Gary Allan keeps it pure country during Penn's Peak performance
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Country singer Gary Allan performs at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe. A near capacity crowd attended the show which featured the country star performing numerous songs from his newest album, "Set You Free."
Most new country artists often mix other genres into their concerts.
Some add some pop. Others a little rock.
Heck, Jason Aldean even added some rap.
Gary Allan doesn't stray. He keeps it pure country.
Last night Allan performed at Penn's Peak before a near capacity crowd. Throughout his 22-set, from the opening number of "Tough Enough" to his finale "Songs About Rain," he sang ballads, love songs, story songs. He stuck to the brand and it was obvious the audience appreciated it.
Tonight Allan performs just 80 miles away in Lancaster, but that didn't hurt last night's attendance at Penn's Peak. In fact, Jenna Smith of Lebanon remarked, "Lancaster is closer to me but I couldn't wait to see him. He's awesome."
"Also," she added, "I heard (Penn's Peak) is a great place to see a concert and it really is. I had a fantastic time and I'll be back, especially if Gary Allan comes back."
Of his several visits to the Peak, last night's turnout of fans was possibly the largest.
Backed by an eight-piece band, the country hitmaker sang most of his top songs.
He sang his present single, "Pieces," from his latest album "Set You Free."
"Set You Free" is his latest LP and his first to hit number one on Billboard's Top 200 chart.
He sang numerous cuts from the album, including "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)," which topped the Billboard country charts several weeks ago; "It Aint The Whiskey," a song about trying to cope with a broken heart, and "Bones," which tells of a man being ticked off. He admitted that "It Aint the Whiskey" is "my favorite song on my new record."
He was all business on the spacious Penn's Peak stage, doing very little talking between songs. He did tell the audience about the difficult day he had. He forgot his guitar, which he always has on stage, and he had to pick up a prescription and went to the wrong Rite Aid.
Allan wore a black tee shirt and torn blue jeans. For most of his songs he strummed his guitar, with an exception being when he sang "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)." He played a tambourine for that selection.
When he didn't have the guitar, he moved about from one side of the stage to another. He tossed a generous amount of guitar picks to the audience.
His performance was virtually flawless. The only deviation his show took from what you'll hear on any of his 10 albums occurred immediately after curtain call when a member of his band sang a song.
Then he sent the audience home satisfied with his "See If I Care" album.
In between, he held the crowd captive as he fed them favorite after favorite including "Watching Airplanes" and "Best I Ever Had," both ballads about the loneliness of breakup; "She's So California," about a fun-loving girl, and the romantic number, "Nothing On But the Radio."
It was a great night of country music delivered by a great performer.