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LeAnn Rimes at The Grand Theater 11.19.2011

“Rimes Brings Tradition and Variety to Wausau


By Christian Scalise


Country music superstar, singer-songwriter, actress and author LeAnn Rimes came to North Central Wisconsin for a one night only performance at the beautiful Grand Theater in Wausau on Saturday November 19th, 2011. Built in 1929 and located in the downtown district of Wausau, the historic venue has been hosting events for over 75 years.


UMG Nashville recording artist and star of reality television show, The Amazing Race, Canaan Smith opened the show for LeAnn at 7:30pm. The Virginia native offered the audience an eclectic mix of contemporary country music.   


Taking the stage at 8:30pm, LeAnn was warmly welcomed with solid applause and a standing ovation. Wearing a black leather jacket, fitted grey pants and black suede fringed boots, LeAnn opened the show with “Help Me Make It Through The Night,” “16 Tons” and her smash hit, “Something’s Gotta Give.”


After her opening performance, LeAnn greeted the audience and thanked them for coming out to the show, “I’m so happy to be here and I’m glad that it snowed today. We never get snow because I live out in LA, It’s so beautiful here.” Rimes also told the audience to sit back, relax and to not hesitate interacting with her during the show, “Talk to me as long as it’s nice, otherwise I’ll kick your butt,” she told the audience to which they replied in laughter.


This year marks LeAnn’s sixteenth anniversary as a performer and at just 29 years old, the seasoned vocalist has grown into a strong, confident woman with a broad range of talent and versatility whose appeal spans far beyond her age and the country music genre.


Concertgoers not only had the privilege of witnessing one of the industry’s most esteemed and dynamic singers but they were also treated to a very rare and intimate show by LeAnn. She has been doing semi-acoustic shows with a laid-back vibe and personalized flair for the majority of her concert dates this year. Fragrant incense burned from the stage and LeAnn’s band surrounded her as if it were just a jam session in her home or studio.


Rimes shared stories about her life and career with fans in the audience and reflected upon the numerous highlights including her latest album, “Lady & Gentlemen,” a tribute to the songs made famous by legendary male performers such as Merle Haggard, George Jones, John Anderson and the late Waylon Jennings.


Many of the songs from the new record were incorporated into the show in addition to classic favorites such as “Blue,” and “How Do I Live,” as well as “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way,” from the “This Woman” album including an outstanding cover of UK sensation Adele’s “Someone Like You.” LeAnn floored her rendition of the popular song and packed every ounce of soul and emotion into the song.  


Paying homage to another country icon that was not featured on “Lady & Gentlemen,” Johnny Cash, LeAnn told the audience that while she was filming her new CMT movie “Reel Love,” she heard his music playing everyday on the drive to set, thus inspiring her to rearrange a rousing up-tempo bluegrass version of “Jackson.” The audience loved every minute of it and clapped along while LeAnn danced around the stage.


Rimes shared the news that she is currently in the studio recording and working on her next studio album of original material that she hopes to release sometime next summer. “Give” and “Crazy Women” are the two most recent songs available to fans featured as bonus tracks on “Lady & Gentlemen.”


LeAnn Rimes concert was a definite crowd pleaser and the entire evening projected her unique ability to maintain consistency and variety with her diverse demographic of devoted fans. She kept constant command of the stage like a pro but revealed a more personal side to herself than ever before. Her spirit seemed content, while her personality unrestrained, amidst all the drama and accusations that she has dealt with the past few years, Rimes seems overjoyed at life and unaffected by the attempted slew of judgmental criticism directed toward her personal life and career.


LeAnn closed out the show at 9:45pm with another one of her hit songs, “Nothin’ Better To Do.”


We’d like to thank LeAnn Rimes, her tour manager Bradley Moore, and ID PR for their time and generosity. Stay tuned to Country Stars Central for our exclusive interview with LeAnn Rimes very soon!



Full Set List:


1. Help Me Make It Through The Night


2. 16 Tons


3. Something’s Gotta Give


4. You Ain’t Right


5. Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way


6. Give


7. A Good Hearted Woman


8. Someone Like You (Adele Cover)


9. Swingin’


10. Blue


11. The Bottle Let Me Down


12. Jackson (Johnny and June Carter Cash Cover)


13. How Do I Live


14. He Stopped Loving Her Today


15. Nothin’ Better To Do


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Enjoy pictures of the show below: (Copyright ©Christian Scalise)