The voice of the farm boy from Delaware
is ordinary, and he failed to exhibit any personality, unless you
consider being smug personality. He apparently decided not to agonize
over how to look presentable for a crowd of a few thousand, striding
out in a plain, white T-shirt and jeans, unshaven, hair tousled. His
performance was just as haphazard as most of his songs sound a lot like
the one before.
Wicks managed to create an emotional
high point with his current single, “Man of The House,” a touching look
at a little boy trying to compensate for the absence of his military
dad. Outside of that song, the highlights of the afternoon were two
covers of other guy singers, Eddie Rabbitt’s “Drivin’ My Life Away” and
Joe Diffie’s “Pickup Man, ” songs his youthful audience may not even
know. He committed a real faux pas on the latter by inserting the word
“Ford,” apparently unaware that he was surrounded by enormous Chevrolet
Cut to the Wicks: Country vocalist Chuck Wicks got things off to a dicey start at the State Fair’s Chevy Court. Sara Evans (below) provides a tasteful alternative for country fans.
After Wicks served up a light appetizer,
Evans delivered a very satisfying feast. The Missouri girl, now 12
years into a consistent, sometimes spectacular career, delivered a
poised, dynamic performance that showed off one of country’s finest
Unlike so many of the young faces in the
country spotlight these days, her movements, and reactions never seemed
choreographed and her chitchat between songs gave the impression that
she’s down to earth and natural. It no doubt helps that three of her
siblings tour with her, two sisters as backup singers and her brother
Matt on bass.
Evans reported that her flight was late
and she arrived at the last minute, yet the self-described “low
maintenance” star was full of energy that translated as an upbeat,
passionate and thoroughly professional performance. Although it’s
disappointing that it was halfway through the day’s second country act
before someone onstage finally played a fiddle, the flavorful rifts
during “Born to Fly” were worth the wait.
After sharing a glimpse into her family
life of a new marriage, lots of kids and a hectic career, Evans made
sure we knew how much she appreciates her success in introducing the
fitting climax, a stirring rendition of “I Could Not Ask For More.”
Evans’ encore cover of the rock classic “I Want You To Want Me,” alas,
was something of a cheap trick.