Country music star Reba McEntire graced the stage at the Illinois State Fair on its last day to a sold-out audience.  The summer breeze that could be felt in the grandstand was non-existent on the full capacity track area.

RCA recording artist Rachel Wammack, born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, opened the show at 8 p.m.  She released an EP in 2018 with two more singles released this year and gave a touching, heartfelt performance that was a nice kick-off to the evening.

When it was time for Reba’s performance, she strutted down the rear riser at center stage with the upbeat “Turn up the Radio” to the roar of the crowd.  She then launched into a medley of number-one hits and continued performing the crowd-pleasing hits throughout the night.  Jenifer Wrinkle (fiddle and vocals) helped pump up the crowd throughout the night and impressively sang the Linda Davis part on the duet “Does He Love You.”  Lead guitarist Jeff King was another stand-out of the night with his searing guitar licks.

Reba McEntire has sold over 56 million albums and won 15 AMA awards , 13 ACM awards, nine People’s Choice Awards, seven CMAs and two Grammys.  With four decades of number one hit singles, Reba had many to choose from for her performance last night. 

Reba also performed two songs from her new album “Stronger than the Truth,” which changed things up a bit from the flurry of older hits.  First was the celebratory anthem “Freedom” and then the traditional swing-sounding “No U in Oklahoma,” which she co-wrote with Donna McSpadden and Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn fame.

The audience impressively responded to the familiar hit “Is There Life Out There,” proving they were full of life, singing along through the entire song.  She closed the show with the bluesy “Take it Back” and rolled right into “Why Haven’t I Heard From You” before the crowd-pleasing encore, “Fancy.”  

Reba’s voice was strong from beginning to end.   Her smile beamed throughout the night, and she shared a few stories along the way.   Seeing and hearing this country music icon perform was a special treat that made it worth tolerating the packed house.

 

Set list for Reba McEntire:

1.     Turn On The Radio

2.     The Fear Of Being Alone/The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter/Walk On/Can’t Even Get The Blues/Little Rock/One Promise Too Late/Respect

3.     Whoever’s In New England

4.     Going Out Like That

5.     Back to God

6.     Somebody

7.    The Greatest Man I Never Knew

8.     I’d Rather Ride Around With You

1.     The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia

2.     Does He Love You

3.     Freedom

4.     I’m a Survivor

5.     Is There Life Out There

6.     Take It Back/Why Haven’t I Heard From You

7.     Fancy

 

Set list for Rachel Wammack:

What He Does

Light On

Reminders

Covers Medley

Damage

Something People Say

Youngblood

Ain’t My Fault

Hard To Believe



click to enlarge Reba performs at the Illinois State Fair grandstand - TIM SMITH
Tim Smith
Reba performs at the Illinois State Fair grandstand


 

click to enlarge Rachel Wammack opened the show - TIM SMITH
Tim Smith
Rachel Wammack opened the show


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