Monday, August 18, 2014

Thompson Square concert review: Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

photo by Jenette Paul
Just Feels Good is the title of Thompson Square’s most recent album. It also described their well-attended concert on Thursday at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

The husband and wife team are among the more popular duos in country music, having garnered five top 20 singles, two ACMs and a CMT award over the last four years.

This was the first Inland Empire appearance since a well-received spring 2013 slot at Stagecoach Festival in Indio (read the review elsewhere on this blog).

Fans waited quite a while for the late night 90-minutre show to begin and definitely weren’t disappointed. Backed by a five-piece band, Keifer and Shawna Thompson got the proceedings off to a high energy start with “I Got You,” off 2011’s self-titled, double-platinum debut album.

The slinky “Just Feels Good,” which name checks Tom Petty, found the couple singing in strident fashion before seguing into a bit of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” The brawny, infectious “Here’s to Being Here” was an early highlight.

Fun and frisky country riff rocker “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About” proved to be another winner and incorporated a lick from John Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good.” Current single “I Can’t Outrun You” (a power ballad originally recorded by Trace Adkins in ’08) was simply stunning as the Thompsons’ faced each other onstage and briefly delved into A Great Big World’s “Say Something.”

More quiet vocals followed with the emotional ballad “Glass” and some gorgeous guitar work from RJ. Before a racing “Here We Go Again,” the Thompsons did a few liquor shots and Keifer playfully imitated friend/songwriting partner Kip Moore.

photo by George A. Paul
Big hit “If I Didn’t Have You” was powerful as the singers slowly moved toward each other and finished it with a kiss. 

Shawna gleefully beamed throughout the gig and had a fine rapport with Keifer, who provided plenty of humorous between song banter.   

Some band introductions featured a few bars of Journey, Vanilla Ice (via Queen) and Led Zeppelin during the intense main set closer, “One of These Days.”

Come encore time, the duo treated everyone to a perfectly fitting take on Johnny & June Carter Cash’s “Jackson” and finally, the chart-topper “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?” (where the audience sang along loudly) just after midnight.

See Thompson Square on Aug. 29 during Fox and Friends’ All-American Summer Concert Series, airing on Fox News Channel.

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