(DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, MI - June 13th, 2009)
June 13th had a fairly cool wind blowing through DTE on this Saturday night that however was about to change, and heat up fast. Clay Walker was set to take the stage and give the country music fans what they came to see - just a darn good show.
Entering the stage from the left Clay appears
from behind the curtains with a huge smile waving to the crowd as the band members take their places. With that smile that had every lady wanting to catch his eye, he walks up to the microphone and starts to sing, 'If I Could Make A Living.'
Needless to say the ladies in the crowd screamed their approval. Wearing blue jeans, a tan button-down shirt and his black cowboy hat, he slowly rolls into 'Fore She Was Mama.' It was now very obvious that more than several people in the crowd had a few tears streaming down their face - myself included!
Clay commanded the stage like no other artist. Not running around and yelling, he did it with his voice and guitar. Slowly heading in and out of certain selections masterfully, to put it bluntly the crowd was held captive. After a couple of slower songs such as 'Eyes Wide Open' and 'Feels So Right,' Clay picks up the pace with, 'Days That End In Y,' 'Live Until You Die,' and 'Who Needs You, Baby.'
We are then all informed that on the day before, Clay was at FanFare in Nashville and only had 30 minutes of stage time. So he tells us tonight that, "As we didn't have time to do this next song there, tonight we're actually live online. So, this one is for those of you who were at FanFare as well as you here in Michigan". He then goes into 'This Woman.'
'She's Good' is next on the list and halfway through the song Clay asks, "Any bad girls here in Michigan tonight?", to which the ladies let Clay know who is good and who is better! 'I Can't Sleep' is on deck next, followed by a story about when he went hunting last year with Ted Nugent. As Ted tells Clay, "You see that turkey? Go ahead, hit it in the head!" To which Clay responds, "Yeah, right!" Well, after some coaching by uncle Ted, Clay takes aim then lets loose - and as Walker himself then exclaims, "Damn, I did it!" Ted then informs Clay that his shot had been one in a million and how'd he done that? To which Clay replied, "Well, you told me I could."
Clay then begins to tell us that there's "something special about the Detroit area" and then goes into the Eric Clapton song-to-his-son, 'Tears in Heaven.'
Clay's not done with us yet though as he tells us, "You Michigan people really know how to have fun. It's in your blood" and just then, upon cue, six four feet in diameter beach balls come out from behind the curtains and get kicked out into the crowd - thanks to Clay and the band! As 'Then What' comes to and end, Clay, almost feeling the pain that we're having due to the Auto Industry layoffs, goes off the set list to cover a Bob Marley song, 'Everythings Gonna Be Alright.' The entire crowd now sings along in a very surreal moment - one of a true connection.
'Cold Hearted' is next on the docket as Clay throws two towels into the crowd of screaming fans. Things slow down with 'Fall' after which the band and Clay gather to say their collective thanx. "Thank you, soooo much everybody, and God Bless."
Several moments pass as Clay then returns to the stage to tell us, "I saw Kid Rock after our show last night and Kid said he was flying out about 1am and did we all wanna ride on his plane?!" Clay then addresses the crowd, telling them that as they don't want to have all this good energy built up here tonight to take all the way home with them, a good song is needed. And so a cover of the Rolling Stones' 'Honky Tonk Women' is the perfect fix. And then, as Clay and the band prepare to leave us for the evening, he says one last time, "God Bless you, we love you Michigan."
Review and Photos by: Ramon Trevino, Jr.