Gretchen Wilson concert at SEMO District Fair draws more than 1,500

Friday, September 14, 2012
Country Singer Gretchen Wilson performs at the 155th annual SEMO District Fair Thursday, September 13, at Arena Park in Cape Girardeau. (ADAM VOGLER)

Country singer Gretchen Wilson invited about 1,550 fans to get rowdy with her Thursday night at the grandstand in Arena Park during the SEMO District Fair.

Wilson began the show with her song "Here for the Party."

After the song was finished, she asked the crowd, "What about you? You here for the party tonight?" The crowd seemed to agree as they were yelling, clapping, singing along and dancing.

Interspersed with the favorites the crowd knew from Wilson were some new songs that have yet to be released. In a departure from her known country style, she also sang some blues and the classic rock song "Hotblooded."

Leslie Morse from Anna, Ill., has seen Wilson in concert before.

"I saw her in Carbondale," Morse said. "Usually I get front-row seats but didn't this time. It's been a long time since I saw her."

All throughout the show parents were taking young children up to the stage where they handed Wilson gifts of keepsakes and mementos.

Wilson continually involved members of the audience, encouraging them to clap and yell and by asking questions.

Wilson told the audience with her travel schedule it has been difficult to get into a studio to lay down the tracks for a complete disc. When she and the band get back to Nashville, Tenn., they go into the studio and lay down one song that they then release on iTunes. At the end of the year they will put all the songs together on an album and release it.

Georgia Anderson of Perryville, Mo., came to the show with her friend Lynn Leibly of Perryville.

"I've always liked Gretchen," Anderson said. "I'm glad she's here. I told him this would be a good show."

This was also Leibly's first time to the SEMO District Fair.

"It's unlike any fair I've ever been to before," he said. "There is so much to see and do, so much food. Ste. Gen and Perryville don't have anything like this."

Anderson said it is hard to see all the fair has to offer in one night.

At one point in the show Wilson told everyone that every dollar of the ticket cost stays in the United States. It goes to her or the band, and the T-shirts they sell are all made in the United States.

Two screens were set up on either side of the stage so the fans could see the performers up close throughout the show.

Wilson sang her hit song "Redneck Woman" for her first encore at the conclusion of the show.

Pertinent address:

Arena Park, Cape Girardeau MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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