With four decades of No. 1 hits under her belt there was no doubt country music icon Reba McEntire would put on a foot-stomping, crowd-pleasing show Friday night.
McEntire, 58, likely exceeded even her most hardcore fans' expectations when she took the stage at the Interior Savings Centre, proving to the packed venue why she’s one of the most successful female recording artists of all time.
Backlit by blue, red and white lights, McEntire jumped right into a song and had the crowd clapping and cheering.
“Hello, Kamloops! You’ve got the moves,” she said.
McEntire was actually in Kamloops two weeks ago via the Rocky Mountaineer train, and enjoyed the sights and hospitality, she said.
But this night wasn’t about seeing the sights; it was about country music.
McEntire and her band were in fine form; performing a series of songs that balanced hits like The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia and Still, and the lesser-known tunes she’s performed throughout her illustrious career.
Indeed, McEntire has sold more than 56 million albums worldwide and won 15 American Music Awards, among many other honours.
An accomplished actress — she appeared in the Kevin Bacon horror-comedy Tremors and starred in her own sitcom, Reba — McEntire provided many songs with a short, lively introduction using her trademark country drawl.
She explained how her first music video, Whoever’s In New England, would play on HBO between movies.
“They played an Aretha Franklin video, and then they played mine,” said McEntire.
Gone was the spectacle of her past concerts. Instead, McEntire focused on a simple light show that allowed her music and voice to shine.
Some fans had such a good time they danced in the promenade.
Lacombe, Alta., country star Gord Bamford opened for McEntire, and got the audience warmed up with a sound similar to George Straight’s.
At one point he was joined on stage by a couple of young children for his hit My Daughter’s Father.
He also promoted his effort to raise money for children’s hospitals, to which he’s distributed $100,000.
Bamford said he is honoured to be on tour with McEntire.
“Being on stage with Reba is the best,” he said.