Morgan Wallen raises sales at SPAC, despite problems – The Daily Gazette
When country artist Morgan Wallen performed at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center four years ago, he was an upcoming singer who filled an opening spot for country star Luke Bryan. At the time, the baby-faced Wallen was best known for his performance in 2014 on the TV song contest show “The Voice”, which eliminated him in the playoffs.
Times have obviously changed for Wallen. No longer the healthy kid, he is now a megastar. His headline show at SPAC on Thursday night was sold out, and fans in the VIP parking lot took pictures of themselves standing in front of the tractor trailers – adorned with large pictures of Wallen’s face – driving his equipment from stadium to stadium.
How did he get here? After losing “The Voice”, Wallen went to Nashville, and switched the pop music he performed on the show for modern country. Then he started collecting number one hits. His latest album “Dangerous“was the best-selling album of 2021, despite Wallen’s ban from radio and awards following an arrest for disorderly conduct, a suspension from”Saturday Night Live ” for breach of covid-19 protocols, and a viral video of him drunk while shouting a racial statement.
Wallen’s fans did not seem to care. He just became more popular.
“This is the largest SPAC audience I’ve ever seen,” said a young fan waiting for Wallen’s headline to start as an audience member on the lawn tried to step up one of the pillars supporting the amphitheater’s balcony before being forced to come. down.
After an opening set by HARDY, which combined loud modern country with a bombastic form of metal, Wallen’s band came on stage, shrouded in smoke and purple light, and started with a drum solo – another reminder that this particular type of pop country gets a lot from hard rock. Dressed in black gas station shirts with name tags, his band looked and moved more like members of Green Day than a traditional outfit.
Wallen, dressed in dark jeans and a gray T-shirt, was greeted by deafening cheers. Contrary to his reputation as a hell raiser, he appeared on stage as quite harmless – albeit a little bland.
Wallen’s songs were quite indistinguishable from a long line of country troupes that Nashville constantly awakens: ballads and party songs filled with four runners and Southern Comfort: “Up Down”, “Dangerous”, “You Proof”, “Silverado for Sale” “7 summers “,” Chasin ‘You. ” The audience of over 20,000 had an insatiable appetite for it.
“Somebody’s Problem” was characterized by misogyny. Wallen explained that he based the song on an attractive woman he once saw at a stoplight – and that he and his friend deduced that it must be “someone’s problem”. Not a person, just a problem. Make it better, brother.
Wallen’s voice – a raspy, skinny pliers – gave much of his appeal. And his nice guy’s appeal seemed real when he talked about how he taught himself to write songs, and about how close he is to his mother.
In a show highlight, Wallen performed “Sand in My Boots” at a piano, then went to the back of the amphitheater for a stripped-down set that included “Thought You Should Know,” “Flower Shops” and Jason Isbell’s cover of “Cover Me Up” . ” He ended with an extra number of “Heartless”, “Wasted on You” and “Whiskey Glasses”.
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