Blake Shelton Headlines Ole Red Gatlinburg

What makes Blake Shelton a household name is his unique ability to genuinely connect with anyone who hears his music. And that connection was palpable live at his headlining debut at the new Ole Red Gatlinburg.

Wednesday’s (March 13) sold-out concert had Shelton rolling through a 27-song hit-filled set with an ease, showmanship and professionalism that commanded everyone’s attention. They’re talents he picked up in the roadhouses and honkytonks that gave him his first opportunities to perform live when he was a rising artist and groomed him into the entertainer he is today.

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“At the end of the day all I really care about is to sing, and I love to be onstage,” Shelton said at a press conference earlier Wednesday afternoon. “I spent more time trying to develop a relationship with a crowd than I ever did trying to be artistic and all that stuff that I probably should have done. But this is what always got me fired up was being in front of people, being onstage; especially back when I was onstage and the challenge was to get them to notice me before the night was over.”

Tickets to Wednesday’s show with the Swon Brothers and a surprise appearance by the Smoky Mountain Blue-eyed Darlin’, Con Hunley, were sold through in a charity auction that raised $29,214 for music programs at Gatlinburg-Pittman High School. Representatives from the school were present at the afternoon press conference to receive an oversized check donation of $54,214 reflecting the ticket proceeds and the Ryman Hospitality Properties Foundation’s match of $25,000.

Plans to open more Ole Red locations are in the works. A groundbreaking for a spot in Orlando, Fla. is next.

Here is the set list from Shelton’s Ole Red Gatlinburg concert:

Neon Light
All About Tonight
Doin’ What She Likes
I’ll Name the Dogs
Everytime I Here That Song
Drink On It
Guy With a Girl
Mine Would Be You
Lonely Tonight
She’s Got a Way with Words
All My Exes
She Wouldn’t Be Gone
Turning Me On
Sure Be Cool If You Did
I Lived It
Some Beach
Ol’ Red
Came Here to Forget
Hillbilly Bone
Honey Bee
Boys Round Here
Footloose (Encore)
God Gave Me You (Encore)

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.