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Jo Dee Messina at Arcada Theatre 1.25.2013

“Jo Dee Messina; All The Hits”


By Christian Scalise



Country music fans in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago were treated to a very special appearance by country superstar Jo Dee Messina at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Friday January 25th, 2013.


Thanks to President and CEO Ron Onesti, there have been a number of country music artists performing at the Arcada Theatre including the legendary Kenny Rogers, and coming up later this year; Phil Vassar and Josh Turner!


The Grammy-Nominated, award-winning, and multi-platinum selling mother of two is currently out on the road, and in the process of recording brand new material for her next record. This will be the first full length studio album since the departure from her longtime record label, Curb Records.


Speaking of new music, Jo Dee performed her hot new song, “A Woman’s Rant,” a banjo-infused bluegrass number about the highs and lows of being a woman, and a touching ballad simply titled, “Me.” Before her performance of “A Woman’s Rant,” Jo Dee played a recorded audio clip of her youngest son crying from her iPhone to give the audience a firsthand listen to the inspiration behind the song.   


Known for her high-energy shows, the vivacious redhead stormed the stage around 9pm greeted by a standing ovation and thunderous applause. Without any hesitation, she kicked off a trio of hits, “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” “I’m Alright,” and “That’s The Way,” for the awestruck audience.


“Downtime,” “Bring On The Rain,” “Stand Beside Me,” “Lesson In Leavin’,” “My Give A Damn’s Busted,” and a cover of Aretha Franklin’s “You Make Me Feel Like (A Natural Woman)” echoed throughout the entire theatre as Jo Dee belted each tune with the utmost sense of control and passion.  


Looking fabulous, Jo Dee flaunted her newly trim figure in a pair of tight grey jeans, a black top, fitted black leather jacket and a pair of some “very” high heels. As good as she looked; it was hard to believe that it was just a little over a year ago that Jo Dee gave birth to her second son, Jonah.


For any true Jo Dee Messina fan, this very first show of the singer’s 2013 tour was definitely a magical night to remember. There were many hilarious stories about being a wife, mother, and life in general shared with the audience, in addition to various highlights and memories from her storied career in the music business.


Jo Dee included a “Q & A” segment during the show which shifted the atmosphere to a more personal setting. She also incorporated a lot of hands on interaction with her fans by posing for a photo with a few lucky ones onstage and even signed autographs for others from the front row.


Being a seasoned artist, Jo Dee Messina has seen and done just about everything imaginable in music, and beyond. She knows how to work the stage and has successfully managed to maintain a solid profile in the ever-changing music industry, rather than choosing to step back and fade away, Jo Dee is back and sounding better than ever!


The only thing missing from Jo Dee’s show for those of us who are music enthusiast’s, is the beloved sound of the pedal steel. There are several songs (I’m Alright, Stand Beside Me, etc) of hers where the substitution of the electric guitar just doesn’t do justice for the lack of the pedal steel; here’s to wishing and hoping that one will join the band real soon! Otherwise, the night was filled with non-stop music, show-stopping entertainment, and laughter complements of Jo Dee.


I’ve had the pleasure of covering her for many years now, and I must say that her live shows are one of the best concerts I’ve seen right up there with Loretta Lynn, The Judds, and Reba McEntire. Closing out the evening, Jo Dee left the audience with a smashing performance of “Bye Bye” and her signature cover of Journey’s, “Don’t Stop Believing.” The show ended at 11pm.


Thanks to Jo Dee, her management team and Ron Onesti for taking care of CSC. Also, STAY TUNED to Country Stars Central in February 2013 for some VERY special Jo Dee Messina surprises!!



Full Set List:


1. Heads Carolina, Tails California


2. I’m Alright


3. That’s The Way


4. Lonely Boy


5. A Woman’s Rant


6. I’m Not Dead


7. Downtime


8. Bring On The Rain


9. Stand Beside Me


10. Lesson In Leavin’


11. You Make Me Feel Like (A Natural Woman)


12. My Give A Damn’s Busted


13. Me


14. Biker Chick


15. Bye Bye


16. Don’t Stop Believing



Check out her website and blog;

Visit Onesti Entertainment's website;

Enjoy photos from the show! Credit, Christian F. Scalise

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