Turnpike Troubadors impress crowd at Blue Light street concert

by: JOSHUA RAMIREZ/Sports Editor

The drinks were flowing and cigarettes burning as the crowd outside Lubbock’s Blue Light filled with anticipation waiting to see the Turnpike Troubadours at the annual street concert on Broadway.

Broadway was blocked off on Aug. 28 for the annual back-to-school street concert featuring Red Shahan, Jason Bolan, and the Turnpike Troubadours.

The gate opened at 7 p.m., and it didn’t take long for the venue to fill up to the point that anyone showing up after 7:30 p.m. was in for a bit of a walk, as parking was limited and filled up quickly.

As 8 p.m. started to roll around, you could feel the crowd getting restless in anticipation for the show. Luckily, it was about this time that Red Shahan made his way up to the stage. After a short greeting, Shahan started his set which lasted for close to an hour and succeeded in curbing the crowd’s craving for entertainment.

The next musician up was Jason Boland. At this point, it looked as though the rain might make an unwanted appearance. But the light shower added something extra to Boland’s set that gave the concert an authentic feel leading up to the main attraction.

It wasn’t until after 11 p.m. that the Troubadours took the stage. The booze-fueled crowd was ecstatic to see the band and came to life with whistles and cheers as herds of people made their way out of the bars and into the streets to see the show.

The band started their set off with songs from their “Diamonds and Gasoline” album, beginning with “Every Girl” and “7&7”, before moving on to “Doreen.” The crowd was in for a treat as the next three songs were all off the Troubadours’ new album coming out Sept. 18. The first of the three was “The Bird Hunters,” followed by “Down Here” and “The Mercury.”

By this point, the band had the crowd wrapped around its finger. Girls were dancing in the street, with guys bobbing their heads and tapping their boots to every note.

The band moved seamlessly through the set, keeping the energy going and the crowd satisfied by playing more hits from their “Diamonds and Gasoline” album, including “Shreveport,” “Leaving & Lonely,” and “Down on Washington.”

After finishing “Gin Smoke & Lies,” a Troubadours classic, the band thought it appropriate to break out “Long Drive Home,” another song from their upcoming album. The crowd was more than satisfied, hoisting beers in the air and cheering as the band played on.

The Troubadours continued through their set, moving smoothly from song to song while performing “Morgan Street,” “Good Lord Lorrie,” and “Before the Devil Knows We’re Dead,” all from their “Goodbye Normal Street” album.

Next song up was “Kansas City Southern,” followed by “Whole Damn Town” and “Bossier City.”

The crowd, which was full of energy throughout the concert, was still ready for more at the end of the 18-song set. The Troubadours responded by playing fan favorite “Long Hot Summer Day” as an encore. The song was perfect punctuation to a performance that was in tune with its audience from the first note until the last.

Lead singer of Turnpike Troubadours, Evan Felker, plays at Blue Light annual street concert on August 28. SKYLAR HERNANDEZ/PLAINSMAN PRESS

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