Concert review: Stoney LaRue was good, but The Lower 40 was better
Chunchun Zhu, The Oklahoma Daily
Scott Starr, The Oklahoma Daily
Stoney LaRue and opening act The Lower 40 played a free show Wednesday on Oklahoma Memorial Union's East Lawn as part of the Union Programming Board's concert series.
I’ve always enjoyed going to concerts on the East Lawn. They usually end up feeling more like a block party than just a concert. UPB, as well as the Interfraternity Council, did a great job bringing acclaimed country artists to campus.
A new addition to the concert series, which I really want to see stay for the next concert, was the free drink cooler. It’s almost always so hot during those concerts, and it was nice to have somewhere to grab some water without having to walk all the way to Campus Corner.
I should start off by saying that before Wednesday night, I really hadn’t heard many songs from either of these acts, so I didn’t know what to expect.
The show kicked off with a band from Oklahoma, The Lower 40. It was an interesting mix of red dirt, Southern rock and slower ballad country. The styles were blended pretty seamlessly, and it had jams the audience could sing along to and some really cool guitar solos. The band's rendition of "Johnny B. Goode" was awesome, and its countrified version of "Walk This Way" sounded great. It had a great show, which isn’t surprising since the band was awarded the “Who New to Watch 2012” from CMT. It left the stage around 9 p.m., and the wait began.
Stoney LaRue and his band took the stage after about a 45-minute intermission. Most of the people around me were pretty sick of the wait at this point, but the show was fun, so all’s well that ends well.
I felt like I didn’t know enough of his material to really get down with the rest of the crowd. But I love the two-stepping at country shows. It makes the whole experience better seeing the mass of people — mostly guys in boots twirling gals in dukes — surrounding the stage.
Who wouldn’t be dancing, though; the music was really great. LaRue's band had a tight sound and never really slowed down. I didn’t much care for the guitarist’s tone, but I think that’s merely personal preference.
I really enjoyed a handful of tunes during the show. First, there was a song called “Te Amo Mas Que La Vida" which, contrary to the title, is almost completely in English. I really enjoyed how the song had a standard country style mixed with occasional Mexican guitar style turnarounds. There also was an Allman Brothers cover, and who doesn’t like the Allman Brothers.
It was a fun show, no doubt. I may be in the minority here, but I really liked The Lower 40’s show better than Stoney LaRue’s. It had a really cool sound, and I can’t get its funk'try jam out of my head.
Shawn Stafford is an international and area studies junior.