By: Jessica Baird
Blake Shelton’s first sold-out, headlining-spot at the Ryman Auditorium was pure BS—a no frills, funny, raucously redneck evening.
Opening with “Kiss My Country Ass” off the recently released Hillbilly Bone album, Shelton’s performance was full of the tongue-in-cheek attitude that has garnered him a devoted following both onstage and off, thanks to his musings on Twitter.
However, Shelton was quick to point out that his nerves over playing the Ryman would overshadow the urge to offend or crack too many jokes.
As the show rolled on with the speed and energy of a runaway train, Shelton’s nerves subsided as he crooned Conway Twitty’s, “Goodbye Time” and gave a rousing, rocking rendition of his own hit, “The More I Drink.”
Even though his up-tempo songs are undeniably fun, Shelton also shines with nothing more than an acoustic guitar on No. 1 ballads like “Home” and “Austin.”
During the two-song encore, Trace Adkins joined Shelton onstage for their current No. 1 single “Hillbilly Bone.” Adkins entered without fanfare, but the pair had everyone singing along to the song devoted to embracing your inner-redneck.
Closing out the set with fan favorite “Ol’ Red,” Shelton left the crowd on their feet and left a lasting impression on the historic Ryman stage.
Pictured (l-r) are Warner Music/Nashville’s Chris Stacey, Starstruck’s Brandon Blackstock, William Morris Endeavor’s Rob Beckham, WMN’s John Esposito, Adkins, the Ryman’s Sally Williams, Shelton and Starstruck’s Narvel Blackstock.