Trace Adkins Touring Despite Personal Struggles And Strife

by Noiz 10. July 2014 19:21

Trace Adkins Touring Despite Personal Struggles And Strife

In a recent Clickitticket article, I waxed poetically about how performers feel more at home on the stage than anywhere else.  I wrote that in reference to Marc Anthony and his many girl troubles but the sentiment also applies to country music superstar Trace Adkins.

"It's good to be back on the road. That's what we do. That's my life. I'd die if I'm not on the road." – Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins and his band, the Sarepta Gentleman’s Club, returned to the road in early June.  Adkins and company will live out of suitcases until Oct. 3.  On that autumn night, Adkins will be in Carmel, Indiana for a gig at The Palladium.

Highlights of Adkins’ route include the Country Life Music Festival in Peoria, Illinois (July 20); the Last Chance Stampede and Fair in Helena, Montana (July 23); and the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, Massachusetts (Aug. 2).

Fans will also want to catch Trace Adkins in Kansas City when he plays the Ameristar Casino and Hotel on Sept. 5.

After that, Trace Adkins will perform on two Carnival Cruise Lines.  One departs Oct. 13 and the other sets sail on Nov. 4. 

Sandwiched in between the boat rides is an Oct. 25 gig at the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh.

Then on Nov. 15, Adkins hits the road again for another round of his highly successful Christmas Show.  He began his yuletide trek last year in support of his first Christmas album, The King’s Gift.

In 2014, Adkins opens his holiday sleigh ride in Worcester, Massachusetts at the Hanover Theatre.  He’ll spread Christmas spirit in New Brunswick, Englewood, and Providence.  On Nov. 22, Trace Adkins rolls into in Baltimore for a concert at the Modell Performing Arts Center. 

Charm City is the penultimate stop on his itinerary.  The singer will say his final “ho ho hos” on Dec. 6 in Salina, Kansas.

Adkins will finish 2014 doing what he loves best and that’s performing.  Getting the chance to play for his fans will certainly be the best present under his proverbial Christmas tree especially when he considers how bad his year began.

Back in January, Adkins was booked on another Country Cruise.  On the same ship was a Trace Adkins impersonator.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing.

At first, the real Adkins took the faux Adkins in stride but the former snapped when he started signing autographs.  According to Stephen Barker from Love and Theft, their confrontation involved nary a punch.

“You know, there’s only so much you can take when someone’s trying to be you. [Eventually] you’re like, ‘Ok bro’, I’ve been doing this for 20 years, you’ve been following me around … and now you’re going to come on this small cruise ship …’” – Stephen Barker

Adkins was the cruise’s headliner but left when the ship reached Jamaica.  Adkins’ departure was not necessarily because of the skirmish with his cheap clone.  He disembarked because he had a drink.  The country music star fell off the wagon. 

Adkins left the cruise ship and immediately checked himself into a treatment facility.  The last time he entered rehab for his alcoholism was December of 2002.  Too bad he hit the booze again but kudos for a quick return to rehab. 

That right there is enough to ruin one’s year but the fates had more in store for the Louisianan.  While in rehab, Adkins’ father died.

Aaron Doyle Adkins left this world on Feb. 1.  Trace was still in rehab but was allowed to leave when his father’s condition worsened.  The elder Adkins was 71.

The following month, Trace’s wife of 16 years, Rhonda Forlaw Adkins, filed for divorce.  Reason for the divorce is good ol’ "irreconcilable differences.”  The couple has three children.

So in less than three months, Adkins entered rehab, lost his father, and saw his marriage dissolve.  No wonder he said during a June 13 concert in upstate New York: “It’s good to be back in Niagara Falls.  It’s good to be back anywhere.”

Trace Adkins is nothing if not a survivor.  You’re not going to keep him down.  Remember, he cut off a pinky while opening a bucket with a knife, nearly lost his nose in a terrible car accident, and was shot by his ex-wife (not Rhonda).

On March 11, 15 days before Rhonda filed for divorce, Adkins sang with the band Exile at the Grand Ole Opry.  It was his first live performance after leaving rehab.   

On May 29, the comedy Mom’s Night Out starring Patricia Heaton, Sean Astin, and Trace Adkins (it pretty much had to star Adkins or why would I have mentioned it) hit theaters.  The film was panned but it grossed twice as much as it cost to make it.

Adkins’ tour kicked off on June 5.  

On June 21, Adkins was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.  Adkins was born in Sarepta, Louisiana and is never shy about showing his affinity to the Bayou State.  The event was attended by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal.

