Lonestar at Casino Rama: Event Review

Lonestar at Casino Rama: Event Review



Lonestar has been entertaining fans and creating country music for over 24 years. The multi-platinum album selling band consists of; Richie McDonald on lead vocals, piano, and acoustic guitar, Michael Britt on lead guitar, and background vocals, Keech Rainwater on drums, and Dean Sams on keyboards, and background vocals. With a brand new album set to release on April 29, 2016, Lonestar is back on the road to get their fans revved up for the release of Never Enders.

With a ton of tour dates leading the band well into September 2016 and more being added, Lonestar made a Canadian stop at Casino Rama on March 12, 2016. The packed house of 4500 plus fans enjoyed every second the band graced the Casino Rama stage. From the first few notes of “No News” all the way until the final encore consisting of an epic country-infused “Rock Medley” fans were enthusiastic and on their feet.

Lonestar definitely took their fans on a 90 minute musical journey from start to finish. Their set list for the evening was jam packed with hits throughout the past 20 plus years. Going all the way back to the 1995 release of their self-titled debut studio album Lonestar, the band kicked things off with very high energy and their number one hit “No News.” The tempo remained consistent with “My Front Porch Looking In” from the bands From There to Here: Greatest Hits (2003) album, and the fan favorite “Mr. Mom” from their release Let’s Be Us Again (2004).

Lonestar has always praised their musical influences, but have always given a special nod to The Eagles. Even referencing The Eagles song lyrics “Peaceful Easy Feeling” in their top 10 hit, “You’re Like Comin’ Home” from their album Coming Home (2005). Lonestar took some time to mention their appreciation for The Eagles and their music, as well as pay tribute to the late Glenn Frey with their renditions of “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Take It Easy.” McDonald was fantastic at emulating the vocals of Frey and carried the two songs very well.

“I’m Already There” was the title track from the bands 2001 album and considerably one of the group’s most beloved songs. McDonald took the time to explain what the song meant to them and how it had impacted their career. Released before the infamous September 11 attacks, the song has taken on a whole new meaning for the band. Very pro-military the band uses the track to pay tribute to military heroes. Showcasing footage of deployed military members being reunited with their family members, the live performance of the song brought the whole house to joyful tears and thunderous applause.

The evenings set list included; “You’re Like Comin’ Home,” “Mountains,” “Everything’s Changed,” “Come Cryin’ to Me,” “Pretty Good Day,” “Tell Her,” “Just the Rain,” “Walking in Memphis,” “Party All Day,” “What About Now,” and “With Me.” The band was happy to share their Canadian connection prior to performing their top five hit “You Walked In,” explaining how the “rocking” track was penned by Canadian star Bryan Adams and famed producer Robert “Mutt” Lange.

One of the absolute best moments of the night was during the half way mark of the show, McDonald caught some fans sneaking in late and decided it was a good time to throw around some sass. The band joked about all of the hits that the couple had missed and played a little re-cap of the show and whittled it down to a medley of their set-list. All in good spirits, it really showed how the band likes to entertain and not take every single moment so seriously. With all of the entertaining moments of the show, the band still showcases a great work ethic and pure enjoyment of being on stage and entertaining their fans.

Throughout the night, the band was just as entertaining to watch as they were to sit back and listen to. McDonald kept hopping around stage, grabbing cell phones, taking selfies, and signing whatever merchandise or concert tickets that fans would hold up to the stage. McDonald was a ton of fun to watch rolling around on stage and getting down to sing and interact with the rowdy fans. McDonald, Britt, Rainwater, and Sams had great interaction and a great sense of humor.

Lonestar Knows How to Close a Country Show

With a rock medley containing “Get Back/Rock and Roll All Nite/Another Brick in the Wall” Lonestar had fans on their feet cheering and belting along to every word. The most well received song of the night was the encore and the bands biggest smash hit, “Amazed.” The love song spent an astonishing eight weeks at the top of the country charts back in 1999 and is still one of their most loved songs today.

Lonestar not only creates great music, but after 24 plus years of performing all over the world, the band knows very well how to entertain a crowd. McDonald is still a terrific vocalist and definitely enjoys the energy of a great crowd. With the bands 10th studio album being released April 29, 2016, Never Enders is one of the years anticipated country releases. Packed with sell out tour dates, Lonestar is off to a jam packed and busy 2016.

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Whether it is performing or sitting down with some of the biggest names in music, I can always be found sharing my love of music with anyone who will listen. Being a music journalist has allowed me to expand my knowledge of music and interact with some of my biggest childhood heroes. From days of radio broadcasting to sitting back, kicking off my cowboy boots and sharing my adventures with likeminded music fans online has been nothing short of amazing.