By Shawn Nowlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Published on May 27, 2021) Much to the delight of many Salem residents, summer is right around the corner. New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that if certain precautions are taken, most outdoor activities are deemed safe.
The tradition of outdoor concerts in Salem began decades ago. Since the community is filled with country music lovers, it should come as no surprise that a sizeable crowd gathered at the Salem Memorial Ballpark on May 21 to enjoy a night of country music, courtesy of multi-platinum entertainer Chase Rice and his opening act, Shelby Darrall.
Event festivities started around 5 p.m. and lasted for nearly four hours. Bean toss games were set up in the parking lot, something that dozens of people participated in. Individuals were asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines, and hundreds brought their own chairs. Allen Cruz and his friends chose to enjoy the concert from the parking lot.
“My F-150 can comfortably seat four people. Myself, my wife and my two brothers knew how we were going to relish the concert long before we arrived in the parking lot. We had such a great time and took plenty of pictures to remember the occasion,” Hunt said.
Rice and Darrall were both met with standing ovations when they hit the stage.
As soon as she walked through the gates, Amy Childress knew that she was in for a treat. Childress says she expected a good turnout for the concert. What she didn’t expect, however, was the number of people who knew practically every word of the songs performed. “I’ve been a huge fan of Chase for over a decade and the first time I was introduced to Shelby, I fell in love with her sound. Neither one disappointed. The tickets were worth every penny,” she said.
Since his debut album “Friday Nights & Sunday Mornings” was released in 2010, Rice has gone on to release three more albums: Dirt Road Communion, Ignite the Night and Lambs & Lions. All four projects have enjoyed chart success. Jake Owen, Larry Fleet and Josh Kerr are just some of the artists that Darrall has worked with within her short career.
Anyone who knows Leslie Emory knows that country music is by far her favorite music genre. The Roanoke County native never misses an opportunity to show her love for country music. When Rice performed his current hit single, “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen,” Emory found herself acting as if she was a child receiving a gift on Christmas. When she looked around, she noticed many others doing the same.
More information about Rice and Darrall can be found at chaserice.com and shelbydarrall.com. Last Saturday’s country concert was made possible by the Salem Civic Center, the Salem Red Sox and 94.9 Star Country.
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