Josh Turner performed before a packed house of screaming, boot-scootin’ fans Friday night at Pechanga Resort & Casino.
Promoting not just one, but two albums — “Live Across America” as well as his latest studio effort “Punching Bag” — Turner and his band brought an energetic, one-two punch to the stage.
And concert-goers responded to the emerging country music star enthusiastically — cheering, dancing and singing along throughout the performance.
The Grammy-nominated artist flashed his high-wattage smile and kicked off a 90-minute, sixteen song set with a lively “Punching Bag” followed by the sexy, swaying tune “Your Man” that drew fans immediately into the moment.
The night featured many fan favorites, including a toe-tapping “Haywire,” “Would You Go With Me” and “Everything is Fine.”
Solidly backed by a rocking band and a trio of big screens that flashed the artist’s videos and smart graphics, Turner moved seamlessly from strumming hits to heartfelt ballads at a relaxed and friendly pace, acknowledging the audience with smiles, nods and high-fives.
A special moment came when Turner introduced his band to the crowd, lingered over his keyboardist Jennifer Turner and proudly noted her accomplishments, describing her as his “best friend and wife.”
The evening’s highlights included the hard-driving “Firecracker,” the faith-fueled “Long Black Train” and “Me and God” and the fun, bouncy “One Woman Man” that closed out the show before the high-anticipated encore performance of “Why Don’t We Just Dance?”
But, without question, the best part of the night was Turner’s deep, pitch-perfect baritone that filled the house, reverberated through the walls and set hearts to trembling.
And he also demonstrated tremendous vocal range, dipping into the deepest registers then sliding up to some airier note, showcasing Turner’s rich voice and gift for nuance and feeling when delivering his personally-penned lyrics.
In all, it was a performance that stayed true to the artist’s own values of faith, family and good old-fashioned country music.
To learn more about upcoming concerts at Pechanga Resort & Casino, visit www.pechanga.com.
Kerri S. Mabee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @kerrimabee.