JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

April 10, 2015
Heritage Hall
Ardmore, OK USA
Review by Linda Rex Cook
Photos by Freddy Salazar

Kevin Costner & Modern West

The Return Of Kevin Costner & Modern West

Two Frogs Grill celebrated their 22nd Anniversary in style last Friday night with a performance by Kevin Costner & Modern West live at Heritage Hall, a small intimate theatre venue located in Ardmore, OK. The event drew in approximately 1900 fans, including a slew of middle aged women who came to see the handsome actor, film director, producer, musician and singer. Costner was joined by band members John Coinman on vocals and guitar, Teddy Morgan on vocals and lead guitar, Blair Forward taking the bass, Park Chisolm on vocals and guitar and Luke Bulla playing the fiddle and mandolin.

Mr. Costner and his six-piece band took the stage and started the evening off with "Red River" from their 2010 album Turn It On which brought the crowd to their feet right from the start. Before the second song, Costner addressed the crowd, thanking them for going to the movies all these years, which was answered with applause and cheers from the audience. Mr. Costner engaged with the crowd throughout the performance, introducing each song with a brief narration- a narration that this concert goer found especially interesting.

The set continued with "Ashes Turn to Stone." also from the 2010 album Turn It On, followed by "90 Miles an Hour" from the 2008 Untold Truths album. During his narrative before this tune, Costner commented that it was a metaphor of his life. The fourth song of the night was "Turn it On," from the 2010 album of the same name, that included a fiddle solo from the extremely talented Luke Bulla. Next on the set list was a new song "Stand Strong" and featured a guitar solo by Teddy Morgan. The band slowed it down with the sixth number of the night, "Down in Nogales," another song from Untold Truths, where the crowd took their cue from the band and sat down to take in the experience for a few minutes. However, they were right back on their feet when "Alive in the City," his new single, started up.

KCMW kept the crowd engaged throughout their hour plus long performance with songs from their 2011 album From Where I Stand and 2012 release Famous for Killing Each Other (music from and inspired by the Hatfield’s & McCoy’s). Before the last song Mr. Costner introduced someone he described as a close friend of his who was there that evening--Mr. Randy Travis was enjoying the concert from the side stage but did not join Costner on stage. The last song of the night was "Hey Man," from the Untold Truths album and the women in the crowd went wild when Mr. Costner blew kisses to the audience. The band came back for one encore and encouraged the crowd to sing along to this one..."Mr. Tambourine Man."

The venue may have been a great size for Mr. Costner’s preferred intimate and up close style, but the sound could have been better. At times it was hard to understand him when he was talking to the crowd. However, kudos to the lighting designer for the awesome stage lights and choreography; the way the lighting changed with the songs was superb! Mr. Costner was a class act and put on a very enjoyable performance. At the end of the night as the band was leaving the stage, Mr. Costner stayed out front and saluted the audience with a champagne toast - a perfectly fitting end to a night with Mr. Costner.