Country star Vince Gill attracts capacity crowd at Penn's Peak
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Country singer Vince Gill performs at Penn's Peak, Saturday night.
Yes, Vince Gill, your fans still believe in you.
A sold-out crowd attended Gill's concert on Saturday night at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.
The audience members sang with him, laughed at his quips, rewarded him with generous applause, and obviously enjoyed every minute of his more than two-hour performance.
Gill delivered a no-nonsense show, singing his songs the way people remember and appreciate them.
From the opening number, "One More Last Chance," the talented Oklahoman had the crowd in his hands. The song, from his "I Still Believe In You Album," had topped the charts in 1993.
Although Gill has more than 20 studio albums, has sold over 22 million LPs, and has 27 Grammys, it's been a decade since he had a song in the top 20. With Gill, it seemed like absence made his fans' hearts grow fonder.
Last October he released an album, "Guitar Singer," and did several selections from it during the Penn's Peak performance.
This was Gill's first appearance at the venue and he made it clear he loves not only performing here, but enjoys the area in general.
He said it was on Saturday that he learned the athlete Jim Thorpe - who is a fellow Oklahoman - was buried here.
Gill showed he had a sense of humor, telling the crowd there are three things he especially likes about Pennsylvania: "Arnold Palmer (the drink Arnold Palmer), Martin Guitars, and the whole scrapple thing."
The performer appeared on stage dressed-down in blue jeans and a jeans shirt, and wearing short-cropped hair. He was backed by an eight-piece band.
His laid-back demeanor was secondary to the pace of the show in which he kept belting out one hit after another.
An emotional moment was when he dedicated his "Go Rest High On The Mountain" to his mother and sister.
He delivered numerous humorous moments. One of the funniest was when he confessed that he just finished reading the finale of the trilogy "Fifty Shades of Grey."
Of the book, he said, "I'm in touch. Just wait 'til you see what I get my wife for Christmas." He then backtracked a little, sounding embarrassed, "I can't believe I'm saying this on stage."
Of his music, Gill mixed it up with ballads, love songs, blue grass, country swing, and gospel.
"I love country songs and country music has cheating songs that are really good," he said, as an introduction to the touching ballad "Pocket Full of Gold," a tune about a married man who takes off his wedding ring and places it in his pocket.
He told the crowd, "We're going from one extreme to another; from a cheating song to a love song," and sang the romantic hit, "Look At Us."
Of course, other hits he sang were "I Still Believe In You," "Trying to Get Over You," "Slippin' Away," "What the Cowgirls Do," and the heartbreaking "When I Call Your Name."
Among the songs he sang from his "Guitar Singer" album were "The Old Lucky Diamond Hotel," which reminisces about a hotel along Route 66; the emotional "Bread and Water," and the Grammy nominated "Threaten Me With Heaven."
For his curtain call, he did "Adriana," "Guitar Singer," "Whenever You Come Around," and a big hit, "Liza Jane."
Gill delivered a great concert. One with hit after hit, and with one entertaining moment after another. It was a phenomenal night for country music fans.