On July 5, Adkins performed at Muddy Bottoms.  Even if this performance was inconsequential I still would have mentioned it.  How can you not mention a place named “Muddy Bottoms?”

Well, Muddy Bottoms is an ATV and recreation park located in Adkins hometown of Sarepta, Louisiana.  Adkins’ concert was part of “Muddin’ for the Military” an event held to benefit Lone Star Warrior Outdoor—they provide hunting and fishing trips to wounded Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

Of all the artists performing this summer—Jay-Z, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Zac Brown Band—no one is happier to be on stage than Trace Adkins.

Adkins doesn’t mention his personal struggles and strife on stage but the fans know what he’s going through.  They have been showering him with support.  In return, Adkins has been giving them his usual awesome live show.  He works everyone in the crowd from kids to grandmothers.  At times he’s flirty and at times he’s earnest but he’s always blowing the roof off the concert venue. 

In addition to all the hits, expect to hear three news songs at an upcoming Trace Adkins concert: “It All Adds Up to Us,” “Maintenance Man,” and “Take It From Me.”

“It All Adds Up to Us” is about the tiny things in a romantic relationship. 

“Maintenance Man” is about keeping a woman happy.  So it’s definitely a fantasy song—am I right fellows! (thank you, I’m here all week). 

In “Take It From Me,” Adkins wields wisdom on what to do when you’re relationship is falling apart. 

During his first tour stop in Sayreville, New Jersey, Adkins teased fans by announcing that a new album is on the way.  Unfortunately, he gave no more details than that.

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Yes Jason Mraz Is Touring To Support Yes

by Noiz 9. July 2014 21:06

Yes Jason Mraz Is Touring To Support Yes

There’s a famous story about John Lennon attending an art show.  At this art show was a ladder leading to a small hole in the ceiling (it was obviously an art installation).  The viewer was supposed to climb the ladder and look through the opening.  Leery about what he’d find, Lennon reluctantly traversed the rungs and peered through the tiny opening.  What he found was the word “yes.”

Lennon later said that had he not found such a positive message he would have left, but the “yes” in the art installation inspired him to stay.  The artist behind the “yes” was Yoko Ono.  Now that’s a meet-cute.  Yes, it was also the first domino that eventually toppled the greatest rock band of all-time, but still a great story and an illustration of the power of “yes.”

I don’t know if Jason Mraz was aware of that story when he named his new album, YES! (actually, he named the album “yes” because his record company gave it the green light less than a day after he pitched the idea).  The opus is Mraz’s fifth overall and his first since 2012’s Love Is a Four Letter Word.  Mraz made his new album with the all-women, pop-rock quartet Raining Jane.

Leading up to the album’s debut, Mraz released a new track every Monday.  The promotion was called, aptly enough, “Mraz Monday.”  In conjunction with “Mraz Monday,” the singer-songwriter posted video clips of him performing at his avocado ranch.

The 14-track Yes! is supposedly the most intimate Mraz album to date and very acoustic.  The work’s first single, “Love Someone” dropped May 19.  The singer has already heard tales of it being used as the soundtrack for marriage proposals.

“Anytime someone uses one of my songs for anything — a ceremony or a sacred moment — that to me is a high honor.” — Jason Mraz

Mraz will support his fresh oeuvre with a world tour.  He kicks things off on Aug. 21 on what is the first of two nights at the Civic Theatre in San Diego (his hometown).

After that, his itinerary takes him to San Francisco for shows on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26.  Then on Aug. 28 and Aug. 29, Jason Mraz will be in Los Angeles for recitals at the Pantages Theatre.

Mraz finishes off August with a gig at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. 

From there, Mraz does the Texas two-step, or in his case, the Texas five-step.  He has five shows scheduled in four Lone Star cities. 

On Sept. 2 and Sept. 3, Jason Mraz visits Dallas and the AT&T Performing Arts Center.  After a day off, Mraz returns with a concert at the Cullen Performance Hall in Houston.  Come Sept. 6, he’ll be in San Antonio for a night of incredible music at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.  The last date of his U.S. leg is Sept. 7.  On that day he’s scheduled to rock the Bass Concert Hall in Austin.

Mraz then travels to Europe for a handful of shows.  His Old World trek begins Sept.24 in London and concludes Oct. 3 in Hamburg, Germany.

All of the previously mentioned tour stops are part of Jason Mraz’s “Summer of Yes Tour.”  Raining Jane will open at all destinations.  Lastly, each concert will be of the acoustic variety.

Mraz has two more performances on his calendar and you can see them both—assuming you’ve paid your cable or satellite bill.  On July 17, Mraz will play his music on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”  The following morning he’ll jam at Rockefeller Center as part of TODAY’s “Toyota Concert Series.” 

