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No wall between LeAnn Rimes and audience

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

LeAnn Rimes was supposed to perform at Pala Casino’s Events Center on Dec. 22, but her coughing when she had the flu caused bleeding on her vocal cords and her Pala concert was postponed to Jan. 27.

Pala had not scheduled any concerts for January because the curtain which had been on the left (from the audience’s perspective) of the stage was replaced with a permanent wall and the construction caused a break from public activity in the room. The work was completed in time to allow the concert on the rescheduled date, making it the first concert since the wall was erected.

While there was a wall where the curtain had previously been, there was no wall between Rimes and her audience on Jan. 27. “We are here tonight celebrating what is now 27 years of music,” Rimes said.

“We’re going to take you back on a ride through my records,” Rimes said. “I’m going to play some new things on my new records, too.”

Rimes began the concert with her 2002 song “Life Goes On” and her 1996 hit “Blue.” Her 14 songs also included “One Way Ticket,” which in 1996 reached number one of the U.S. country charts and her “Right Kind of Wrong” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” songs from the “Coyote Ugly” movie.

After noting that she had five weeks of bed rest and that the Jan. 27 concert was her first performance since the cancellation of several shows, Rimes apologized to the audience. “I have no idea what I’m doing tonight,” she said.

“After this show, I’ll actually know what I’m doing,” Rimes said. “This will be a really entertaining show tonight.”

Every veteran karaoke singer once sang for the first time in a room where everybody else was more experienced, and the audience showed that same kind of sympathy. Rimes also noted that some songs she would sing wouldn’t be as friendly as she ended up being to the audience that night. Prior to singing her 2007 song “Nothing Better To Do,” Rimes, who is now 40, noted that the mid-20s can be a complicated time for a person.

“What came out was a bit of rebellion,” she said. “These next few songs definitely reflect that.”

Rimes’ most recent album, “God’s Work,” was released in September 2022. “I’m so proud of this record. It was three years in the making,” she said.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the songwriters and musicians had to collaborate remotely. “A different way of making our album, but it worked,” Rimes said.

The title track includes the chorus: “We are, we are God’s work.” Although this is a new song previously unfamiliar to many of those who attended the Pala concert, Rimes entrusted the audience to provide the chorus. The response showed how quickly and how thoroughly Rimes was received by the audience.

The “God’s Work” album also includes “The Only,” which is about overcoming loneliness, and Rimes also performed that. Ziggy Marley collaborated with Rimes on “The Only,” which explains the reggae beat.

Rimes also performed “The Wild” from her latest album. “As an artist, I write things that are actually from my heart,” she said. “I wrote that in hopes that every woman would be inspired.”

Both women and men gave Rimes a significant ovation following that song. “To see you guys respond like that, it takes my breath away,” she said.

The first of her two encore songs was “Blue Christmas.” “We didn’t get to do a Christmas show here,” Rimes said. “It’s still January.”

Between her originally scheduled Christmas show and her actual January show, a wall went up next to the Events Center stage. The admiration Rimes had for the audience and the reception she received from those attending showed that there was no wall between Rimes and the audience.


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