Photos and Review by: Daniel Merlino
Lineup: Vince Gill with Wendy Moten
Date: August 12, 2022
Location: Civic Center Music Hall, Oklahoma City, OK
Vince Gill, flanked by some of the best musicians in the business, delivered a flawless and genuine musical escape. There was no opener, Mr. Gill and crew performed two hour-and-a-half long sets split by a short intermission. Each set overflowing with timeless favorites spanning nearly five decades, new material mostly written and recorded during lock-down, as well as some incredible storytelling filled with humor and sadness. I am certainly familiar with Mr. Gill’s most popular songs and recognize the musical talent, but I have never seen him live. He engaged the audience with charisma and poise telling humble yet unfiltered stories.
Alongside Mr. Gill, The Voice season 21 finalist Wendy Moten infused her Memphis roots with a Nashville sound. Ms. Moten transitioned from vocal accompaniment in the first hour-and-a-half set to featuring her own original music in the first half of the second set. Fantastically powerful with unbelievable breath support, Ms. Moten delivered incendiary versions of classic country songs; as well as originals oozing with a style and refinement rivaling some of the finest in the industry.
Originally from Oklahoma, Mr. Gill shared that this was a special evening for him concerning the venue. The Civic Center Music Hall, opened October 1937, is a staple of theater, music, and arts for Oklahoma City. Country music and rock legends like Chet Atkins and KISS, respectively, shaped the air surrounding the stage within this theater. Mr. Gill recounted his experiences attending events at the Music Hall when he was a child, as well as opening for KISS on that same stage. He spoke of life lessons from his father, his musical influences, what prompted him to head out on the road in 1975, and what keeps him on the road forty-seven years later.
Mr. Gill’s songwriting and vocal talent surpassed all of my expectations. My jaw literally dropped on two occasions where he proved his vocal range, power, and the sheer amount of emotion in just one sustained, perfect note. In a world of unknowns, recycled chord progressions, and very few musical surprises, please keep telling stories and writing songs Mr. Gill.
Vince Gill, Wendy Moten, and the band will be on the road for the rest of this year ending in Nashville, TN on December 21st, 2022.