My husband and I had the pleasure of seeing the Charlie Daniels Band at the Stadium Theater in Woonsocket, RI on Saturday April 30.  We both agree that you should get to this venue as soon as possible!  The Stadium offers a great selection of entertainment including tribute bands, musicals, and nationally recognized recording artists. Their comprehensive and user friendly website (http://www.stadiumtheatre.com) provides an overview of upcoming events as well as other useful information, such as a dining guide, for patrons who are unfamiliar with the area.

Seating approximately 1100, the venue is intimate enough where every seat in the house provides a great view of the stage.  Built in 1926, the theater retains much of its original beauty, having been lovingly restored in the 1990’s.  Once again, I would direct you to the website for a comprehensive history of the building.  Beer and wine is reasonably priced and the staff, many of them volunteers, are extremely pleasant and helpful.  On this particular evening  with the house being completely sold out, lines for the bar were long.  In order to better accommodate patrons, we were redirected to a second floor bar in the Marquee Room.  There we were greeted with excellent service, and were able to relax at a table and enjoy a drink prior to entering the theater itself.

If great seating, service, and acoustics aren’t enough to draw you to this venue, also consider that the Stadium is active in arts education within the community.  Another great reason to support this historical venue!

Mr. Daniels and his band put on an excellent show.  If you are a country music fan that believes “you gotta have a fiddle in the band,” Charlie is a must-see.  Most famous for his ode to fiddlers everywhere, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”- Charlie, like the protagonist of his hit song plays a pretty “mean fiddle.”  That alone is good reason to see this band live, however, the band ripped through a series of other hits (“The Legend of Wooly Swamp,” “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye,” and “A Few More Rednecks,” to name a few).  A highlight of the set was a beautiful, emotional version of “How Great Thou Art.”

The set was also peppered with stories from Mr. Daniels’ life, including some from his time as a session musician with Bob Dylan.  Not surprisingly, covers of Dylan classics such as “Tangled Up in Blue” and “I Shall Be Released” which were recorded by the Charlie Daniels Band on their 2014 release, Off the Grid- Doin’ It Dylan, were also featured in the set.  The band also rocked through some great instrumental moments, the highlight of which was most certainly Chris Wormer’s “William Tell Overture” which was delivered forcefully and with amazing technical accuracy.  As expected, Charlie closed the show with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” reminding the audience that if he’s not “the best that’s ever been” – he’s darn close.

 

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