Dwight Yoakam in concert

I was fortunate enough to see Dwight Yoakam this summer at the Magic Springs theme park in Hot Springs. Yoakam and Cheap Trick were the two acts that pushed me to purchase a season pass.

Yoakam has kept his calendar full this year, with a new bluegrass album coming later this month, as well as his constant touring.

The show took place on July 30, and a day full of rain and thunderstorms made many ticket holders, including myself, second-guess going to the show, but being a long-time fan, I couldn’t miss it.

Unlike most concerts you’ll see now-a-days, a Yoakam show is raw and stripped down. There’s no big, fancy production, banners or stage props. It’s about the music.

The lights quickly came down and the background music stopped abruptly as Yoakam’s band took the stage, followed by the man himself, with the simplest of introductions before kicking into “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke.”

The show was scheduled to start at 8 p.m., but due to some last minute meet and greets, Yoakam and his band were about 20 minutes late.

The late start combined with the weather must have been an extra motivation for Yoakam because he powered through more than 20 of his biggest hits and fan favorites.

Yoakam is, in my opinion, a very underrated guitarist.

You might not notice it on his records, but his acoustic guitar drives the rhythm of the band. His classic tone is bright and almost percussive.

Where I might have highlights for most concerts, it’s hard to pick any favorite moments from this show. It was a fan’s dream. Yoakam knows what the people want to hear, and he gives it to them.

When Yoakam came back onstage for his encore of “Suspicious Minds,” I made my way from the back of the amphitheater to the front barrier. Standing just a few feet away from one of my heroes, as he played one of his most popular hits, made a great evening even better!

If you’re a Dwight Yoakam fan like me, and you’ve never seen him, take it from me: there’s never been a better time than now! He’s singing and playing better than ever, the band is on fire and the setlist is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
For more information, visit www.dwightyoakam.com.