Aaron Watson is definitely keeping his mind on Amarillo when he puts on his cowboy hat before heading on stage.
On Friday night, Watson, an Amarillo native and country star, played a sold out show at the Amarillo Civic Center Complex. The night was quite a spectacular display of country chops with red dirt icon Pat Green and rising star Jon Wolfe kicking off the night's festivities. While Wolfe and Green both brought country fans to their feet, Watson showed that his country music background means a lot more than just belonging to a genre. Many of Watson's stories, songs, jokes, prayers and more revolved around his experiences in Amarillo.
The performance was a very good one by Watson and his compadres. After the performance, it was commented by an attendee that Wolfe has what was described as a "George Strait factor," which I believe is completely agreeable. Do not be surprised if you see Wolfe headlining major venues in the coming years, as he showed himself to be an excellent torch bearer for Texas country music. Green also showed his skills by playing many of his top hits during his set, concluding with an arena sing-a-long of his hit,"Wave on Wave."
Watson's stories of Amarillo, his family and his experiences living in this town were highlighted by a quote he said to young attendees: "You can be anything you want. You just have to work for it." This quote was inspiring for those in attendance, watching a country star who came from Amarillo and became an overnight sensation in "just over ten years."
Friday's performance showed that Amarillo is always on Watson's mind. That is part of what has made his blend of country music so successful - his real passion for the genre and his love for the music, which extend from the deep roots of his Texas country upbringing. His anecdotes about playing at the Midnight Rodeo and the GoldenLight in Amarillo brought humor to the show, but also revealed an overarching note that Watson's unique style has been honed by these experiences.
If Friday night showed anything, it showed that Watson is proud of his West Texas roots. And, frankly, the crowd proved that West Texas is proud of Aaron Watson.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-In-Chief