(Jerome-Duncan Ford Theatre, Sterling Heights, MI - August 15th, 2004)
In 1996, LeAnn Rimes burst out of nowhere with her debut single, 'Blue,' which immediately captured the attention of country fans across America. It wasn't just the fact that her rich, powerful vocals were remarkably similar to Patsy Cline - it was the fact that Rimes was only 13 years old!
Eight years on and the 21 year-old superstar was back here in Michigan for the third time this year to sing her heart out to the massed outdoor crowd. Taking to her countrified set with a big grin already embedded on her beautiful face, Rimes kicks things off with 'Big Deal,' 'One Way Ticket' and 'Life Goes On' before introducing the fourth song: "This next song is from my new album and is the perfect kiss-off song". The track 'Won't Be Lonely Long' is then sung to the adoring crowd and is backed up by the soon-to-be first single from the new album, 'Nothing But Love', and then the lovely 'Fall To Pieces'.
It's right about now that she explains that they are going to " ... slow things down" and with all the musicians now in possession of some acoustic instruments, they all break into 'Blue'. Announcing, "If you don't mind Michigan, I'm gonna break things down and show you what we can do .. OK?!", they then follow it up with a slow, bluesy version of Elvis' 'Heartbreak Hotel'.
As the Flamenco strings of the guitar begin to waft through the air, dance-orientated 'Can't Fight The Moonlight' is next and for the thousandth time this night, Rimes raises her left arm above her head in sync to the beats propelling her. "I was influenced by Janis Joplin from an early age and this is for all you Janis fans out there. This is the first song I ever heard of hers," she introduces as she then goes into 'Summertime'.
As she brings the set to a close, she makes the previously-prone crowd get on up ("You've been sitting on your butts for too long .. now stand up!") as she breaks into the second infamous Janis song of the night, 'Me & Bobby Mcgee'. Leaving the stage, she brings her twinkling smile back for both 'Commitment' and her final song of the night, a cover of Led Zeppelin's classic, 'Rock and Roll'.
Photos and Review by Russell A. Trunk