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Concert Reviews:
WYCD's Ten Man Jam offers cozy comfort at the Fillmore

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Friday, January 30, 2015

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DETROIT -- "It's not a party until underwear hits the stage," Big & Rich's John Rich declared on Thursday night, Jan. 29, at the Fillmore Detroit.

By that standard radio station WYCD's annual Ten Man Jam concert became a party early during the second half of the show, when a bra landed at Easton Corbin's feet as he finished a performance of his hit "Roll With It." And the bash continued with more unmentionables throughout the night -- even 20-year-old rookie RaeLynn had a couple pair of boxer shorts thrown her way during the show.

The unmentionables brought a bit of levity to the lengthy program, in which 10 country acts -- five at a time -- played acoustically, trading songs in rotation in an intimate fashion that sometimes belied the rowdy and, likely, drunkin din of the packed Fillmore. But the music won out, as fans, who'd received their tickets through a variety of giveaways, got a chance to see some of their favorite artists, both established and new, in a rare, stripped-down setting (although, presumably, still in their underwear).

The Jam was certainly jammed with hits, whether it was first-half host Randy Houser celebrating sales of more than three million singles from his latest album, "How Country Feels" or hearthrobs Corbin and Brett Eldredge offering up smashes such as "A Little More Country Than That," "Beat of My Music" and "Don't Ya," often embellishing them with stories or asides to the other performers. For Sugarland's Kristian Bush, meanwhile, it was a chance to show off material from his upcoming solo album "Southern Gravity," including the title track and the single "Trailer Hitch," though he also offered up his version of Sugarland favorites "Baby Girl" and "Stuck Like Glue." And he provided some subtle harmonies to RaeLynn's "God Made Girls" and hand percussion on his acoustic guitar for her rendition of Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" that had Big Kenny Alphin dancing at center stage.

Big & Rich brought their own new single to the table with "Run Away With You." But it was Rich who curried the greatest favor when he played a bit of "Shuttin' Detroit Down," his sharp 2009 political commentary that he turned into a tribute to the city's resurgence, changing the lyric to "in the real world they'll ever shut Detroit down" and, afterwards, shouting "God bless this city. Never stop fighting!"

Big & Rich had the last word of the night, too, closing the Jam with a spirited medley that incorporated pop hits such as Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy," Madonna's "Like a Virgin," Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and Don McLean's "American Pie" before launching into their "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)."

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