night at Ball State's Emens Auditorium.
Ball State, after all, had just won its homecoming game. It could have been a "crappy" night if things would have gone the other way, he joked.
But it wasn't. In fact, Gill turned in a winning set that offered up old songs, new songs and plenty of stories.
The paired-down show had Gill sitting centerstage, surrounded by electric and acoustic guitars, a keyboard player, an upright bass player and a guy beating on an amplified box.
Gill opened the set with "Don't Let Our Love Start Slipping Away." It was a great start. The sound was tight. Gill's voice was in fine form. And the audience was already singing along.
He joked that he almost didn't make it to the show that night, due to the country's current economic situation.
"I thought I was going to have to suspend my tour," he said.
Many more funny moments would follow and we would also get insight into several of his songs. Gill is quite the storyteller; so good that you didn't want to miss a word and you didn't mind the breaks between his smooth guitar licks.
But the music was the main reason we were there and Gill did not disappoint.
During the nearly three-hour set, he played several requests from the audience, tried out a few new tunes and offered up his bread-and-butter hits.
One of the new tunes told the story of the "Lucky Diamond Motel" that was a few miles from his childhood home. Another was a bluesy tribute to his long-time steel guitar player, "Buttermilk John."
Gill admitted with a grin that many of his songs contain autobiographical elements. The rest, he said, "are big fat lies."
The crowd clapped along during "One More Last Chance," the laughter erupted during "It's Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night (That Chew Your report me Out All Day Long)" and the tears fell during "Go Rest High on that Mountain."
Although he said he preferred sad, moody, cheatin' songs, he did deliver a wonderful love song, "Look at Us," which he confessed started out as a sad, moody cheatin' song.
Vince and the band took a brief break, then Gill returned for a few solo tunes, including "Jenny Dreamed of Trains" (which included a great story about his daughter and her "Eddie Haskell" boyfriend) and "Little Brother."
When the band rejoined Gill on stage, they offered up "When I Call Your Name" and a beautiful "Go Rest High" before picking up the tempo with "Oklahoma Borderline."
A few more tunes and stories later and Gill waved good-bye and walked off stage, still limping a bit from his recent knee surgery. But he was back soon enough for an encore that would include a rowdy "Liza Jane," a cover of Pure Prairie League's "Amy" and another new tune, which he wrote with his wife Amy Grant, called "Heaven."
If you didn't know much about Gill going into this concert, he felt like friend by the time you left. A really talented, really funny friend that you hope comes back around for a another visit - and a dozen or so stories - soon.