Rodney Rocks the 8 Seconds Saloon

"Once Atkins stepped out on stage, the whole crowd erupted with a deafening sound, which made me envious of the band members up on stage who got to wear those lovely ear plugs that drown out everything BUT the music.

His whole band proved why they were on stage with Atkins as they had almost as much energy and charisma playing their instruments as he has singing and being the front man. If you wouldn’t have known any better from their interaction, the whole band should just be named The Rodney Atkins Band because of their sound, their interactions with the fans, and not least their chemistry together as a group.

I’ve heard just a few different songs from Atkins, all of which I have greatly liked. While Atkins played many of his hits and sounds from previous records, that didn’t stop him from giving fans a taste of the album he said they had just finished in studio. To me – Without a release date set, and not having had this material for very long – It’s a treat for fans to be able to see new material. It shows the passion the musician has and the love he has for the fans – All of which Atkins portrays throughout the show. He also didn’t forget where he was. During the song “Country Boy,” the screens behind his band showed many of NASCAR and Country Music’s legends and current stars – That was until the end. The deafening sound I told you about at the beginning of his show? Amplify that by 50% and that’s what you got when Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy both made appearances on that screen.Rodney didn’t stop there either, because he kept incorporating Indiana and Indianapolis into parts of his songs, just feeding on the response the crowd gives him.

Presence of mind and talent, not to mention his electricity on stage, Atkins delivered the goods for the first half of the show. He also incorporated comedy into his set when the fans were treated to a cover of Garth Brooks’ “Way Too Young to Feel this Damn Old.” While talking with fans – The band snuck off stage, leading to a few laughs when Rodney turns around and finds he’s alone on stage.

I found myself singing along throughout the night and getting way too into the set. This is something I’ve tried to stay away from when reviewing shows because I’ve tried to be unbiased and well rounded. At one point I even found myself being pointed at by Atkins during his hit “Watching You” because of how much I was getting into it.

If this doesn’t tell you the electricity this man has on stage – The following should: Rodney “closed out” the night with a song that was different than “If You’re Goin’ Through Hell” and the crowd wouldn’t have it. Cheers of “ENCORE!” and “RODNEY!” broke out throughout 8 Seconds Saloon, and let me tell you, the crowd wanted it.

When the band stepped out on stage, the whole place went ecstatic. During the final song (“If You’re Goin’ Through Hell”), Rodney did something that I’ve never seen another performer do. While others performers might bend down and put the microphone to faces of fans allowing them to sing, Rodney would toss his mic out to fans across the front line and let a variety of them sing, many of which suffered from first experience stage fright, but they pulled it off with the band’s and Atkins’ encouragement.

After all was said and done – Rodney went to the side stage and signed autographs for fans and shook hands with many more fans. After thanking the fans again, and a few more hand shakes, Rodney bid Indianapolis farewell and stepped to the back, ending a night in which he rocked the city.

For a first time country concert goer, I can say that there’s no other experience like it. When you’re in a venue like 8 Seconds Saloon and you can see the interaction with the fans and feel the electricity, it’s amazing. I can’t think of anyone better to have seen that night other than Rodney Atkins. His, and his band’s, presence on stage, love for the fans, and amazing vocals made the night a great start to the weekend. If you ever get a chance to see his show live, this writer highly recommends it."

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