Well, maybe it was only wishful thinking, but I could swear that, last Saturday at the Dairyfest concert, Mark Chesnutt told the crowd “We’ll come back to see you again soon, Clovis!”
There is a difference between being a reasonable Mark Chesnutt fan, which I was, and having your evening rocked by that same performer, which we did. I guess we all acknowledge that there are performers who are much stronger in person than recording, and in my opinion, Clovis just hosted one of them.
The best part of the concert, as I see it, was when he reached down into his regional roots and opened up a can of Cajun-style music, which didn’t necessarily reflect his top country sellers.
The venue sure makes a difference, especially in the 100-plus temperatures which no one would have anticipated. It was actually cool enough to dance, and the dirt floor accommodated anything from cowboy boots, which predominated, to River Rats, which I had mistakenly worn.
Venue does make a difference, and the Curry County Events Center is major for a happening like this.
If you have been around Clovis for a few years, you’ll recall when the Country Music Festival was part of the yearly calendar.
If so, you may remember the year that Chesnutt’s fellow Beaumonter, Tracy Byrd, was rained out. It’s hard to say which went over worse, the rainout cancellation or the reschedule at Rock Staubus Gym (neither of which was Byrd’s fault).
This columnist has never really taken a stance on the events center, being ill informed of the plethora of subtle issues. Like most folks, I just write my check, if it is something I want to attend.
Which, I suppose, is taking a stance. If you are against something, you boycott it, right?
As a country music fan, particularly of progressive, which I guess the academics are now calling “neo-traditional” — subtle distinctions again — I’ve seen some top quality performers come through Clovis. We have hosted Suzy Bogguss, Chad Brock, and Tracy Byrd, among others.
It’s hard to do so, or to expect to compete with other towns, unless we have the facility to do so, and I for one, in the 100-plus heat, was glad we had a place to play.
Okay, Mark, you made us a promise. Come back real soon!