Tomlinson entertains Albert Lea

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 2, 2006

By Adam Hammer, Staff writer

Whether they knew every song on his debut album or just the words to Trent Tomlinson’s hit single &8220;Drunker than Me,&8221; about a thousand people turned out for Tomlinson’s Friday-night performance at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds.

Alex Pobanz, Tamora Larson and Charlie Balfe were first in line at the gate. They said they showed up at 5:45 p.m. to get first dibs on seats for the show, which started shortly after 8 p.m. The gates opened at 7 p.m.

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Larson said she was mostly looking forward to hearing &8220;Drunker than Me.&8221;

&8220;It’s really the only song of his I know,&8221; she said.

Tara Jenkins and Vikkie Sheldon, who met Tomlinson and got his autograph backstage during a meet-and-greet before the concert, were also looking forward to hearing his hit single, but were also fans of some of his other tracks.

&8220;We’re big country fans,&8221; Jenkins said just before Tomlinson took the stage. &8220;We’re really looking forward to hearing ‘Drunker than Me.’ It’s going to be fun.&8221;

After more than two hours of waiting for the concert to begin, the crowd was entertained by Tomlinson’s high-energy performance on the grandstand stage. His high-energy carried into the stands when he left the stage and went into the crowd dancing with fans and giving high-fives to others.

Members from the crowd of all ages were brought into the mix.

During &8220;Superstitious,&8221; a cover of the popular 1972 song by Stevie Wonder, Tomlinson pulled 3-year-old Brandon Leber from the crowd for a little time in the limelight.

The concert was part of the sesquicentennial celebration and kicked off Albert Lea’s Fourth of July weekend of events.

Tomlinson is a native of Kennett, Mo., who is self-taught on the piano and doesn’t know how to read music. However, his ability to write songs and perform landed Tomlinson’s album &8220;Country is my Rock&8221; honors as number 20 on the Country Top 75 Soundscan chart with 10,983 sold in its debut.