Casey James took the stage at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan at 7:30 pm local time and played a six-song set that wowed the crowd.
Need Your Love So Bad (thanks to JamesPRouse):
Drive and Done Made up My Mind (thanks to Patty Wilkins):
Casey changed up the opening to his set tonight, starting with “Need Your Love So Bad,” before going into one of his new songs, “Bulletproof.” He thanked Sugarland and Little Big Town and then launched into, “Let’s Don’t Call it a Night.” Next was “Til My Guitar Gets Tired of Playing the Blues.” Then he ripped it up on “Drive” before finishing with “Done Made up My Mind.”
There was more between-song repartee from the stage, pretty funny according to those on the scene, which we should be able to hear once the first video is shared. Thanks again to @TwickleP for letting us share the experience with her on the conference call! If you missed it, here’s the recording of the concert: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23725566/CaseyJamesinGrandRapids.mp3
Above photos courtesy of Chelsea Kouri on Facebook
After the show, Casey tweeted: ” Thank you so much Grand Rapids! It was great to see y’all again! Bloomington here we come!!”
Casey was interviewed by two local country stations, Thunder 94.5 and B93.7 before tonight’s show and the interviews can be found here.
Opening the show was Casey James, the dude who should have won “American Idol” last year, but instead came in third and scored a country music deal and a nice gig opening for Sugarland. James, a bluesy throwback to the ’70s, delivered an enjoyable but too-short set of juke-joint piano numbers with blazing guitars, a slow-dancer called “Let’s Don’t Call it a Night,” and the radio-ready “Drive,” perfect for the open road on a warm country night. It sounds like a future hit to me.
Casey met with fans after the show, many of whom have shared their pictures and stories. First up is Carolyn Josephine Collins who writes about the concert here.
Enjoying the concert with Carolyn was Jennifer Bussone (@spinnyjb) who took some photos of and with Casey.
Jennifer was nice enough to share her experience, which you can read here. Here’s an excerpt: “Once I got up there I told him how happy I was for him and how amazing he sounded. He kept saying thank you so much and was so incredibly sweet and relaxed. He signed all of the items I brought each w/ a personal touch. Dangit if he were any sweeter, he’d be twins! I handed him his gift and asked quietly that if I waited around, would he open it. He said sure. So we waited till everyone went through the line. Which was really fun to watch. Just watching him with each and every fan from 6 years old to 65…he was just super sweet, attentive, and grateful. I was beaming w/ pride. I am just so proud to be his fan. :)”
Next is Patty Wilkins (TwickleP) who took these photos of Casey and shares her story at the end of this post.
When it was my turn to meet Casey I walked up to him, introduced myself and shook his hand. When I told him my twitter name was TwickleP I’m sure I heard him smother a chuckle. Either he likes my twitter name or he remembers I’m the one who tweeted him dumb blond jokes while he was on the AO tour, then again, he’s so nice he may not have laughed at the jokes, but I had fun tweeting them. *grin*
I told Casey I love his music and asked if he would autograph some photos for a few of his Twitter fans. He assured me he was happy to autograph my friends photos. I was so focused on having him autograph photos for my friends I forgot to ask him to autograph a photo for me. Fortunately, my hubby stepped forward and asked Casey to autograph a photo I had purchased at the venue. No, I did not get a Casey hug though I’m sure he would have given me one if I had asked. My hubby asked if I wanted to get a pic with Casey, I said no I had taken up enough of his time that I would leave the hugging photos for the young women. I’m sure I heard him smother a chuckle, he doesn’t miss much. Casey’s manager Todd who was very sweet asked if we would like a family photo. Joel my hubby jumped at the chance. Before the concert Joel didn’t know much about Casey’s music, after the concert he declared himself a Casey fan, he even introduced himself to Casey and told him he had won him over. Casey shook Joel’s hand and thanked him. I am happy to say, I did get my photo with Casey.
I found Casey to be soft spoken, gentle and focused . He’s calm, good natured, patient and generous with his fans. He makes every effort to express his gratitude for their support. When he poses with his fans he smiles like he really wants to make them happy. Casey has perfect posture…he holds himself with pride, which I loved. When he’s playing his guitar he seems to lose all inhabitations and plays with abandon, it’s a beautiful thing to see and hear. Such an impressive young man! I walked away ecstatic to have heard Casey perform live and I am convinced Casey is a true Gentleman to his very core.
Members of the Michigan Garrison of the 501st Legion (the leading Star Wars costuming organization) were invited to be onstage with Sugarland during their concert tonight. Here’s a video of Casey with some of the troops:
One of the members, Mike Lica, later shared these photos of when Casey hung out with some of them after the show:
Above photos by Carl Nelson.
Additional fan photos: