Easton Corbin - Toby Keith’s Minneapolis 11.3.11
Oh no. Oh no no no.
Thursday night Easton Corbin played at Toby Keith’s Minneapolis and we almost don’t even want to say anything about the show because we feel so bad for him. But we’re going to anyway. He seems like such a nice and talented guy, but he’s going through a rough patch right now. A full house crowd showed up to get a little more country, and they did, but fans also got a show they didn’t expect.
Easton played a full sweep of his Easton Corbin album with a few other covers mixed in, but the best part of the show were his George Strait renditions, most notably “It’s Natural” during the encore. He has been working on an album of new music, which will include the potential new single that he played for us, “Tulsa Texas.” This is a great song and would be a welcome addition to country radio in our opinion. We love modern country music that has a traditional sound and a classic soul, and Easton carries that distinction well, and convincingly.
Overall however, it felt like a very rehearsed set and a tad underwhelming, with very little crowd interaction and a sort of awkwardness on stage that we could tell made the audience uncomfortable. It’s a bad sign when the audience doesn’t shut up and listen. (For the record, we always shut up and listen!) A few standard “raise your glass” moments were helpful to set the mood, but it felt very orchestrated. And we haven’t even begun to tell you about his voice…
Easton had canceled/postponed a lot of dates earlier this Fall due to health reasons, but kept this Minneapolis commitment. It is unfortunate that we have to say this, but he is definitely not well. Putting it nicely, he struggled through notes and his voice cracked so often it was hardly recognizable from the album recordings of his own songs. The second time we heard Easton perform was at Country Jam in July, and his voice problems were noticable then, and again at WEFest in August. It occurred to me (Beth) that this might even be his normal singing voice since everytime we’ve heard him sing it’s been like that, but since the way he sings on the album is so different that must not be true, right? At first I thought it was just us being hypersentitive to his voice knowing that he just came back from a break due to health problems, but everyone around me had the same observation.
Overall, we both like his style and type of music, but he really needs to get back to 100% before he can take another stab at country radio with a new single. In the big picture, we’d much rather hear Easton Corbin than a lot of the mainstream country music mush that is popular right now.
It was a fun night (any night with live country music is a good night!) but this appearance may have hurt him more than helped.
Aly and Beth
Read our other posts about Easton
Toby Keith’s (May ‘11) | Country Jam | WEFest | Top 10 of 2010