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Country band amazes audience at Breslin

November 2, 2001

Jon Konicki traveled a half-hour to buy a hat for his cowboy costume - but he wasn’t going to a Halloween party.

He was one of thousands of people who turned up at Breslin Center on Thursday night to tip their hats and tap their feet to the county beats of superstar band Lonestar.

“I just wanted to fit in, I guess,” said Konicki, a crop and soil sciences junior. “I’ve been getting into country since I’ve been in college.”

Lonestar, most recently known for its song “I’m Already There,” kicked off a new 12-city tour with singers Blake Shelton and Jamie O’Neal on campus.

“This is the first night all three of us have performed together,” lead singer Richie McDonald told the crowd. “What a great place to start.”

The group got the crowd riled up right away by performing “With Me,” the newest hit from the its album, “I’m Already There.”

McDonald’s enthusiast prediction that MSU will win Saturday’s football game against the University of Michigan also incited some hearty hootin’ and hollerin’ from the Spartan fans on hand.

Tennessee native Trisha Yelen showed up in wicker cowboy hat for an event she said she couldn’t miss, even though she had to get up early for class this morning.

“Michigan doesn’t have much country,” the zoology senior said. “(These concerts) don’t happen very often.”

Yelen and friend Jenni Talbott said they were excited to see O’Neal, who performed her two biggest hits, “When I Think About Angels” and “There Is No Arizona.”

“She’s young and she’s up-and-coming,” said Talbott, a pre-med senior. “I’m surprised she doesn’t have her own shows already.”

Students weren’t the only fans who found themselves singing along.

Haslett residents Sally and Kim Wilcox were pleased to enjoy a little bit of country near their hometown. The couple recently returned from a trip to Lonestar’s home state of Texas, where they got a real taste of southwestern culture.

“We’re country fans and we really like Lonestar,” Sally Wilcox said. “They are a little bit of pop and country and they draw a little larger audience by crossing the line.

“But if we want to dance, we go to Texas.”

Lonestar did a pretty good job of encouraging the crowd to dance with songs such as “Out Go the Lights” and a medley of classic rock songs.

There didn’t seem to be many complaints when the band slowed things down - especially when it played the 1999 chart-topper “Amazed.”

DeWitt residents Melissa Norwin and finance Mark Kares enjoyed the classic from their front row seats.

“It’s our song,” Norwin said. “I waited in line for three hours to get these seats.”

Nicole Jacques can be reached at jacques9@msu.edu.

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