I write about country music. Mostly.

Clint Black was the high. Bucky’s Sweet 16 defeat was the low. But it’s all good.

In some ways the Clint Black concert that ended about two hours ago seems like days earlier. That’s because just as we got back to my brother and sister-in-law’s home, we flipped on their giant TV to catch the last bit of the Badger-Gator game. We saw the Badgers rally and Zak Showalter’s crazy, three-point buzzer beater to send Wisconsin and Florida into OT 72-72. Yippy. Five more minutes. Other than watching Bronson Koenig hobble in pain from a sore hamstring, those added minutes were great fun. Until the last four seconds. Gator Chris Chiozza’s spectacular leap with a return buzzer beater ended the season for Bucky. Ouch.

But it is easy to shake off any basketball woes with a couple thoughts about the Clint Black concert we attended earlier tonight. I’d anticipated a good country show. And that’s what we got. It was jam-packed with excellent musicianship and great songs. Clint seemed to truly enjoy entertaining the folks and knew just how to do it.

He and his excellent five-piece backup band – a few of them have been with Clint for 30 years — played 23 songs, mostly originals with a few covers sprinkled in. The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins was a great venue – easy to access and we had good seat in the back of the main floor. So glad Tim and Pat invited me out to go with them.

Clint played a couple new songs (which are part of his CD On Purpose released via Thirty Tigers/Blacktop Records) but mostly stuck within his catalog of 50 plus chart songs. About midpoint the band took a break and left him alone in the spotlight. With just his acoustic guitar and tethered harmonica to back him, he delivered the poignant Better and Worse, a reconciliation that it is OK to be OK with life’s mix of ups and downsIt was a highlight of the night. He later dished up another new one, the faster tempo Stay Gone and strapped on a banjo for a romper about the universally-loved Beer.

The crowd pleasers like Killing Time, Nothin’ But the Tail Lights, Better Man, Rain, Put Yourself in My Shoes and Walking Away reminded me just how prolific Clint Black was – a staple country hit maker of the 90s and early 2000s. Just my lane.

Another big highlight was when he honored some country greats from the generation before him. He covered Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger and I Couldn’t Believe it Was True, plus a touch of Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground, and later Waylon Jennings’ Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way.

I really enjoyed the show and so did Tim and Pat who weren’t familiar with his repertoire but always love good music. So glad they invited me out for it.

Here’s a set list (more or less) for Clint Black’s show at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, CO, on March 24, 2017:

  • The Shoes You’re Wearing
  • Summer’s Coming
  • Walking Away
  • Better Man
  • When My Ship Comes In
  • Like the Rain
  • State of Mind
  • A Good Run of Bad Luck
  • Red Headed Stranger
  • I Couldn’t Believe it Was True
  • Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground (riff)
  • Better or Worse
  • Stay Gone
  • Beer
  • One More Payment
  • Nothing’s News
  • Killing Time
  • We Tell Ourselves
  • Been There
  • Don’t Think Hank Done it This Way
  • Nothin’ but The Taillights
  • Put Yourself in My Shoes
  • Tuckered Out

I took two quick photos (one is up-top) before a polite word from the usher that Clint is not a fan of fan-snapped photos at his shows. Ooops. Sorry!

Learn more about country music lover and blogger Karen Bernick here. Please feel free to share this article or others. But please use photos with permission only – just email me with any requests. If you like this post, please consider following me here, liking my Facebook page Karen Loves Country or following me at Twitter. Thanks for reading! #KarenLovesCountry #clintblack #thirtytigers #LincolnCenter

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