By Ashley Lucas
Cowboy hats, boots, and beers abound in the crowd as Billy Currington charmed ladies and country lovers alike at the beautiful Berglund Performing Arts Theatre, Friday night. Women and girls of all ages lined the front of the stage, some on shoulders, all with their hands in the air, trying to get a little loving from backwards-hat, tight t-shirt wearing Currington. He graciously obliged, even taking selfies from the stage and kissing many hands after the show concluded.
The 43-year-old Nashville veteran performed his greatest hits and his personal favorites from past albums. Admittedly, I am not your conventional pop country music fan. I haven’t been to a country show since Brad Paisley came to town with Taylor Swift, long before Taylor went pop. However, I’ve always had a soft spot for Billy Currington. He and his people have an uncanny knack for choosing songs that highlight the deep, rich tone of his voice and adhere perfectly to his “ladies’ man” persona.
With a stage adorned with lit candles, Currington kicked off the night with his hit “Don’t It” which was penned by former Roanoke resident, Ross Copperman. Together with his six-piece band (which included an incredible steel guitarist), Currington went on to perform all the best tunes from his long career, including his first top 10 single, “I Got a Feelin’”. Fan favorite, “Pretty Good at Drinking Beer”, got the crowd a little rowdy, as Currington asked “where are all my beer drinkers at?”. The best part of the show was undoubtedly when Currington shared the stage with his two guitar players, playing acoustic versions of his first #1 hit, “Must Be Doing Something Right” and a song missing from his setlist for the last five years, “Don’t”. Currington’s voice truly shines surrounded by a simple arrangement.
Other highlights of the night included “Let Me Down Easy”, “We Are Tonight” and “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To”. His encore was comprised of a cover of “Friends in Low Places” and his most popular song, “Good Directions”. In true ladies’ man fashion, he invited a little girl on stage to sing the last line of the song, “thank God for good directions, and turnip greens”.
Overall, it was a thoroughly entertaining listening experience. If you’re a country music fan and Currington visits the valley again, especially at this venue which has great acoustics and tremendously accommodating employees, his show should not be missed.
In April,The Berglund Center is set to host both country music singer-songwriters, Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell. The Stapleton show sold out shortly after tickets went on sale, however tickets are currently still available for Isbell.