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Kathy Adams from Salt Lake City, Utah
SHOULD HAVE LEFT AFTER THE WARM UP BAND
Did Travis miscalculate his Utah audience, (particularly Red Butte Garden ticket holders) that don't typically go to bars or smoke? Or did the hook to his latest hit "Smoke In A Bar" reseninate anyway with the small crowd who attended the Friday night crowd because it echoes the false narrative of nostalgia? Recalling the good-ole-days when smoking in public places (no matter who else it affected) was acceptable, and the gov'ment didn't make drivers wear seat belts (again, no matter who died as a result) is a clear reference to anti-vaccines and mask wearing. The reference to mask wearing wasn't even subtle as Tritt gave a shout out to the mostly maskless audience -- fist-pumping some and offending others. The music itself felt like a Disney performance -- polished yet phoned in. Tritt clearly needs to be center stage, since the talented band members were relegated to platforms that keep them from stealing the spotlight. As my title suggests, the warm-up duo felt more authentic -- songs referencing the real stars of country music such as Merle Haggard in lyric and John Daves' rich harmonies and guitar work sounded more like two or more guitars backing up Michelle's lovely vocals. I saw Merle in 1970 in Akron Ohio. Dolly Parton was his warm up. Neither needed smoke machines or flashy lighting. Their authenticity alone was smokin' hot.
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