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Josh Abbot Band Concert Review & Thoughts

jab 2I love concerts!

I’m not sure how many shows I’ve seen in this line of “work”. This year marks my 20th year in country radio. My guess is it probably numbers about 250 or so. Each one is remarkable in its own way. I sometimes forget my locker combination for the gym but I can accurately recall moments of every show.

So, what was the takeaways from the Josh Abbot Band at Hard Rock Casino Sioux City’s Anthem?

Well, this afternoon I received information about a guy named Chandler who wanted to propose on stage. Talk about taking a gamble at a casino, huh? The awesome staff at Hard Rock discretely pointed him out to me about an hour before the event and a plan was hatched to get him on stage. I nervously asked some staffers what happens if this goes south? Without missing a beat, someone responded- Well, we’ll get him a drink at the bar. Is that a super concept for a country song or what?

I called him up to the stage and told the crowd we drew his name to help introduce the band…and he could bring one guest with him on stage. (Hey, I thought that was pretty a witty line) They took what seemed like forever to reach the stage. It was probably 20 seconds. Before you know it, Chandler was on his knee proposing to Kelsey. She looked at me, reached towards my arm and said “Oh my God – what is he doing?” I thought, uh-oh better get the drink order ready. Then, I noticed tears welling in her eyes, a YES with a warm embrace for Chandler. It was a cool moment. Two minutes later I took their photo – in the dark.


They were adorable. I asked them to invite me to the wedding.

Before introducing the couple and the Josh Abbot Band, I had a great conversation with their manager. He shared with me their country radio plans, the very hectic schedule, a video shoot they just did in Dallas and a newcomer that is a star on the rise – more on that later.

I want you to keep reading.

I told him most people really don’t know how much work goes into being a recording artist. He gave me a knowing glance and nodded his head.

I made a journey to the bar – I was going to drink the beverage I was going to buy Chandler if “we” made the wrong kind of Anthem history. While at the bar, I had a tremendous conversation with a young lady. She asked me if I was the one with the special needs child. I responded I was and spoke glowingly about my son Trey – who happens to have autism. We bonded at the bar in a very real way. She spoke lovingly of her child – who happens to be deaf. We shared a hug. She felt like she knew me and you know, I really felt like I knew her. You get empathy in strange places some times. For me, it was at a casino bar while the Josh Abbot Band supplied the soundtrack.

It’s a moment I’ll never forget.

(This is where you ask – Hey doofus, what about the actual show? You know, with actual details?)

Concert take-a-ways and inside scoop

• The new cd is “Front Row Seat” and available now

• It was fun to see the crowd sing along with “She’s My Texas” – It was the first time I’ve heard the song and it was memorable! Reminded me of a mixture of Pat Green and Ronnie Dunn.

• Their new single is “Wasn’t That Drunk” featuring Carly Pearce. If you are still reading – she is that star on the rise I mentioned earlier. Pearce was recently named one of Rolling Stones’ “10 Country Artists to Watch

• The new album is a concept album detailing the rise and demise of his relationship with his wife – and now ex-wife. The cd features 5 Acts – Exposition, Incitation, Intimacy, Dissolution and Denouncement. You have to admire the creativity…and the against the grain feel of a concept album in a single driven digital world.

• Best quote of the night “Country music’s alive and well. We don’t have to stand up here and rap to get our point across”

• For music purists who lamented country music has transitioned away from the steel guitar and its core and roots – the Josh Abbot Band is right for you. It’s real. It’s country. True and true.

• We’ve featured Josh Abbot Band on Friday Night Spotlight on KSUX and there seems to be plenty of tracks to feature moving forward.

Must listen tracks:

“Oh Tonight” with Kacey Musgraves
“Hangin’ Around”
“She’s My Texas”
“Front Row Seat”
“Wasn’t That Drunk” with Carly Pearce

As I left Anthem and made it to my sports car (it’s a Honda Accord), I saw a young couple walking hand in hand to their car where they stopped and kissed in the cold parking lot underneath a street lamp.

It was yet another sweet moment.

Country concerts bring out the romance!

(On stage and in the parking lot)


Tony Michaels

Hopeless romantic / Concert lover / Guy who gives hugs at bars