Ever since Joe Nichols released Man With a Memory I knew he was an artist I'd love to see live. It's been several years, and it always seemed like I was out of town when he was around here, or I had other commitments, but finally, on September 3rd, I finally got my wish, and it was a show that was worth the wait, and one I definitely want to repeat.
Joe played a solo gig at the Feather Falls Casino Showroom in Oroville, CA in September 3, 2004. I believe the showroom holds about maybe 1500-2000 people, and that night it looked like it was sold out.
I lucked out with a 2nd row seat on the left side of the stage, so hoped for some great shots, but because I was so far off to the left, Joe was more like 15 rows away, and so my photos without a flash were blurry, and those with a flash turned out so so, but really got a lot of the smoke in the photo with them. It didn't help with him dressed in a black jacket and shirt. Light colored clothes are easier to get in focus. ;) So, I'm not all that crazy about the pics, but I hope you enjoy them. There is a slideshow, and I've posted twenty of the ones that turned out best.
Joe started the show with "Everything's a Thing" from his Man With a Memory album. From there he went into the Fan favorite, "Joe's Place," then his debut single, "The Impossible." Joe thanked everyone for his first No. 1 song ("The Impossible") and spotted a young woman near the front of the stage. She told him it was her birthday, and that her name was Monica, and Joe sang her "Happy Birthday."
From there, you heard people start calling out songs for Joe to sing, and he kidded "Hey, where's the tip jar?" (referring to where when people request a song, they give you a tip), then said for us not to worry, he had a plan, and asked everyone to stick with him.
Merle Haggard is a really big influence on Joe, and he said that he wanted to sing a few of his favorite songs tonight. He started with Merle's "Misery and Gin," then sang his father's favorite Merle song, "Footlights," then "Big City," and "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink." Sometimes I don't like when artists sing covers of other artist's big hits, but Joe did a great job on every one.
His current single, "If Nobody Believed In You" was next. (As a footnote, our local station has a "Seven at Seven" show where they play the Top 7 requests of the day, and Joe's song was No. 1 for that day.)
He then sang "Don't Ruin It For The Rest Of Us," and told us the next song was his favorite from Revelation, which was "No Time To Cry." After "Cool To Be a Fool" Joe introduced his band. Then, he sang She Only Smokes When She Drinks," and I wrote down "Honky Tonk Man" if I can read my handwriting, although I don't remember him singing that song.
Next Joe went into Hank Jr. mode singing a medley of "Women I Never Had" and "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound." Then, he asked if we were there to hear country music. When everyone hollered yeah, he said "Ok, I have a question for you..." then he sang the first line of the chorus of the Hank Jr. song "Family Tradition." ("Why do you drink?") And the audience sang back "to get drunk," like it goes in the actual song. So, Joe started the song from the beginning and let everyone sing their parts in the chorus.
The last song before the encore was "Brokenheartsville." Then, after a few minutes he returned for his encore of the popular "What's a Guy Gotta Do" along with the Hank Sr. "Blues Man," the Merle song "Workin' Man Blues."
What a night! After an hour and 35 minutes, I'm ready for some more Joe. Let me close now so I can check out Joe's tour schedule and see when he's returning to this neck of the woods. I want more.. more... more!
- Everything's a Thing
- Joe's Place
- Misery and Gin
- Big City
- I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink
- If Nobody Believed in You
- Don't Ruin It For The Rest Of Us
- No Time To Cry
- Cool To Be a Fool
- She Only Smokes When She Drinks
- Honky Tonk Man
- Women I Never Had (medley)
- Whiskey Bent and Hellbound (medley)
- Family Tradition
- What's a Guy Gotta Do
- Blues Man
- Workin' Man Blues