Thursday, August 11, 2005
LeAnn Rimes plays second fiddle to Ryan Shupe performance
Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 12:00 AM |
LeAnn Rimes plays second fiddle to Ryan Shupe
Jill Fellow DAILY HERALD
The crowd liked LeAnn Rimes.
But it loved Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand, which took the stage as one of two opening
acts that prepped the stage for the young country diva.
Both acts were part of the Albertsons customer appreciation concert at the Delta Center on
Audience members got tickets to see the
Nashville headliner by spending $20 on
Kraft food products at Albertsons food
stores during the month of July.
evening started with a series of
well-played covers by the local country
group Haywire. The lead singer got
ladies in the audience swooning over his
Gap jeans, dimples and mini-mullet as
he played popular hits like "Walking in
Memphis" by Marc Cohn and "Bless the
Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts.
But nothing could have prepared
audience members to be delighted and
pulled out of their seats by the local folk
musicians in Ryan Shupe and the
RubberBand. The five men ran around the stage -- with choreography, no less -- jumping,
posing and quite possibly gathering a new fan base that is sure to buy its first national
album, which will hit store shelves in early September. The band played a mix of love tunes
and funny songs, including a singalong about corn dogs, an Olympic-theme style
inspirational hit, and a Kermit-the-Frog tribute with, once again, choreography. The band's
charisma had the unsuspecting audience members waving their arms and cell phones in the
dark arena within the first 12 minutes of the energetic men taking the stage.
As the headliner, Rimes had a much harder time entertaining the free-ticket-holding
She entered the stage wearing a white lacy tank top, a cut-off jean skirt (roughly the size of
a napkin) and a pair of flesh-colored cowgirl boots. While beautifully belting out some
not-so hits from her new album, "This Woman," she pulled at her spaghetti straps and
looked embarrassed as her napkin rose a little too high.
One would expect a seasoned performer of more than 10 years to look comfortable on stage
and to know how to excite a crowd of country-lovin' Utahns, but that was not the case for the
newly turned 23-year-old. Her voice, though, as one could only expect, sounded strong and
absolutely impressive, and it was nice to hear the fresh, authentic voice of a young star who
sings live in concert and does not pump her voice through a computer to create "a sound."
No, the problem was not the sound. Even the slightly gothic band members in trench coats
and metro-punk haircuts had perfect control of the musical notes, but for some reason the
audience and even Rimes for most of the show, just didn't seem all that into it.
The energy did finally pick up when she nailed out four or five of her biggest hits, including
"Blue," "How Will I Live" and "Can't Fight the Moonlight," all in a row toward the end of the
The show ended with a huge encore of "One Way Ticket" and the high-energy Jefferson
Airplane hit "Somebody to Love" that got the half of the crowd that stuck around jumping and
screaming ... finally.
So, it turns out that fame and fortune and multiple hits over a decade don't ensure an
exciting stage presence. Sometimes crowds just need more -- like corn dogs and Kermit --
the way, apparently, only Shupe can deliver.