The show, announced on Twitter on the Blake Shelton fan tweet www.twitter.com/ BSersTweet and then by Blake himself, was sponsored by a local radio station.
Blake tweeted for a few weeks prior to the announcement that he wanted to do a show in Philly where he could just sit on a barstool and "play for beer," and that's just what he did for the standing-room-only crowd that packed Taylor's sports bar. Set up on a small stage/lounge area in front of a big screen TV showing NASCAR highlights, you would have thought it was an open mic event, not a performance be someone with multiple number 1 records.
While a number of bar patrons had no idea the country star would be making an appearance after the Eagles football game and before the Phillies baseball game, others (OK, me!) drove 150 miles each way for the show and arrived 5 hours early to make sure they got a good spot. Everyone had a great time.
Blake did a great acoustic set with no band. It was just him, his guitar, a barstool and a few beers. He seemed very comfortable in front of the small but lively crowd and based his set list on suggestions shouted from the fans he were packed in front of the small stage. Songs included old and new favorites, "Nobody But Me," "Some Beach," "The More I Drink," "Home," "I'll Just Hold On," 'Don't Make Me," "She Wouldn't Be Gone" and, of course, "Austin."
And while I think of Blake as a singer more than a musician, this show changed that perception. I was very impressed with his guitar playing on every song, particularly the bluesy "Ol Red" and uptempo "Playboys of the Southwestern World."
I was also impressed with the crowd at Taylor's, who seemed to know every word to every song and weren't at all shy about singing along at the top of their voices!
If you ever get a chance to see Blake Shelton do an acoustic set in a small venue, don't hesitate, even if it is a 300-mile round trip. Believe me, it will be worth it!
More pictures from the show here.