Mraz has been called a “global citizen” and his music, certainly his process, reflects that honorific title.

“Right at the end [of the recording process] I ask, ‘Can any human get on board with this? Can anyone, from any nation, any demographic, can they as a human being feel the humanity in this song?’ I try not to make it about me specifically and keep in mind that it really is about what we as humans are feeling and going through.” – Jason Mraz

When I read or hear terms like “global citizen” I roll my eyes.  While I know what it means, I don’t know what it means.

On top of that, Mraz has a lot of qualities and does a lot of things that can be construed as quite annoying: eats mostly vegan foods, is invested in a vegan restaurant, owns an avocado farm, and considers yoga one of hobbies.

We all know this person.  They can’t go with you to the latest James Bond movie because they have a hot yoga class to attend.  You invite them over for dinner and you have to go out of your way to feed them because your hamburgers are murder and your beer isn’t free trade. 

Everyone has the right to be a vegan but nine out of ten people who choose that kind of diet do so because it fits an idea of who they want to be, or who they want you to think they are.

Jason Mraz is the one out of ten who eats vegan because he’s truly a vegan at heart.

I’m the last person in the world to eat vegan or own a farm.  That’s not because I disagree with veganism (which I do) or because I dislike farming (which I do [who wants to work that hard?]).  It’s just that neither of those things are me.

They are Jason Mraz though.  He’s sincere.  He’s genuine.  I respect that.  I admire that.  I’m drawn to people who are real even if that “real” is anathema to my beliefs.

In a recent interview Mraz talked about how Yes! has a cycle.  It starts with the track “Rise” and ends with the song “Shine.”

“I didn't want it to be sunrise to sundown, either—I wanted it to feel like sunrise to high noon. You know, you wake up... as you know, on a lot of my albums, I have songs that say, "Hey, wake up! This is it! This is our only shot! This is life!"… It ends with "Shine" as a reminder that we can shine a light on others; we can shine a light on ourselves; we can borrow light from others, too—don't be afraid to ask; we're all in this together—and when we all put our lights out there we can light this place up.” – Jason Mraz.

The interviewer then brought in the concept of farming by mentioning that early morning to high noon is a great time to get out there and tend to avocados (which, by the way, are the hamburgers of the vegetable world).  Mraz responded with “Yeah, I guess you're right.”

If Mraz wanted to rub it in our faces that he’s a greenie greenster who owns some cool hipster hippie farm he would have done it right then and there, but he didn’t.  He didn’t because he doesn’t care if you know he owns a farm. 

In an industry full of phonies, Mraz is a genuine talent and a sincere philanthropist.  It’s appropriate that his latest album is called Yes!  Because Jason Mraz is one big yes!

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Marc Anthony And His Many Girl Problems

by Noiz 8. July 2014 18:18

Marc Anthony And His Many Girl Problems

Jay-Z once said: “If you're having girl problems I feel bad for you son/I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one.” 

Hova wrote that line a long time ago, and who knows the identity of the “son,” but if he was to re-write those lyrics in 2014 he might address them to Latin crooner Marc Anthony (although he’d lose the tight rhyme).

With another world tour on the horizon, Anthony has been neck deep in “girl problems.”  His issues stem from relationships with a beauty queen, a former American Idol judge, and a gas station hottie.

Dayanara Torres
A judge has recently ordered Anthony to pay $26,800 in child support to his ex-wife, Dayanara Torres.  Anthony and Torres were hitched from 2000 to 2004.  Together they have two sons.

The amount of $26,800 sounds like a lot (and it is), but it could have been a lot worse for our hero.  Torres originally asked for $123,426 (one has to wonder why she just didn’t request $123,456). 

You’re probably asking why Anthony and Torres are doing this now after being divorced for a decade.  The former Miss Universe is asking for more child support because her lifestyle has changed.  Her reason begs the question: “What in the hell is going on in her life?”

Prior to the judge’s ruling, Anthony was paying $13,400 a month.  The judge saw fit to double that amount.  The judges’ ruling was actually kind to Anthony as he offered to pay $28,000.  He also proposed a $30,000 travel budget.  The judge shrunk that to $12,000 (where are these kids traveling to, the moon?).

Anthony’s child support payment appears to be outrageous—it works out to more than $320,000 a year.  Barring medical concerns, what two kids need $26,800 a month to survive?  There are mothers who raise two, three, four, or more kids on $26,800 (or less) in a year! 

It’s not the amount, however.  It’s the relative amount.  Anthony has sold more than 12 million albums and launched one successful Marc Anthony tour after another.  He can’t roll up to his kids’ home in a limousine while their mother is slummin’ it in some family-size hatchback.

