Lawrence concert attracts big crowds

Photo by Avan Clark

Photo by Avan Clark

ALBANY, Ga. -- Country music star Tracy Lawrence proved Friday evening that even an acoustic set can bring down the house after a large crowd cheered, applauded and even chanted the Texas native's name after his performance at the downtown State Theatre.

Lane Rosen, the booking manager for Albany's State Theatre, said that more than 500 people attended the concert Friday evening.

"It's great to see people supporting the local music scene like this, we are really excited about it. Hopefully, we can continue to bring acts like this to the Albany community," Rosen said Friday evening at the concert.

Rosen said the attendance for Friday's show topped the popular Drivin' N Cryin' New Year's Eve performance earlier this year. "We had a huge crowd when Drivin' N Cryin' played here for New Year's -- we have more than that here tonight."

Joining Lawrence for the 8 p.m. show were local acts Speedcoach and Running Down Romance.

Running Down Romance, whose CD "Dirt Road Destiny" is due out in May, warmed the crowd up with hearty renditions of country and rock favorites such as Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" and the band's own "Just a Kiss."

By the time Lawrence took the stage accompanied only by a violinist and a fellow guitar player, the crowd had surged toward the stage with standing-room-only.

Throughout the show, the crowd applauded and cheered Lawrence through a set list of the country music singer's greatest hits.

During "Alibis" the crowd sang along with Lawrence, almost drowning out the country music singer's vocals at times. Couples in the crowd swayed and danced to "Texas Tornado." During "Pills," the crowd giggled and guffawed at the country singer's witty take on consuming pills to solve every ailment.

Lawrence called out to every "sexy grandma" in the theater before sliding into the 1996 hit "Time Marches On" from the album of the same name.

The country music singer closed the night with a heartfelt rendition of "Paint Me a Birmingham" from the 2004 album "Strong."