If Aaron Pritchett proved anything on Saturday night, he showed the Chatham Capitol Theatre that hard work is certainly the key to success. The rockin’ country star pulled into the Maple City for the first time in his 20-year career with a raucous performance of songs from his studio albums and a surprising selection of covers.
Opening the show with Light It Up from his 2010 album In The Driver’s Seat, Pritchett was geared up the moment he stepped onto the stage and it only got livelier throughout the evening. By the time the show had ended, the crowd was on its feet pounding their fists in the air.
He plowed his way through 16 songs spanning his career, including material from his latest CD The Score, with songs like VW Bus, Out Of The Blue, Dirt Road In ‘Em and When a Momma’s Boy Meets a Daddy’s Girl. In this case, the newer material worked with his classics and proved how under-rated and good the latest album really is.
Not only was the energy pumped up, but Pritchett’s voice seemed right on the money as well. The 47-year-old country singer shows no signs that his voice is that old – he still sounds like he did 15 years ago.
Other highlights of the night included Hell Bent For Buffalo, New Frontier and the rockin’ encores Let’s Get Rowdy and Hold My Beer. It also was nice to hear his take on The Band’s The Weight, which appeared on his 2006 album Big Wheel. Additionally, he also included his version of Luke Bryan’s Suntan City, which had a fun Canadian slant. Both Bryan and Pritchett had hits with the song in 2012 and 2013 respectively and Pritchett told the crowd Bryan gave him permission to record it.
Decked out in a black RDNKN shirt and his signature black cowboy hat, Pritchett intermingled with the crowd more than most other performers of his caliber might. He read notes, drank beers and even took some time to pose for the occasional selfie with fans who approached the stage.
For those who were in the house, this was a world-class event in a world-class facility. Even Pritchett felt as if there was something special going on.
“This is my first time at the Capitol Theatre – just look at it, this place is amazing,” he told the crowd. “This stage is so big it makes my sign look so small – I’m going to need a bigger sign.”
Pritchett’s band were fantastic and showed a little diversity when they performed a medley of rock covers during the encores. There are a few artists out there covering rock songs, but Pritchett’s might be the loudest and heaviest, including versions of KISS, Metallica, Nirvana, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Alanis Morissette.
Local up-and-comer Brooklyn Roebuck opened the show with a passionate 15-minute set of covers and originals. She not only impressed the audience with her gorgeous voice, but Pritchett seemed impressed as well and gave her a shout out during his show. She’s definitely someone to watch out for in the future.
Aaron Pritchett Set List:
Light It Up
Boat On The Water
Lucky For Me
Out Of The Blue
Hell Bent For Buffalo
Done You Wrong
When a Momma’s Boy Meets a Daddy’s Girl
Dirt Road in ‘Em
Let’s Get Rowdy
• Rock And Roll All Nite (KISS)
• Enter Sandman (Metallica)
• Livin’ On A Prayer (Bon Jovi)
• Ironic (Alanis Morissette)
• Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
• Pour Some Sugar On Me (Def Leppard)
Hold My Beer
Photos by Dan Savoie