By Mike McKenney, Rock At Night New England
Mohegan Sun’s 25th Anniversary celebration continued with a Blake Shelton concert on Friday night, wedged between two Harry Styles’ concerts (Thursday & Sunday). The charismatic Shelton performed flawlessly for just under 2 hours, mixing all his newer hits with some of his older songs that helped propel him into a mega star artist.
The “Voice” Coach recruited one of his protégé’s, Emily Roberts, to open the show for him. Roberts showed why she was a finalist on Season Nine, warming up the crowd with a short set that included her hit “Someday Dream”.
With the arena filled to the brim, Blake Shelton took to the stage to an ear shattering standing ovation. Banging out a string of over 30 songs that included “Neon Light”, “It’s All about Tonight”, and “Doin’ What She Likes”, pausing only occasionally to joke with the audience. Shelton has an easy way about him that makes him likable to both men and women. While he appears laid back and often speaks directly to someone in the crowd, giving the show an intimate feel, the reality is his concerts are major events and he is the consummate professional. Working the stage as he sang, Blake made sure he paid some kind of attention to everyone. Wether it was a wave to the cheap seats, or stopping to fist bump or give a smile to make a fans night, Blake Shelton welcomes everyone to the party.
Always engaging with the audience, Shelton deftly set up the next group of songs by asks permission from the crowd before he played a few older songs, “Austin”, “Home”, “Mine Would Be You”, and George Jones’s “Ol Red”.
Judging by the roar of the crowd, “Sangria”, “Some Beach”, “Drink On It”, and “God’s Country”, were just a few of the fan favorites and “Hillbilly Bone” featured a guitar and a wicked violin solo. Platinum-certified no. 1 smash “Happy Anywhere” was performed as a duet with a giant video recording of his wife Gwen Stefani. Other new songs from his yet to be released album Body Language, “Come Back as a Country Boy”, and “Neon Time”, gave us a window into what’s to come and Blake Shelton fans are sure to love it.