Chris Cagle rocks Georgetown parking lot

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Country stars Chris Cagle and BomShel graced an impromptu stage behind Griesedieck Friday night, offering parents and students alike a high-octane concert.

            BomShel, a relatively new country band from Nashville, recently signed a record deal and anticipate their new CD due in February.

            The band has less than a country appearance, as the lead singer’s risque dress can attest (mini skirt, knee-high boots-you get the picture). However, their sound was true country, ranging in topics from how a man should treat a woman to being yourself and to alcohol-specifically, whiskey.

            BomShel writes its own songs-a feat for a fledgling band. Though their themes are exactly the same as every other country song on the radio, their sound is strong and the members of the group talented. Most impressive was fiddle and mandolin player Kristy O. from Idaho (seriously), who stood on the speakers, put her bow between her knees and played her fiddle.

            Some country legends shouldn’t be touched, but BomShel pushed the envelope and closed their set with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band. A classic song that even some non-country fans enjoy, BomShel actually did it justice; Kristy O.’s performance was exceptional and lead singer Buffy from Kentucky (again, totally serious) held her own on vocals.

            A good choice for an opener, BomShel entertained and warmed the crowd for Cagle’s performance-the highlight for most attendees.

            Cagle, a portly man in a cowboy hat, has seven hits and two gold albums to his name and is your typical country singer-cowboy hat and all. Let’s face it: One of the best songs of the night is called “Wal-Mart Parking Lot”-the next single after “Miss Me Baby.” If Wal-Mart doesn’t say country, I don’t know what does.

            Friday was the first night of Cagle’s tour to promote his new album Anywhere But Here. He grabbed the audience from the start despite waning crowds, playing his hits as well as new material. His new songs, while entertaining, only received a lukewarm reception, most likely attributed to the fact that they were unfamiliar to the crowd.

            The music was decent, but lulls between songs lacked any artist-to-audience conversation, puncturing the mood of the show and leaving concertgoers standing around waiting for the next song to start.

            Cagle’s upbeat songs, such as “Chicks Dig It,” got the audience moving; his slow songs, however, were extremely country, conveying his sentiments about broken hearts, broken-down cars and-you guessed it-alcohol. He even went on a vendetta about big dreams and supportive parents and subsequently poured a beer over his head. I’m sure Mom and Dad would be proud.

            Straying from a normal encore set, Cagle played his own hits “What a Beautiful Day” and “Chicks Dig It,” along with an acoustic version of Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” He didn’t, however, do the song justice. Some legends should just be left alone.

            Risque dress, cheesy country analogies and awkward pauses between songs aside, Cagle and BomShel put on an entertaining, first-ever country concert for SLU students.