Randy Travis made magic last night

Last night, on a balmy evening on the bustling Downtown Mall, a decidedly, unhip, un-age-conscious crowd of nearly 1,500 moseyed in to witness the voice of a country generation, Randy Travis.
Not only did he did not disappoint, he stunned.
The 50-something singer has the pipes of someone half his age, and presents a musical experience that is produced but not campy, simple but not lacking fullness.
Backed by an eight-piece band, many of whom have 20+ years of road experience with the singer, Travis put on a show of a lifetime, except that it was show 31 on a 60-stop "Passing Through" tour.
In a time when young bands may stumble off the stage drunk, or country legends leave the stage high on prescriptions, or rawk bands play for a mere 35 minutes, this 90+ minute show of career highlights (the guy had a lot of #1 hits) was delightful.
Hitting the stage to the tune of "Digging up Bones", followed quickly by "1982," Travis had the crowd in his palm from the start. Flashbulbs lit the evening sky, as rabid fans rushed to the stage to get a photo of a living legend with an "aw-shucks" attitude that comes off as genuine.
Clad from head to toe in black, the band easily shifted from shuffles to waltzes to up-tempo footstompers. The obligatory three-song medley of hits came early in the show, just prior to Travis taking to a stool for a finger-picked verson of the Beatles' "Nowhere Man" that had the stunned crowd singing along.
Affable and lighthearted, Travis told several jokes that were actual knee-slappers, including one about Thomas Jefferson breaking his nose and Osama Bin Laden mishearing the term "70 Virginians."
Travis' recent forays into country gospel have served him and his audience well, with the surprise, recent hit "Three Crosses" getting a rousing ovation and sing-along. Of course, he saved his biggest hit for last, and "Forever and Ever, Amen" left the crowd begging for more as they headed to the souvenir stand, before shuttling off into the Charlottesville night.
For a guy who has reviewed a lot of concerts, 11th row center Randy Travis on July 26, 2007 ranks near the top for pure enjoyment, and unadulterated musical joy.
–By J. Holdren who has been a little AWOL from the Hook since circa 2003 when he was busily reviewing CDs.
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4 comments

Thanks for the great review. It sounds much like the one I saw a few weeks back and will be seeing again in a week or so. Randy truly is one of the best and rules in my heart but it is always nice to read such a review by others who perhaps don't follow him as much as I do but still can recognize that Randy is genuine and sincere and puts on one heck of a great show. . Thanks again.

Just so you know Randy is not 50 something, he only 48! Thought your review was great and yes Randy is the real deal when it comes to the aww-shucks aspect! Very sweet person to work with, not pretentious at all.

Last night marked the seventh time that my husband and I have seen RT live in concert. His
music is as pure today as it was in 1987. I am so pleased that the folks at the Pavillion
brought such a talented person to its stage. Keep it up!

Thank you for your wonderful review. It is great to hear a sincere review about how Randy truly is a wonderful artist, performer, and person. Thank you to the venue for booking him. Thanks for allowing people to post their comments as well.

Thank you Charlene for the correction on Randy's age and for confirming our insight into the real Randy. Randy truly is the best!