For Trace Adkins Performing Live Is Therapeutic
There must be something magical about performing on stage. It must energize, enthuse, and invigorate. Sure, the travel that comes with touring is tiring, and it keeps you away from family, but having thousands of fans cheer for you and your music must be an immense rush.
As Jackson Browne sang in “The Load Out:” “…the only time that seems too short is the time that we get to play.”
The embodiment of Browne’s sentiment is Trace Adkins.
The country music superstar is currently on the road and will be through Dec. 21. That’s amazing when you consider how bad his year started.
In early January, Adkins was the headlining act on a country music cruise. He left the cruise early after he had a terse run-in with a Trace Adkins impersonator and momentarily lost his battle with alcoholism.
Adkins immediately checked himself into a rehab facility. He then left rehab early to tend to his sick father who soon passed away. Days later, his heartache was compounded when his wife of 16 years filed for divorce.
Most people would retreat and hide. Adkins is not most people.
“I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone for the outpouring of encouragement and support over the past few months. It’s hard to put into words how much comfort you take from hearing, ‘We’ve got your back.’ So these shows are for you guys. Thanks.”
All the bad stuff previously mentioned occurred in the first three months of 2014.
Did Adkins lock himself in his mansion or retreat to some remote resort? No, he went back to work. He got the band back together, Sarepta Gentleman’s Club (named after his hometown), and routed some concerts.
Amazingly, the 52-year-old was back on the road by June. In fact, he performed at the Grand Ole Opry on the third of that month—he was inducted into that Nashville institution in 2003.
Look for Trace Adkins to perform live in Huntington, New York on Aug. 1; Hyannis, Massachusetts on Aug. 3; and Cincinnati, Ohio on Aug. 28.
While Adkins had more than his share of sorrow in 2014, he also had some successes. On June 21, Adkins was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. He received the honor during his concert in Baton Rouge. Participating in the ceremony was Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal.
Adkins also starred in the comedy Moms’ Night Out alongside Sarah Drew and Patricia Heaton. The film hit theatres in early May. Adkins played a biker named “Bones.”
The country singer would have been inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame regardless. The movie release is nice but strictly coincidental. He could have been on the moon or at the bottom of the ocean and Moms’ Night Out would have hit theatres.
Also, Adkins is set to release his twelfth studio album later this year. And from everything I’ve read, recording an album can be tedious and frustrating. I’m sure it’s more enjoyable then most jobs, but when compared to performing live it doesn’t even compare.
One has to believe that what has kept Adkins going isn’t the honor of awards or the attention of debuts but the fans in the stands. For Adkins, there’s something cathartic about taking the stage and performing. In fact, he recently said “I’d die if I’m not on the road."
Adkins isn’t going through the motions and collecting a paycheck. Judging from recent reviews, he’s knocking them dead everywhere he goes. His 2014 tour is already one of the top country concerts of the year.
The most interesting part of Adkins’ schedule is his last few shows. Beginning in mid-November, Adkins launches “The Christmas Show Tour.”
This will be the second year in-a-row Adkins will spread Christmas Spirit via song. Like he did in 2013, Adkins is touring to support his first Yuletide album, The King’s Gift.
Christmas Gift Track List
The Wexford Carol
O’ Come Emmanuel
Away in a Manger
I Saw Three Ships
We Three Kings
Carol of the Drum
Oh Holy Night
What Child Is This
The Christmas Show begins Nov. 14 in West Point, New York. From there, Adkins and his band travel to Worcester, Massachusetts (Nov. 15); New Brunswick, New Jersey (Nov. 18); and Englewood, New Jersey (Nov. 19).
Adkins continues his Christmas trek on Nov. 20 in Wilmington, Delaware. The next night he’s singing carols in Providence, Rhode Island. His fifth show in as many nights occurs on Nov. 22 when Baltimore welcomes Trace Adkins to the Modell Performing Arts Center.
His final two shows are spread throughout December. On the sixth, he’s in Salina, Kansas for a gig at the Stiefel Theatre. On the twenty-first, Adkins decks the halls in Clearwater, Florida at the Ruth Eckerd Hall.
Obviously, Adkins needs a few days off to do his shopping but he can still do more than two shows between Nov. 23 and Christmas Day and still have plenty of time to buy for everyone on his list. So expect more Trace Adkins Christmas shows to be added.
I think Adkins’ Christmas tour is the wave of the future. Okay, maybe that’s over selling it, but it’s a very good idea that other artists should copy. I know Kenny Rogers has been doing something like this for years.
People love Christmas music and families love to go out around the holidays. A show comprised of holiday tunes seems fairly easy to put together. A lot of carols are in the public domain and you don’t need a huge stage—just a Christmas tree and maybe some fake snow. To make it even a better value, the artist can play their secular hits during the encore.
In an era where recorded music is worthless, a Christmas tour is a great way for an artist to generate more revenue. If the performer adds something like “$1 from every ticket goes to such-and-such charity” then you have a win for the artist, the attendee, and the community.
For artists like Adkins, who love to perform, what better way to celebrate Christmas then with a 15- to 25-date tour of North America?
Whether or not Christmas tours catch on, Adkins will definitely see out the year in a much better place than when it started.
By David B.