For a country artist, Bryan White sure took a lot of cues from soul artists. In fact, there was almost more rhythm and blues played in White's set than country music.
The young buck (without the skins) kicked off his hour-long set with Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and funked his way across the stage.As for the audience, there were about 3,000 who made their way to the lower bowl seats and part of the floor. Not a good turnout for a 13,000 seater.
Too bad White's band lost some steam during the encore. White, who mostly sang and strummed on the guitar during the regular set, re-emerged to play the drums. He just jammed a bit and had the whole band trying to figure out what he was doing.
The energy slipped while band members patiently waited for an honest cue. It never came. Instead the band crunched out bits and pieces of yet more soul tracks.
"The Cosby Kids" theme reprise, Sly & the Family Stone's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin" and "Movin' On Up," also known as the theme from the TV sitcom "The Jeffersons" were the main meat of the encore. White and his band even went so far as to try to regain the excitement with the Isley Brothers' "Shout."
White's monologues weren't very natural. He talked about the film "Quest for Camelot" in which he sang all the main-character's songs. But he didn't even attempt to sing "I Stand Alone" or other songs from the soundtrack.
And his big claim to fame is singing a duet with Shania Twain called "From This Moment." But he only haphazardly sang that one, and then the audience sang it for him.
As a result, most of the crowd lost some of its enchantment, although there were a few die-hard female fans who screamed at every chance they got.
When LeAnn Rimes rose onto the stage, via elevator floor, the audience screamed even louder.
This 17-year-old country crooner showed how savvy she is performing before a live audience. Moving smoothly and comfortably across the stage, Rimes turned on the charm with "Sitting On Top of the World," "One Way Ticket On a Westbound Train" and "Blue Moon Over Kentucky."
The payoff included "How Do I Live."
Rimes knows how to reach the people. She used her voice, her movements and her sincerity.
White just knew how to get hyper on stage, hoping the audience would catch his vision. Sometimes it worked, most times it didn't.