Riley Green fills up Bakersfield amphitheater to the brim

Springtime on a Friday night in Bakersfeild at a sold-out Riley Green concert… it doesn’t get much better than that! A show that I’ve been looking forward to due to its great lineup had arrived. Dignity Health Amphitheater was full to the brim with cowboys, cowgirls, and country music fans of Bakersfield, ready to show Riley they do things “Different ‘Round Here”.

Before the main man took the stage, there were two openers: an up-and-coming female artist and a 90s country music legend. 

Ella Langley and her band kicked off the evening with a rocking set. The “Country Boy’s Dream Girl” singer’s amazing voice and good looks definitely won over some cowboy hearts this night. Building a fan base from social media, Langley is becoming a known name, touring with many big country heavyweights and having a song featuring Koe Wetzel called “That’s Why We Fight”. The crowd also got to hear her recent release “Nicotine”. Keep an eye out for more music and shows from Ella Langley; she’s set to become a well-known name soon! 

Country music legend Tracy Lawrence is “Out Here In It” still! Being a 90s kid, I was excited to see the “Time Marches On” singer in the flesh, still putting on a great performance playing all the hits I grew up with listening to with my grandparents. From the crowd-favorite “Paint Me A Brimingham” to “I See It Now”, “Texas Tornado”, and “As Any Fool Can See”, Tracy Lawrence had urged us to “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” by the end of his set. 

Riley Green — the “Duckman” everyone was waiting for — closed it all down next.

Especially the ladies… damn, did they lose their minds screaming when he walked onto the stage. The sun had gone down and the party was in full force, with Green and his band’s energy feeding off the crowd. The “There Was This Girl” singer’s set included all of his hits — of course, perfecting them all as he performed them. Green even took the time to do some quick cover songs of country artists lost in recent years, starting with Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” before heading into Charley Pride’s “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’”, Joe Diffie’s “John Deere Green”, and Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”.

Riley Green then brought back out Ella Langley to do a cover duet of “In Color” by Jamey Johnson; those two nailed it with their voices blending perfectly. Ella stayed onstage as Riley stepped away, singing an amazing Fleetwood Mac cover. Tracy Lawrence also joined Riley at one point to sing “Should Have Been A Cowboy” to honor the recent passing of Toby Keith. As the night settled to an end, it got down to “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” and it was the one that, I’m sure, could be heard far beyond the parking lot, as every voice sang out line-for-line. All that was missing was lighter flames in the air. Riley Green’s Ain’t My Last Rodeo Tour still has dates on the calendar, so if you’re looking for some current hits by Riley, some up-and-coming country music, or a night of 90s country, this is the tour for you!

Photography by Tre Torres

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