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Adkins is himself at Pala Casino concert

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Last year, Trace Adkins released his 25th anniversary album which is called “The Way I Wanna Go.” Adkins is emphasizing being himself, and he focused on being himself during his May 12 concert at Pala Casino’s Palomar Starlight Theater.

Adkins and the five musicians who joined him performed 18 songs during their 89 minutes on the stage, ranging chronologically from his 1996 songs “There’s a Girl in Texas” and “Every Light in the House” to songs from his most recent album. The variety emphasized that Trace Adkins performed as Trace Adkins, not as somebody society or the industry wants him to be.

“Been looking forward to this for a while. We’re going to have fun tonight,” Adkins said early in his concert. “I have missed being in Southern California the last couple of years.”

If the concert wasn’t entirely enjoyable, that was because of the emotion Adkins wanted to convey. He played two consecutive songs from his new album: “I Should Let You Go” and “Heartbreak Song.” Adkins then referred to those as “crying in your beer songs” and said, “They don’t make enough of those anymore.”

He then sang his 2017 song “Still a Soldier” after noting that his work with veterans is among the most fulfilling activities of his career.

The tribute to veterans and the “crying in your beer songs” didn’t impair the general enjoyment of the concert. Adkins had a selection of entertaining songs; before concluding the concert with the title track from “The Way I Wanna Go,” Adkins performed his 2005 hit “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and he also performed “Where the Country Girls At” from his most recent album.

Adkins’ 25th anniversary album contains 25 songs, and Adkins joked about playing all 25 and extending the concert until 3 a.m. – which had the vocal support of the audience. The coronavirus shutdown delayed his 25th anniversary tour, and Adkins was blunt about his feelings on the restrictions and regulations.

With a combination of new songs and classic songs throughout the 25 years and of enjoyable songs and lamenting or somber songs, Adkins was himself on stage. The way he wanted to go was evident at the Pala concert.


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