The Washington Post

In concert: Blake Shelton at Maryland State Fair

Country star Blake Shelton gave the Maryland State Fair crowd plenty of hits on Saturday night. (All photos by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

The lanky, charismatic crooner has been a mainstay in country music for the past decade. “I just wrapped up a show called ‘The Voice.’ . . . People think of me as a new artist. Most of y’all know I’ve been doing this a long time,” Shelton said, referring to viewers who think they’ve discovered an up-and-coming country act on the reality show.

It may explain why Shelton mostly stuck to his older, well-known hits during the 75-minute concert, such as the love song “Nobody but Me,” and the wry bad-day tune “Some Beach.” Shelton also threw in “Ol’ Red,” which not only has a truly stellar opening line — “Well I caught my wife with another man, and it cost me 99” — but tells the classic tale of a man who breaks out of jail with the help of a lovesick dog.

Throughout a string of his chart-toppers from recent years (“Hillbilly Bone,” “She Wouldn’t Be Gone” and a cover of Michael Bublé’s “Home”), Shelton sprinkled in some newer material. This included his latest single, the heartfelt “God Gave Me You,” as well as the completely absurd but catchy “Honey Bee” and the double-entendre-filled “Hey.”

Also known for his adult beverage-centric Twitter account (sample tweet from Saturday: “Warning to the good concert going people of Maryland tonight . . . There WILL be drinking and chaos!!”), Shelton made sure to capitalize on the concept of good old-fashioned, alcohol-fueled fun. “Y’all know it’s against the law to do a country music concert without doing a drinking song,” he explained before “The More I Drink.”

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.


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