We had the gift of seeing Collin Raye this past Thursday night in our hometown of Long Beach, California. It’s been about 8 years since I’ve seen him in concert, so I was really excited for the show. He certainly lived up to my excitement, as every second of the 90-minute show was thoroughly entertaining. In this life, I’ve seen hundreds of concerts, but there’s hardly been anyone else who put on as good of a show as Collin did.
He started the show off with “I Can Still Feel You” and quickly had the audience in the palm of his hands with an amazing version of his powerful hit “Little Rock.” He sang several his big hits and told great stories about them that had the audience engaged and laughing. I loved that he sang some songs that he said he doesn’t normally sing that had been requested in the meet & greet. That included a great rendition of an early album cut called “Latter Day Cowboy.”
I loved hearing him talk about his musical influences. He did a couple of great songs from his 2013 tribute album to Glenn Campbell. He talked about his admiration for Glenn and I certainly admired his incredible versions of “Galveston” and “Gentle On My Mind.” Collin also talked about losing Merle Haggard last year and did amazing versions of “Mama’s Hungry Eyes” and “My Favorite Memory.”
He is known for his soaring vocals on a lot of ballads, but also rocked out with some faster songs like “I Want You Bad” and had the crowd roaring with laughter with his introduction to “That’s My Story.” He brought it back to a ballad to end the show with his big hit “Love, Me.” Collin came back for an encore that he said was going to just be one song, but he graciously played a song for a fan who had written it on her shirt as a request. The night with a great, rocking version of Bob Segar’s “Get Out Of Denver.”
The best thing I heard from him was the news that he is working on a new album. It’s called “25” in honor of his 25 great years in country music and will contain 25 of his biggest hits that he has re-recorded. The new project will actually have 28 songs as there are 3 bonus tracks. I can’t wait to hear it and hope he has some new original music soon, too.
Collin’s concert came at a great time for me. I get frustrated with the state of country music these days and wonder if I can still say I’m a fan of it since I can barely listen to country radio. Yet, after this show, I realize that there are still some genuinely talented, good people touring and even though they aren’t on radio, are still what country music is really all about. If I were you, I would do whatever it takes to see Collin in concert, whether it’s in your hometown or many a mile away.