The “Better Man” hit maker is back on the road in 2023
“It’s good to be anywhere,” Clint Black noted from the stage of American Music Theater three songs into his set on Thursday (Apr 20th) in Lancaster, PA. He was clad in black from head to toe, signature short-brimmed cowboy hat adorning his head and a harmonica around his neck
By his side at the front of the stage was Black’s longtime collaborator Hayden Nicholas. Nicholas co-wrote some of Black’s biggest hits, including “Better Man.” The rest of his backing six-piece displayed versatility as they moved through the night’s diverse selection.
One of the more traditional-focused members of the storied Class of 89, Clint Black’s mostly mid-tempo songs emphasize singable melodies with twangy string arrangements. Still, he found time to honor the outlaw himself, Merle Haggard. He played the song they wrote together, “Untanglin’ My Mind,” and followed that up with a faithful rendition of “Mama Tried.”
A few songs later, he switched to a Western swing flavor on “One More Payment.” Black has one of the most recognizable vocal tones in all of music. His voice deftly handles the cheery numbers (“Summer’s Comin’”) and the harder-edged story songs (“A Good Run of Bad Luck”).
The number that stole the show mid-set was “Like the Rain.” The juxtaposition of a dark, stormy melody with a confession of love allowed Black to emote in an impactful way.
During a solo section, Black sang an acoustic version of “Better or Worse,” from his 2015 album On Purpose. It was a quaint moment that demonstrated Clint Black’s approachable demeanor.
Black also showcased a folksy sense of humor in between songs, charming the audience even further.
The show ended with a rousing “Tuckered Out,” a high note that aptly described the audience after an evening of quality country music. It’s clear that Clint Black is grateful to be back on the road and touring. He is at home on the stage. For him, performing is not merely killin’ time. It’s a way of life.