Trace Adkins arrived onstage to a sold out crowd at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville, N.C., and it wasn’t long before he had them dancing and clapping along to his string of hit songs. “We’re gonna have some fun tonight,” he promised before launching into “Songs About Me” from his 2005 CD of the same name.
The audience stood up throughout most of the concert as Adkins went through his repertoire of songs for an enthusiastic crowd. “I’ve been looking forward to seeing ya’ll,” Adkins said after performing “Big Time” and “(This Ain’t No) Thinkin’ Thing,” both off his “Greatest Hits” collection “Vol. 1.”
Although his label pulled “Arlington” from “Songs About Me,” Adkins sang it for his fans, saying, “”I always approach this song with great reverence and respect.” “Arlington” was met with a round of applause after the first verse and received a standing ovation after he finished singing it.
“That song means a lot to me,” Adkins thanked the crowd. “I appreciate it. I had people thinking I was trying to make a political statement but all I was doing was paying respect to the people who paid that price.”
He also previewed material intended for his next album, including the potential title track “Dangerous Man” and “Ladies Love Us Country Boys.” The latter evoked a story about how he met his wife, Rhonda and how her parents weren’t too sure about him at first. “I think they might have tried to find someone to kill me before we got married,” he said with a laugh, “So this is a true story.”
Before “Rough & Ready,” Adkins told the women in the audience, “Here’s a song that explains what us country boys like.” He closed the show with “One Hot Mama” and “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” leaving the stage to a standing ovation from the audience, only to return for an encore of “Chrome.”
Craig Morgan was an excellent opening act, making a grand entrance from the back of the auditorium. He sang his hits, including “Almost Home” and “RedneckYacht Club” and “That’s What I Love About Sunday.”