There’s something about Dustin Lynch that keeps people intrigued. Pumped up off the release of his sophomore album, Where It’s At, and the success of the single by the same name, Dustin returned to Southern California for the first time since his explosive performance at Stagecoach. His addictive smile and wild energy filled the stage at the Pomona Fairgrounds ahead of headliner Martina McBride, and though it wasn’t really his demographic, he managed to engage the crowd and get a number of people on their feet.
His set began with “Wild In Her Smile,” the perfect energetic opener to start off a set thats main job is meant to get everyone excited for the headliner. Next up came the popular “She Cranks My Tractor,” which is always a favorite with audience, and allows Dustin the opportunity to get all Luke Bryan on them by shaking his ass. The women appreciate it, that much I can tell you. He included a few new cuts off Where It’s At, including the FGL inspired “Mind Reader,” which I actually liked better live than I do on the album. It was a bit more authentic and a little less synthy in nature. One of the best moments came when Dustin took a seat on a stool and launched in to “She Wants a Cowboy,” which he reflected on as being inpired by the greats like George Jones and George Strait.
When Dustin settles into authentic country music, with steel guitar and touching stories, that’s when he really begins to shine. His smooth baritone voice glides effortlessly over the lyrics, emoting the stories to pure perfection, allowing his audience to sink into it and lose themselves. He does the same thing on “Cowboys and Angels,” which was the song that put Dustin on my radar in the first place. If he made an album full of beautiful mid-tempos, I’d be happy. The set came to an end with his number one single, “Where It’s At,” and that was the moment that the crowd all seemed to clamor to their feet in recognition.
No matter what crowd he’s facing, Dustin comes to the stage with the desire to put all of himself on the stage, and you can see that with each song he tackles. While I don’t feel the Martina tour was the right place for him, considering the demographic didn’t seem to know Dustin or his music very well, he came on the stage with the same energy he’d have if everyone knew every word. Like I said before, he’s one of those performers that keeps you coming back for more, asking yourself what he’s going to do next. And that’s exactly what you want your audience to walk away thinking.
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