We went to the fair to watch a show. Joe Diffie was determined to give us one. No one can control the weather. And, there is that old saying “the show must go on”. Joe took that to heart. He told us earlier in the evening that he was suffering from a cold, he walked out on stage anyway. He was ready to sing. His fans were ready to listen. But, less than 10 minutes into his show, the skies opened up, and the rain poured! Joe kept singing, occasionally shaking the water off his guitar as he continued to play. Picture taking became about impossible – no one wanted their cameras to get wet. I took what I could with my phone, and with a plastic bag wrapped around my camera. It was an unsuccessful attempt to get a few good photos of what was (in spite of the weather) a great show.
Fans owe Joe Diffie a huge thank you. He continued as long as he could, chancing wet instruments, wet sound equipment, and band members who were getting as wet as his audience. Those very talented band members who joined Joe on stage last night were Michael Grando, drums; Ger Hoffman, bass; William Bagby, guitar, Randy Beavers, steel; and Kevin Adams, keyboards.
It was awesome to hear our Joe Diffie favorites including “John Deere Green,” “Pickup Man,” “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox”, “Ships That Don’t Come In,” Bigger Than the Beatles,” “If the Devil Danced (in Empty Pockets)” and countless others. Joe didn’t stop with his hits, he gave us songs made famous by Charlie Rich and George Jones, as the cold, wet fans cheered him on.
We owe Joe a world of thanks for coming out on stage last night, and doing what he did for us. However, every member of that audience was more than a little upset with whoever on the Washington County Fair staff made the decision to hold that concert outside. They had an alternative. They have a building large enough to accommodate a concert. They did it the night before. Why in the world they decided to move Joe’s show outside (when the forecast was for a 60 percent chance of rain) is beyond anyone’s level of understanding. In my opinion (whatever that is worth), that fair owes everyone in the audience at least half of the money back that they paid for those tickets. And, for the few very disappointed fans who left as soon as the rain started – those folks should have been given a full refund.
Joe was there, Joe did what he was asked to do. He completed what I’m sure was a difficult task, giving us a fantastic show. But, I hate to have to say that it was the Washington County Fair who let everyone in that audience down. You don’t move a concert outdoors when the skies are that color gray and rain is in the forecast. You just don’t. Joe had every right to say “I’m here, you have to pay me, but I’m not going on. We aren’t going to soak our equipment when you had another option.” But, being the artist, the performer, the professional, and the person Joe is – that show went on — for his fans. And, none of us can thank him enough for doing that.
Joe is as friendly, down-to-earth and gracious an artist as you could ever hope to meet. During his meet and greet before the show, he took time to talk to his fans. He signed whatever they had that needed signed. It would be very easy to call this country legend a friend. For those fans who have ever met a tour manager who was not very nice – I would like to introduce you to Eric Matracia. He goes out of his way to be nice. Tour managers are busy guys. They help with the merchandise, they help with equipment, they manage the tour, they manage the meet and greet. I don’t like to bother them. But, Eric had a way of making people feel comfortable. Eric. was beyond accommodating with any request. He belongs on Joe’s tour. They make a great team. In fact, I have nothing but great things to say about Joe Diffie’s entire staff. From band members to the sound guy, to the tour manager, to Joe himself – this was a great bunch of individuals.
This is where I usually close with 20 or more photos from the show. I’m not sure I can do that. I’ll go through what I got, add what I can – and hope that you all get the idea that even though we don’t have a lot of photographic proof – THIS was a great concert. I hope I get back to see Joe on stage sometime soon – when it’s just a bit drier.
For all the latest Joe Diffie news, visit his website. Check out his Facebook, too. And, you can follow him on Twitter @JoeDiffieOnline. If you aren’t already following Country’s Chatter on Twitter, we’d love to have you. You will find us @countryschatter.https://www.countryschatter.com/2017/09/joe-diffie-makes-the-best-of-a-bad-situation/Concert InfoFairsReviewEric Matracia,Ger Hoffman,Joe Diffie,Kevin Adams,Michael Grando,Randy Beavers,Twitter,washington county fair,William Bagby