by Lisa Kiser
October 28, 2008 – MGM Grand, Detroit, MI
Three bright stars aligned the evening of October 28th in the MGM Grand Detroit Casino when Lonestar, Joe Nichols and Jason Michael Carroll came in to roll the dice in the motor city. The MGM’s slogan, “Ignite Your Senses,” serves as a fitting depiction of the excitement felt by those lucky enough to attend the event that brought these great artists together. The show was performed in a cozy and intimate setting, placing the artists where they could be close to their fans.
Jason Michael Carroll launched the evening of country musicality with bright, energetic renditions of his trademark hits. This humble guy belted out “Alyssa Lies,” “Livin’ Our Love Song,” and “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead” with a clear, honest tone. My only disappointment is that his set was limited to four or five songs. Carroll’s teaser performance was a great way to start off the evening and I suspect I wasn’t the only cowgirl in the crowd left wanting more.
Next, Michael, Keech, Dean and Cody jumped in to show Detroit the new face of Lonestar. The well-respected group played an assortment of favorite classics with a few new numbers thrown in for good measure. Though their new lead singer Cody Collins has been with the group since last year, this was my first experience watching him perform, and I must say that he’s done a good job with the role. You can’t go to their show expecting to hear Richie (McDonald) but he’s different and he’s good. Collins’ style has a bit more of a rock edge to it, but it serves to put some fun and punch into the beat of Lonestar. The band demonstrated their passion and chemistry through their performances and you could feel their energy from across the room.
The tall, dark and handsome Joe Nichols rounded out the evening with his playful set, shelling out material such as the tipsy tune “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” and “Let’s Get Drunk and Fight.” (Careful where you sing that one, Joe!) Not only is Nichols a talented artist, but he’s also got a good energy and stage presence – he’s a good performer and he’s got a knack for revving up a crowd. As good as he is with the energy stuff, he’s also got a softer side and delivered moving performances of his slower pieces such as “She Only Smokes When She Drinks” and “I’ll Wait For You.” Nichols capped off a tantalizing trifecta of music with an incredibly connected and masterful performance. If you should ever get to see Jason Michael Carroll, Lonestar or Joe Nichols live, I would highly recommend snagging some tickets.