By: Breanna Downs
This Friday was a great one for me because I was able to see the great Brent Cobb in action. I was completely blown away by his performance! Personally, country music generally isn’t quite up my alley, but nonetheless, I enjoyed every moment. I’ve never experienced a country concert before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into it. I’ve heard only good things, that it only takes one show to get hooked on them. That rumor definitely held up! The overall atmosphere seemed so welcoming, almost as if you were just catching a show with all of your friends. Looking out at the audience, all I saw was a sea of flannel and it was great. I especially lucked out with having the opportunity to see the one and only Brent Cobb for my first ever country concert.
The opening act was Hailey Whitters. She did such a great job with warming up the crowd. Right off the bat, I noticed her incredible tone. Everything about her voice was so natural, every note slipped out of her mouth with ease. Not to mention her guitar skills, I was incredibly jealous of the way she so casually crushed it! For Hailey, it was her first time performing in Salt Lake City. Actually, her first time ever performing in Utah! For it being her first time playing in this state, she was very well received. It didn’t take more than five minutes for the crowd to be completely warmed up. One of my personal favorites from her was the song “Ten Year Town.” She shared a story of personal growth and her climb up the music industry ladder. She talked about how Nashville is considered a “ten year town.” Most artists are only expected to stay there for ten years, that’s supposedly all of the time it takes to have major success. The kind of success that makes you a big star. Hailey had spent 12 years in Nashville, and it wasn’t easy for her. The song speaks of the challenge of making it in a creative field, and it really spoke to me and I’m sure it spoke to others in the crowd. In the words of Brent Cobb, Hailey is truly “one of the greats.”
A few minutes after Hailey made her exit, Brent and his bandmate Mike Harris made their appearance. The crowd immediately drew closer to the stage, everyone wanting to be as close as possible. Brent and Mike sat down on a couple of stools, grabbed their guitars and started to play. At first, it seemed like something was….missing. Where was the rest of the band? Brent addressed this saying that it would be a stripped-down performance tonight, just him and Mike because “bands are expensive.” That was pretty funny, and at first, seemed unusual. But, it worked. It totally worked. I was so surprised, having fewer bandmates did not detract from the music in any way. Just two men and their guitars, making incredible music.
One of my favorite aspects of the evening was the guitar playing. Brent’s guitar skills were shocking. I was completely blown away. Even the simple act of strumming was mesmerizing when Brent was in action. The song “Ain’t a Road Too Long” started off with the most beautiful instrumental portion, just a duet between Brent and Mike’s guitars. I had to pause for a moment and just take it in, I was literally stunned. I wasn’t alone in this sensation, I looked around at the crowd and everyone’s eyes locked onto the stage. Such a cool moment! Beyond his guitar capabilities, Brent’s singing talent was outstanding. His southern rock/soul vibe was heard in his deep tone. The strong, southern drawl was a welcome addition to his voice, adding so much depth to the tale-telling aspect of his songs.
We were treated with a special song, “High in the Country.” Brent told us that this was only the second time he’d be performing it this year. “Might not be good, but it might be good as hell,” he said. I’d say he definitely nailed. It was another one of those songs that made you pause and just take it in. The chorus of the song was gorgeous, it felt like you were actually out in the country taking in some fresh air. That’s what a song should do, right?
For the final song, Brent asked the audience what kind of pace they wanted for the last song. Happy, sad or in between? One lady bravely shouted, “make me cry!” This made Brent laugh, I don’t think that’s the typical response he receives. “Well, most of my songs are kinda in between, how about that instead?” he asked. With plenty of applause, he got his answer. He went on to play “I’ve been known,” and then wrapped up his performance with an invitation to enjoy a drink with him after the show. He stood up, put his guitar down, picked up his drink, and exited the stage.
Overall, this experience was so great. I will definitely recommend that anyone and everyone witness Brent Cobb perform! Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of country music, you are guaranteed to have a good time.