Tracy Lawrence at Midland Center For The Arts in Midland, MI

With a career spanning 32 years, Tracy Lawrence celebrates his anniversary tour in Midland, MI with a show full of greatest hits   

Joining Tracy on this section of his 30th-anniversary tour, North Carolina’s Kasey Tyndall is the first to take the stage. As a show opener, it is their job to get the crowd warmed up for later in the evening with the headlining artists. In doing so, Tyndall brings an arrangement of country rock originals to her show along with a few known covers by her favorite artists.  

Kasey kicks off the show with a high-energy anthem of “Nothin’ Wrong With Being Country” while including “Bar That’s Open.” As she sings and dances around on stage, it becomes evident that she looks a bit different tonight than other shows in the past. Turning sideways to the crowd, she proudly shows her baby bump and announces that she is seven months pregnant. The news leads right into her single “Babies” where she tells of her and her friends sitting around talking about people having babies. As she says, “I put this song out in the summer and it must have had some magic to it… ‘cus I am having my first.”   

Performing her newest single shared with friend Dylan Marlowe, “Place For Me,” Kasey speaks that if her grandfather can get to heaven, she can also. 

Tyndall adds a few covers, “Fancy” and “I Love Rock And Roll” by her favorite female artists Reba and Joan Jett before closing her 40-minute set with her own tribute to “Jesus and Joan Jett.” 

After a short intermission for a stage make-over, it’s time to dust off the boots and go for a walk down memory lane with Tracy Lawrence as he shares a 32-year musical journey with the crowd. Before Tracy and his band take to the stage, a three-piece video screen across the back of the stage shows video snippets from songs that helped solidify Tracy’s place in country music. As the video concludes, Tracy starts his show with his 2019 American anthem, “Made In America,” which gets the crowd fired up and ready for the show. 

Feeling a bit under the weather this evening due to a cold, Tracy has a bit of a hard time singing on occasion (especially on the higher range of his vocals). Fortunately, he is able to “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” as many in the crowd sing aloud and accompany him with all their favorite hits throughout the evening.    

Starting in 1991 and throughout Tracy’s career, he has amassed a library anyone would be envious of. That includes 14 studio albums and 46 singles with nine becoming number-one hits for Lawrence. Some of those early hits include “Lessons Learned,” “As Any Fool Can See,” “Stars Over Texas,” and “Texas Tornado.” One of Tracy’s favorites comes from his current album Made In America (2019), “Nothin’ Burns Like You” which he claims sounds like a Bocephus song. In the middle of the song, the members of the band play individual solos as they are introduced to the crowd.   

Lawrence tells of when he came to Nashville in 1990 at the age of 22, he thought he was a great songwriter until he met real ones. That leads into his cover of Jamey Johnson’s “In Color.”  

Noticing a gentleman (Brian) in the front row singing along to all the songs being performed on stage, Lawrence calls him up on stage to help sing the chorus to another one of Tracy’s classics, “Alibies.” Prior to the song beginning, Tracy jokes that it has caused a bit of heartache in the past as some have proven that they belong down in the seats and not on stage with a microphone. When Brian starts to sing the chorus, Tracy smiles as the invited guest singer puts a theatrical spin to the hit song. At the conclusion of the duet, the crowd roars with pleasure of a job well done.   

Bringing it back current, Tracy performs “Holes In The Wall” from the Hindsight 2020 Vol.2 album that was originally recorded with long-time artist friend, Tracy Byrd.  

During the time of the COVID pandemic, the country music industry lost a few great artists and Tracy lost a few great friends also. He pays tribute to them with “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers, “Kiss An Angel Good Morning” by Charlie Pride, “John Deere Green” by Joe Diffie, and “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” by Charlie Daniels which highlights band leader/fiddle player Joe Caverlee. 

Lawrence closes out the set with two of his biggest singles “Time Marches On” and “Paint Me A Birmingham.” Walking off stage, the audience applauds the loudest it has throughout the evening for Tracy and his band until they return moments later for a single song encore. Due to Tracy feeling ill and persevering through the show, he thanks the crowd for sticking it out with him this evening and more so for his 32 years of entertaining crowds with his music. He tells them that he will play one more song and then he is going to jump up on the bus and lay down. He concludes the show with his 1997 single “Better Man, Better Off.”  

With a career lasting as long as Tracy’s and all the hits made in that time, it has to be hard for an artist to put together a setlist that covers the span of time and the number of classic tunes. Knowing the sickness played a part in his performance this evening, it was a bit surprising for him to not include his 1991 debut single and first number-one, “Sticks And Stones.” Though the single was not included and him feeling a bit under the weather, it did not deter the crowd from another great performance from a truly great entertainer. Throughout the entire show, Lawrence never shied away and gave it his all, although taking a chance of prolonging his sickness by continuing on.   

Tracy Lawrence has been on the radar of many newer artists to be considered a great one of his time, as he has stayed true to himself and his neotraditional sound with a distinctive voice that sets him apart from all others. This evening’s show was enjoyed by all in attendance, young and old, as Tracy brought his sought-after elder country sound that has endured decades while also introducing a young up-and-comer in Kasey Tyndall and her more modern country rock sound. Kasey proved herself also with her performance this evening as she performed a flawless show, all the while being seven months pregnant. A fantastic night of musical entertainment for everyone inside the Midland Center For The Arts.

WORDS BY: Leslie Reasoner
PHOTOS BY: John Reasoner 

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