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article imageReview: Blake Shelton spectacular at Madison Square Garden in New York Special

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 2, 2014 in Music
New York - Country mega-star Blake Shelton headlined New York City's Madison Square Garden on August 1, as part of his "Ten Times Crazier Tour 2014."
A Warner Nashville recording artist, Shelton shared the stage with such opening acts as Dan + Shay, Neal McCoy and award-winning country group, The Band Perry.
He commenced his set with the fun "All About Tonight," prior to noting that he is originally from Oklahoma and he came here tonight for two reasons: to "play country music," as well as "to drink."
Shelton wore a navy blue corduroy shirt and blue jeans, and immediately broke into "The More I Drink," as the stage was graced in red lights. He was backed by a seven-piece band.
After singing "She Wouldn't Be Gone," he screamed, "Man, I am a country singer. How the hell did I end up playing in Madison Square Garden?"
He continued, "I'm freaking out. It makes me nervous. When I get nervous, I tend to drink a little bit."
Shelton inquired as to whether the men in the audience came to his show tonight because their ladies brought them with them, hence he followed it up with the appropriate tune, his chart-topping single, "Doin' What She Likes."
"I'm starting to feel better now. I'm starting to relax a little bit," he said, prior to singing "Kiss My Country Ass," as a patriotic background displayed on the televised screen, while the stage was decorated in yellow and green lights.
His rendition of "Mine Would Be You" was stunning, as he was accompanied by the expressive Gwen Sebastian (an alumna from "Team Blake" on The Voice) on background vocals. The televised screen had an autumn background on this tune, as fuchsia and purple lights dimmed on the stage.
"I love this. I don't want this night to end," Shelton said, prior to taking his fans on a trip down memory lane with oldies but goodies such as "Nobody But Me."
He brought his white cowboy hat and his mullet wig during his performance on "Some Beach," which featured noteworthy steel guitar and fiddle instrumentation. A background of a beach appeared on a televised screen which was ideal for that tune.
Shelton showcased his outlaw side on the haunting "Ol' Red," and he subsequently serenaded a lucky couple to his exquisite ballad, "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking."
During "Hillbilly Bone," he interacted well with his fans and their shook hands in the audience. "I've always wanted to sing a 'bone' song in New York City," he told the crowd.
"Sure Be Cool If You Did" was yet another neat vocal that resonated well with his fans, as the stage was graced in orange lights.
He briefly discussed his experience serving as a coach on the reality singing competition, The Voice, where he worked with "some of the greatest people" in the industry, prior to jokingly dubbing Adam Levine (from Maroon 5) as a "douche-bag." Regardless, the hit NBC show has afforded him with the privilege to discover some great talent, such as his background vocalist, Gwen Sebastian, and he brought her on stage with him to sing their chart-topping duet, "My Eyes," in an acoustic fashion, which brought out its simplicity and the beauty of its lyrics.
It was followed by an acoustic rendition of a "special song" which he co-wrote with his wife, Miranda Lambert, for his late brother, "Over You." He showcased a great deal of vulnerability and he poured his heart out on this song, to the point where the majority of the New York fans got teary-eyed. This subtle yet melancholic performance, earned the Oklahoma country crooner a standing ovation. "I love ya'll so much for that," he said, in awe of the warm audience response to this moving tune.
He continued with yet another "special" song, "Austin," which he performed solo and acoustic. Particularly impressive about "Austin" was that it was his first chart-topping single ever on country radio.
Other songs in his set included "Drink On It" and his rendition of the nostalgic ballad "Home," where Madison Square Garden was lit up with iPhone lights from the audience members.
He closed with "Boys 'Round Here" and he returned for encore performances of "Footloose" and "God Gave Me You."
The Verdict
Overall, Blake Shelton was able to deliver at his headlining show in the heart of New York City. It is no wonder that he has been crowned "Male Vocalist of the Year" at the Country Music Association (CMA) awards for four consecutive years, as well as "Entertainer of the Year" in 2012. His baritone vocals were rich, soothing (especially on his soft ballads) and pleasant and they brought out the musician's personality. He entertained the sold-out Madison Square Garden arena and his show proved to be a true spectacle. All of his opening acts, Dan + Shay, Neal McCoy and The Band Perry were incredible as well, and they gave "The Big Apple" a night of country music to remember.
After seeing Shelton perform live many times in New York over the years, this may very well be his finest concert to date. His show garnered 5 out of 5 stars.
For more information on country superstar Blake Shelton and his upcoming shows, visit his official website.
More about blake shelton, Madison square garden, New york, the band perry, dan shay
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