Concert Reviews

Craig Morgan Brings Stories and Songs to Thirsty Cowboy

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Craig Morgan has said that he enjoys getting to know the people at his shows and wants them to get to know him a little better. His show at Thirsty Cowboy on Friday (March 9) was proof of that as he worked his way through a set of his hits, some new stuff and even ventured out into the crowd to get a little closer to those who came out to his sold out show.

Morgan has a long list of songs that are so familiar to everyone that is was no surprise that he would kick off his show with one of his biggest hits, “International Harvester.” The song got the night going in high gear and he had the crowd singing right along.

He followed up with more of the familiar tunes from his 18-year career including “Little Bit of Life, “This Ain’t Nothin'” and his number one from 2004, “That’s What I Love About Sunday.” He shared more about who he is, not only as a performer, but as a guy who loves his family, the military and his home life. He used that confessional feel to introduce the title-track from his latest album, “A Whole Lot More to Me.”

Morgan seems so at ease on stage and just has a simple appeal that draws the listeners in to his music. His demeanor is one that would almost seem carefree, smiling throughout the night and carrying on a banter with the crowd that makes you feel that he knows everyone and wants them to be able to relax and get lost in the music.

He also brought out some new songs that included “I Can’t Get Back” and “Whiskey.” Both he stated would be on his upcoming album later this year, with the latter possibly being the first to go to radio for airplay.

The Army veteran also performed a cover of the Gavin DeGraw song, “Soldier.” While Morgan brings his own country style to the song, it also seemed so fitting for him to include on his set list. His service and loyalty to the men and women of the military are clearly evident in everything he does. As usual, he also took time to buy a drink for a military member during the show, something he has done for years as a way to thank those who have served their country.

Morgan shared more about himself and his career and when he introduced his co-written song, “Almost Home.” He explained how he was told by his record company that it was “too country,” but let him add it to his album I Love It, anyway. He went on to thank everyone for making the song a Top Ten hit.

One of the highlights for the sold out crowd was during the song “Nowhere Without You.” Morgan had walked off the stage at the end of the previous song and while he band was still playing he made his way around the building and appeared at the front door. From there he stopped and said “hi” to the ladies working the box office and then made his way though the crowd singing, taking selfies and pretty much surprising everyone with his ability to keep singing while making his way through hundreds of folks on the packed dance floor as he worked his way back to the stage.

Of course no Craig Morgan concert would be complete without his hits “Redneck Yacht Club” and his final song of the night “Bonfire.” The crowd sang along as if these songs were played on the radio all the time, even though one is more than a dozen years old and the other almost a decade.

Northeast Ohio native Jacob Frish handled the opening duties of the show and brought out some of his original material that will be included on his debut EP that will be released in May. The Nashville transplant has a great voice and used it to also cover songs from Chris Stapleton and Chris Janson. He will be back at Thirsty Cowboy on May 12 for his EP Release Party.

The final thought of the night after Morgan had finished was how fast his time on stage seemed. His 16-song set lasted almost 90-minutes, but it seemed like it was over too quickly. It was like watching a good movie or TV show, when you are able to become that invested in the performance you lose all track of time. Morgan does that with his music and makes you feel so comfortable while doing it.

Set List
“International Harvester”
“Little Bit of Life”
“That’s What I Love About Sunday”
“This Ain’t Nothin'”
“A Whole Lot More to Me”
“This ‘Ole Boy”
“Soldier”
“Almost Home”
“I Can’t Get Back”
“Redneck Yacht Club”
“Whiskey”
“Wake Up Lovin’ You”
“More Trucks Than Cars”
“Nowhere Without You”
“Bonfire

Craig Morgan w/ special guest Jacob Frish at Thirsty Cowboy (3.9.18) – Photos by Charlie Kriak

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Craig Morgan
Jacob Frish
Jacob Frish
Jacob Frish
Jacob Frish
Jacob Frish
Craig Morgan
Craig Morgan
Craig Morgan
Craig Morgan
Craig Morgan
Craig Morgan

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