Lainey Wilson @ Choctaw Grand Theater, Durant, OK

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
As Lainey Wilson opened her sold-out show at Choctaw Casino in Durant, OK, she sings the line, “coming in hot as hell, y'all watch this.” From her hit, “Hold My Halo”, a line that could not have been more self-descriptive! In fact, so many were watching it took three sold out nights to get them all in! And no one is coming in hotter than Miss Wilson! If you may have resided under a log or been off the grid, you probably don’t know about her continuously rising stardom. So, for those that may have just been reintroduced to society, here’s the 411.

Many took note of Wilson’s talent when her music was featured in the reoccurring series, Yellowstone. This is where I first heard something unique in her voice and her heartfelt delivery. From there, she exploded, winning awards and filling venues from front to back. Her second album, Bell Bottom Country, contains a truckload of airwave friendly songs that were inspired by life. Her signature fashion choices, bell bottom pants, and hippie chic shirts, have encouraged a whole new generation to imitate her style. A quick glance around Choctaw’s Grand Theater finds Lainey’s look is, often imitated but never duplicated.

Anything this country music star does on stage is met with some of the loudest screams I’ve ever heard! A peak moment occurs when Wilson dedicates the empowering, “Atta Girl”, to a young lady in the front row. Thirteen of the fourteen of the songs on Bell Bottom Country were co-written by Lainey and are a self-depiction of her first thirty-one years of life. Throughout the night she generously shares some of her song inspirations. Many in the room were touched as she prefaced the song “Those Boots” with the story of tromping around her childhood home in her father’s work boots. I may or may not have had a lump in my throat during the tale.

Wilson turns up the night and shows off her versatility with the funkified “Grease” segueing nicely into a cover of Rick Derringer’s, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Coo.” A cover of 4 Non-Blondes' “What’s Up” has cell phones lit up and voices singing in unison during the song’s familiar chorus. The stage darkens as Lainey exits stage left, leaving the rafters shaking, as the audience demands an encore! Knowing she would not get out of the casino without curtain call, to everyone’s delight, she obliges by returning solo with an acoustic guitar.

The bare bones version of the aforementioned “Those Boots” paves the way for the slow building gallop of “Wildflowers and Wild Horses.” This stellar night of music concludes with two of her biggest truck songs. Wilson echoes the female point of view and reprise of “Wait in the Truck” her stirring duet with singer/songwriter, Hardy. Seamlessly driving forward, she completes night one at Choctaw with her biggest hit to date, “Heart Like a Truck”. As I process this show I’m reminded of her quote when accepting her CMT award for Female Video of the Year. “We all got a story to tell, y’all”, Miss Wilson, we can only hope your story continues to be written, the first few chapters have been great!

Thank you to Lainey Wilson’s management for allowing MTC MAG to be there for this very special opening night! And as always the fabulous and friendly staff at Choctaw Casino!

Photos of the show are below:

Contributed by Duane Clawson
Lainey Wilson @ Choctaw Grand Theater, Durant, OK Lainey Wilson @ Choctaw Grand Theater, Durant, OK Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on July 03, 2023 Rating: 5
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