Concert Review: Joe Nichols takes stage at fair
Published 10:07 pm Saturday, August 8, 2015
Joe Nichols performed Saturday night at the Freeborn County Fair.
Featuring a southern voice and an easy-going demeanor, country singer Joe Nichols and his band performed Saturday night at the Freeborn County Fair.
A Rogers, Arkansas, native, Nichols, 38, has five No. 1 songs in his career.
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Nichols played a combination of fun, catchy tunes to softer, more reflective pieces off recent and older albums. His songs consisted of a wide variety of topics, including love, religion and patriotism.
When Nichols performed “She Only Smokes When She Drinks,” cellphones from the audience swayed through the air, coloring the dark grounds in front of the stage.
At one point, Nichols played a couple of slow, melodic songs on stage — just him and his guitar and the stage lit blue.
Nichols engaged the audience throughout the night.
“Thank y’all for remembering me and being here tonight,” Nichols said. “I appreciate that.”
Nichols played “The Impossible,” and the crowd turned quiet and reflective. The song reached No. 3 on Billboard Hot Country Songs and was the 10th-most played country song of 2003.
Saying his slow voice wouldn’t work with a rap song, Nichols turned the tables and covered “Baby Got Back,” a ’90s rap song, slowed to a country tune.
Nichols also covered Tom Petty’s “Running Down a Dream.”
Nichols performed a number of his hits, including “Size Matters,” “Freaks Like Me,” “The Shape I’m In,” “You Were Mine,” “Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” and “Sunny and 75.”
Other performers at the fair this year included Josh Turner, Frankie Ballard, Tyler Farr and John Michael Montgomery.
“It was great,” New Richland resident Carol Light said of the concert. “He played a variety of hits, and hearing him sing his solo pieces was nice.”
Nichols also performed at the Freeborn County Fair in 2011.
Nichols reissued his self-titled debut album in 1996 and “Man With a Memory,” in 2002.”Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other,” was also released in 2002. Nichols earned the Top New Male Vocalist award from the Academy of Country Music, a platinum certification and three Grammy nominations.
He has produced six other albums: “Revelation” in 2004, which produced two top 10 hits; “III” in 2005, “Real Things” in 2007; “Old Things New” in 2009; “It’s All Good” in 2011; and “Crickets” in 2013.