Torres has also said that part of the increase will go to pay for a housekeeper and a nanny.  I get the housekeeper part (no one likes to clean the domicile) but a nanny?  If I’m giving my baby-momma more than a quarter of a million dollars a year she better be raising my kids and not letting someone else do it.

J. Lo
A week after his divorce with Torres was finalized, Anthony married Jennifer Lopez.  They separated in 2011.  Their divorced was finally finalized in June of 2014.

The couple came to terms in March but it took three months for the papers to go through the courts.

Anthony and Lopez begat two children during their seven-year marriage.  Lopez was awarded custody of the twins with Anthony getting them for one week a month. 

Anthony’s child support payment to J. Lo is $26,800 less than his child support payment to Torres.  Not trying to excuse Anthony’s fiduciary responsibilities when it comes to HIS children but as successful as he is, Lopez is by far the bigger star.

Chloe Green
Knowing Anthony—the most successful tropical salsa singer of all-time—he should be marrying someone right… about… now (I’m looking at my wrist watch, pretending to count down the seconds).  Well, you can hold off on buying him and his new bride a crystal gravy boat.  Anthony broke up with his last serious girlfriend, Chloe Green.  He and Green dated for about a year before calling it quits earlier this year.

Green is British and heiress to the Topshop fortune (Topshop is a British-based clothing retailer).  She’s also 22.  Anthony is 45 (remember it’s half plus seven).  They split due to their busy schedules.

Meanwhile, Lopez dated one of her backup dancers, 27-year old Caspar Smart, for more than two years.  They split in the spring.  That means Anthony and Lopez’s divorced took so long to finalize that both were able to notch long term relationships in the interim. 

“Too Short”
There’s a report that Anthony has gotten back together with ex-girlfriend Shannon De Lima.  Even if that’s true, their rekindling doesn’t appear to be serious.  In June, Anthony picked up a British brunette at a Long Island gas station.

Three days after meeting, the two went on a date.  According to sources, it went well but they won’t be going out on a second.  Apparently, the British beauty is a tall drink of water and she wants to date a man of considerable height.  Anthony is five-foot eight.

Hitting The Road
With all this turmoil you might worry that it will adversely affect Anthony’s upcoming tour.  I wouldn’t fret.  Anthony is a pro.  He won’t let his personal life get in the way of a performance. 

Furthermore, performers are often more at home on stage than they are anywhere else.  In front of thousands of fans, and with a microphone in hand, Anthony can escape all his strife and turmoil (as well as that $26,800 child support payment). 

For singers like Anthony, performing isn’t a burden but an escape.  He’s probably looking forward to hitting the road. 

Cambio De Piel U.S. Tour 2014
The U.S. leg of Anthony’s “Cambio De Piel U.S. Tour 2014” kicks off Aug. 29 in Chula Vista, California.  It concludes Oct. 11 in Boston.

Anthony has three concerts planned for Los Angeles, all at the Nokia Theatre.  Anthony performs in La La Land on Sept. 5, Sept. 11, and Sept. 12.

The State of Texas will get a heaping helping of Anthony too.  He’ll be in El Paso on Sept. 25, Houston on sept. 27, and San Antonio on Sept. 28.

Also look for Anthony in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Orlando.

In early October, Miami will host two Marc Anthony concerts.  He’ll be at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4.  Remember, the Latin superstar owns a bit of the Miami Dolphins

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Mike Epps Will Beat You Up If You Joke About Him

by Noiz 7. July 2014 11:08

Mike Epps Will Beat You Up If You Joke About Him

Make sure you laugh with Mike Epps when you see him perform this year and not at him—the comedian has several dates planned as part of his Mike Epps After Dark Tour 2014

While Epps is a hilarious stand-up comedian he also has a dark side.  If you make him a punchline he might punch you.

Of course, I’m exaggerating, but my hyperbole is rooted in some truth.  In early June, Mike Epps and his entourage beat up comic Levar Walker outside of the Uptown Comedy Corner in Atlanta.

The reason for the attack was an Instagram video Walker posted in which he imitates Mike Epps and insinuates that he snorts cocaine.

Epps reportedly contacted Walker and told him he wanted to talk.  Walker was not expecting fisticuffs but immediately upon exiting the club he was accosted by members of Epps’ entourage.

“He struck me.  He struck me and two other guys he had with him struck me, hospitalized me and beat me.  All over a joke.” – Levar Walker explained in the police report.

Walker was also kicked in the stomach and his cellphone smashed and thrown on a roof.

