It was another Friday night at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa, which also meant that it was time for another sold-out concert at The Joint. When country music star and actor Dwight Yoakam announced his show, tickets sold out quickly. The quick sellout of the 2,700-seat venue would be a sign that a fantastic show awaited. After the house lights went down and the music started, it was clear that that’s exactly what was about to happen.
The capacity-crowd erupted in applause as Yoakam, dressed in his trademark cowboy hat, denim jacket, tattered blue jeans and boots walked onto the stage.
Surrounded by a simple setup consisting of drums, keyboards, a few monitors, amplifiers and stands sporting oversized lava lamps Yoakam joined his four-member band and jumped right into his set.
Yoakam and his band were in fine form throughout the night. His well-known nasally, almost whiney at times, vocals were solid and melded well with the guitar playing of Eddie Perez. The set featured several covers, including Buck Owens’ “Act Naturally,” Elvis Presley’s “Little Sister,” Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” and Johnny Horton’s “Honky Tonk Man.” Make no mistake though, with the personal touch Yoakam put on each song, they became more of his own. In total, Yoakam and crew powered through 24 songs in just over an hour and a half.
Opening with “Please, Please Baby,” Yoakam immediately got the women in attendance screaming when he broke into his famed shuffle across the stage. He followed with “Under Your Spell Again” before stopping briefly to greet the crowd. “It’s a pleasure to be in Tulsa, and at the Hard Rock again,” he said. “I’m glad it’s not an ice storm like last year,” he added before performing his idol and longtime friend Owens’ “Act Naturally.” Yoakam then gave fans quick turn-by-turn directions from The Joint, leading the to the “Streets of Bakersfield.”
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
Highlights of the show included “Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose,” and it’s old school, twangy country bass-line. “Things Change,” and “This Time” added a honky tonk flair to the set before Yoakam closed out the show with a string of hits. “Honky Tonk Man” started the run, with “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere,” “It Only Hurts When I Cry,” “Little Ways,” “Guitars, Cadillacs,” and “Fast as You” following and closing the set. Following a long-lasting standing ovation, Yoakam returned to the stage and finished with “Long White Cadillac.”
The ever-changing world of country music seems to be missing the old school honky tonk sound nowadays, but Dwight Yoakam brought it back with authority on Friday night.