Cody Cousino / Photo editor
“If you’re worrying about something you have to do in the morning, then you can kiss 11,000 people’s ass!” Blake Shelton shouted to an almost-full Nationwide Arena Friday.
This preceded the song “All About Tonight,” and set the tone for what was an entertaining concert.
After a blaring “Baggage Claim,” by Shelton’s wife, Miranda Lambert, played to a dark arena, Shelton appeared, being lowered onto the stage in one of three silos that decorated the stage. I wish I could tell you what exactly happened after that, but it was in that moment that the middle-aged woman behind me was getting her groove on so much that her beer was drenching the seats in front of her, soaking my legs in the process.
I tried to not let this dampen my experience at the show, as Shelton belted out his version of “Footloose.” What Shelton, country music and the ‘80s classic have in common, I couldn’t begin to guess. But it was a good way to amp up the crowd from the get-go.
Shelton strayed from playing songs solely from his latest album, “Red River Blue,” to my content, and played hits such as “Don’t Make Me,” “Some Beach” and “Home.”
After the fourth song, I grew to be pretty bored. Perhaps it was the lack of company, but I’m leaning on the side of country music’s struggle to be more than a man standing on a stage with a guitar. Shelton’s way to combat this was with great stories and friendliness toward the audience.
Shelton shared that when he gets nervous, he tends to drink, and while he was drinking onstage throughout the night, he appeared to be completely at home.
Shelton talked about how “people in Nashville” don’t like that he likes to drink on stage, or how he “gets nervous” and will get on Twitter and tweet about deer, beer and boobs.
“I’m a country singer for God’s sake!” Shelton said. “They don’t think I should be up here drinking and playing country music? I don’t know about you Ohio, but I like to drink beer.”
This anecdote, which was one of many of the night, set the stage for his latest hit song “Kiss My Country Ass,” where he sent a tweet on stage that read, “If you don’t like my tweets, you can kiss my country ass.”
The transition from the sometimes dancing, drinking Shelton belting out “The More I Drink” to the passionate display of “She Wouldn’t Be Gone,” was well-balanced and is part of the reason the show was so enjoyable.