Dwight Yoakam made his anticipated return to Tulsa on October 14th. After an almost 2 year delay, Paradise Cove at River Spirit Casino welcomed Yoakam and his adoring fans.
In his signature painted on jeans, white boots and cowboy hat, he opened the set with “Keep on the Sunny Side” and immediately transitioned into “Please, Please Baby.” Without skipping a beat he strummed into “Little Sister” and the crowd rose to their feet. The tune was initially introduced by Elvis, but it was uniquely perfected by Yoakam. The audience agreed.
Continuing through additional hits like “Streets of Bakersfield,” “Swinging Doors,” and “The Bottle Let Me Down” he decided to get a little anecdotal. Bringing up his old friend and country legend Willie Nelson, he told the story of how he learned what Nelson’s favorite Merle Haggard song was. He said, “well I had to reach through the haze and grab Willie’s beard to find him! It was a little cloudy on the bus.” He continued with the banter he and Willie bounced back and forth and ended with “who would have thought this would be his favorite Merle Haggard song?” With that, “we don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee” pierced through the microphone and the home town crowd happily sang along to the classic “Okie from Muskogee.”
Yoakam took his fans on a trip down memory lane with the 21 song set including “You’re the One,” “Honky Tonk Man,” and “Always Late (With Your Kisses). Favorites like “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” and “Guitars,Cadillacs” would engage the crowd enough the need to dance and chant along enveloped the room.
The set ended with the 1993 massive hit “Fast as You.” Not a big mover and shaker on stage, Yoakam is known for his signature shuffle, and with the roar of the crowd cheering him on, he took it clear across the stage during this number. After a brief exit stage right, the band re-emerged and tore into “Suspicious Minds.” Always the Elvis fan, it only seemed fitting to sum up the show with one from his idol.
With 40 years of music under his belt buckle, and a stellar band behind him, Dwight Yoakam continues to be a prominent country music force to be reckoned with.