Last night Neal McCoy brought his award winning show to the country fans of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
Neal put on a great show that even included more than a few surprise covers. From the looks around the audience it seemed there were even a few folks happily surprised as Neal played some of his hits from his big days just 15 years ago.
Casual country fans lit up when Neal poured into songs like Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On and No Doubt About It. These songs were familiar to the fans in the crowd, but many didn’t realize Neal was the singer.
And for the diehard Neal fans there was much to love about the show as Neal was very interactive and engaged with the audience. For the folks right up in the front Neal signed autographs, threw out t-shirts, and had a regular conversation with a few folks. He even acknowledged the local AC repair man that fixed his bus earlier in the week.
Neal McCoy in Chippewa Falls, WI 2011
Neal came on stage right on schedule at 8pm local time. The sun was just beginning to set behind him. It was a beautiful night. The sunset was great. The temperature was pleasant and the crowd was packed with country music fans. There wasn’t an open seat in the grandstand and the sides were filled with people standing and watching the 1998 and 1999 TNN Entertainer of the Year put on a great show.
Neal came out rocking right away with one of his foot stomping hits, You Gotta Love That. He kept things rolling on the high note with The City Put The Country Back in Me.
After a few songs Neal started engaging the crowd a bit. At some country shows you’ll get some artists up there just playing there songs without saying much. There is nothing wrong with that, but at Neal’s show you’re going to get plenty of interaction and engagement with the fans. Neal is a natural when it comes to conversation. He had the crowd laughing as he cracked about his age, his career, and a couple of his bandmates.
Neal’s Career and History
Much of the conversation from Neal was about his career. He mentioned how he got noticed way back in 1981 when he won a talent contest. It was the start of his career yet it took him another 13 years before he had a hit.
That’s a long time to kick around the small time clubs and shows before making it big. It goes to show the dedication Neal always had during his career. He knew what he wanted to do and stuck with it until he had his breakout. And then he took advantage by putting together a strong collection of hits that allows him to go out and put on great shows every summer – 120 or so each year he said.
So it was back in 1981 when Neal won the contest. He said it was at that series of events that the great Charley Pride discovered him and took him under his wing. As a tribute Neal played a little medley of Charley’s hits. It was a highlight of the show.
Neal’s Crazy Covers
Another highlight of the show was Neal’s ability to sing a wide variety of covers. It really kept the crowd entertained and involved in the show the entire night.
Fans heard everything from a little Michael Jackson (Man In The Mirror) to the Black Eyed Peas (Let’s Get It Started). It was great. Neal even busted out a few classic MJ moves and poses. It was fun and certainly entertaining.
Overall Performance Review
Neal puts on a great show. He isn’t a former Entertainer of the Year for no reason. He’s in his early fifties now, but he has the energy of a man half his age. He moves around the stage, plays to the crowd, and can still sing the hell out of his classic hits.
The only regret I have about the show is he didn’t play For A Change – his top three hit from 1995. He missed a couple top tens along the way, but it’s understandable. He’s only up on stage for 90 minutes.
It was still a great show and I hope to see Neal again.
For A Change – Neal McCoy
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