A fellow comic witnessed the attack and said Epps didn’t throw a punch or a kick (as Walker’s statement indicates).  This same comedian came to Walker’s aid and helped him call police.

“[Epps] was just standing there like an overseer.  Before [Walker] could get close to Epps, a bodyguard or friend punched him. When he fell to the ground, the same dude who punched him kicked him in the head.” – Bo Micadelic

Epps soon returned and taunted Walker.  Epps told Walker not to make any more videos about him.

I’ve read conflicting reports that arrest warrants were and were not issued for Epps.  Either way, Walker’s lawyer says his client plans to pursue criminal and civil charges against his attacker.

Walker’s original joke and impersonation was inspired by a feud Epps had/is having with fellow comedian Kevin Hart (in the Instagram video, Walker also impersonated Hart).  The feud started when Epps called Hart “overrated” during a radio show (aren’t all comics “overrated?”).

Hart fired back in his own Instagram video…

“Here’s my thing, dude don’t come for me.  We’re on two different levels. Until you do better with your ticket sales, leave Kevin Hart’s name out your mouth.” – Kevin Hart

What’s up with Instagram being the go to social media platform for comics?  Have they not heard of YouTube?   

You generally don’t find entertainers speaking ill of one another in public.  They never know where their next job may come from.  The entertainer they ridicule today could be tomorrow’s boss.

Musicians, especially rappers, are probably the only entertainers where a feud is permissible even encouraged. 

You don’t have to like someone to play before or after them at CoachellaThe Black Keys have publically denounced Nickelback, but it’s unlikely those two bands will ever cross paths.  And as we all know, rappers have more feuds than WWE superstars. 

Apparently, comics wrangle with one another all the time.  That seems funny since most comics are the antithesis of the masculinity needed for a physical fracas.  Can you see Jeff Foxworthy throw down with Steve Harvey?

Of course, a fight between 43-year-old Mike Epps and the five-foot, four-inch Kevin Hart could be broken up by a girl scout.  The “Thrilla in Manilla” it is not.

In a YouTube video published by Comedy Hype, and taken hours before the aforementioned beating, Levar Walker sums up the Epps-Hart feud by saying it’s one comic passing up another and the one being passed (Epps) getting mad.

It makes sense that comics frequently quarrel.  Comedy is the most universal of all forms of entertainment.  You’re either funny or you’re not.  Sure, different comics have different styles, and we all have our favorites, but if you want to laugh just about anyone will do.

Whether it’s Larry the Cable Guy or Carlos Mencia, whether it’s Jeff Dunham or Lewis Black, a great standup will have just about all of us rolling on the floor laughing.

Conversely, you don’t go see Jay-Z because you want to hear good hip hop or Dave Matthews Band because you have a hankering for rock.  You attend Hova and DMB concerts because you’re a big fan of their particular music.

A musician, regardless of where they’re at in the hierarchy, always has the thrill of performing live in front of thousands of adoring fans to fall back on.  That rush makes up for being outsold by a boy band or getting less attention than a contestant from a reality show.

Then there are always the critics and rock snobs.  Demi Lovato may sell more albums and concert tickets than Lorde, but when it comes to the respect and admiration of pundits, the New Zealand songbird far outpaces the former Disney princess.

A comic can experience the same performance high but he or she has to work a lot harder.  They have to caress the audience, make sure their delivery is smooth, and keep perfect comedic timing.  Being a stand-up is arduous —you can’t do it drunk or stoned nor can you get away with doing the same material year after year. 

On top of all that, the world is especially unfair to funny people.  Comics trudge all over the country constantly refining their craft.  Yet, no matter how many dues they pay they can still be surpassed by a younger, more photogenic personality. 

Dane Cook, Daniel Tosh, and Kevin Hart have all come along and shot pass older, more experienced comics.  That doesn’t excuse beating someone up (or having them beat up) but it does illustrate that being a comedian is not always a laugh.

You can catch Epps all over the country in the second half of 2014.  Mike Epps will be in Las Vegas on Aug. 16.  He’s scheduled to perform at the Palms Casino Resort. 

After stops in Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Cleveland, Mike Epps will be in Boston for a show at the Orpheum Theatre.

For those that really like to plan ahead, Epps will be in Detroit on New Year’s Eve.  He’s been booked at the Fox Theatre.

Epps’ “After Dark Tour 2014” is being billed as “comedy for the grown and sexy.”  Epps holds nothing back and works blue.  In his act he tackles a wide range of subjects including racism, politics, and sex.

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There are a few of us here at ClickitTicket who contribute to this blog. We are huge music and sports fans and attend concerts and games on a regular basis.

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