Country superstar Blake Shelton rocks sold-out crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena
WILKES-BARRE TWP. — The Mohegan Sun Arena was overflowing with cowboy boots, 10-gallon hats and a whole lot of country pride Friday night as concertgoers geared up for the Reloaded Tour.
Country music superstar Blake Shelton sold out the arena, bringing with him up-and-coming pop country dynamo Chris Janson to “rock Wilkes-Barre like they do along the Mississippi.”
“We absolutely love Blake,” said Mimi Teter, of Ringtown. “This is my second time seeing him. I saw him first in Atlantic City. I just want to see all the songs.”
“I don’t know who I’m more excited for, Blake or Chris,” said Molly Hunter, of Lehighton.
One thing’s for certain — the crowd was ready to get loud and, in the words of Janson, “redneck proud.”
The 29-year-old Janson has been blowing up the country music scene with the likes of his hit singles “Power of Positive Drinking,” and three-time Academy of Country Music nominated “Buy Me a Boat.”
Fresh out of an exclusive in-studio session with Crockett from Froggy 101, Janson was ready to blow Wilkes-Barre out of the water with his signature blend of “white trash charm.”
Behind his shag of scruffy brown hair and leather jacket, Janson came out on the harmonica, jumping right into one of his hits, “Back In My Drinkin’ Days.”
“Now, who’s ready to see 135 pounds of skinny, white redneck play harmonica like you’ve never seen?” said Janson, to the delight of the crowd.
Although the crowd had major love for Janson, the entire arena was on their feet for the likes of Shelton.
“We are huge country music fans and we absolutely had to be here tonight,” said Nikki and Justin Pekarski of Plains. “We met Blake once before, when our son was 3 months old. We had a onesie made with the words ‘The More I Drink’ – that’s one of his songs – and Blake signed it, ‘from Blake to Blake’ since that’s our son’s name.”
Shelton, touted by Janson as “a real deal country boy,” is one of country music’s true modern-day superstars.
The 39-year-old from Nashville has had a prolific career, beginning in 2001 with hits such as “Austin,” “God Gave Me You,” “Ol’ Red,” “Boys ‘Round Here” and “Neon Light.”
The six-time Grammy nominee’s career spans even more than just music — he’s also known for his work on NBC’s The Voice, CMT’s Nashville Star, and Clash of the Choirs.
He’s also known for his stint in the tabloids – being caught in a messy split from one of the First Ladies of country, Miranda Lambert, and his subsequent relationship with fellow The Voice judge and pop star Gwen Stefani.
Shelton opened to a standing ovation, tearing right into his hit single “Neon Light.”
“I love you guys,” Shelton crooned. “I want this night, here in Wilkes-Barre, to last as long as it possibly can.”
Shelton’s performance was echoed by nearly the entire arena, with fans chanting the words to songs like “Some Beach,” “Doin’ What She Likes” and crowd pleaser “Kiss My Country Ass.”
“Wilkes-Barre is a real country city,” Shelton laughed. “Y’all are in camouflage and have turkey calls out here.”
“This is a special place,” he added. “And that calls for a drink!”
Reach Weekender at 570-991-6111 or on Twitter @WKDR.