The past few years have seen Wade Bowen’s long climb to the top of the ladder in Texas Music matched by an increasingly intense and tight live show. Back in 2002, Bowen recorded his Live at the Blue Light album which would serve as a significant testament to his budding talent and stage energy. Outside of Texas, Bowen is generally pigeonholed as a country artist. But that’s not an accurate label. While the band is clearly influenced by country music, there’s equal parts Americana and roots rock in the live show (reminiscent of The Bottle Rockets and vintage Mellencamp). Nearly 20 years later, that time tested talent and knack for compelling storytelling has reached fans all the way up here in Chicago!
Opening the set with my personal favorite "Sunshine On A Dreamer", Bowen is a relaxed character on stage, and sounding incredible (and effortless). Bowen was engaging from the start and the audience treated a Chicago crowd like it was a honky tonk in Texas. From Mood Ring, to "West Texas Rain" was a highlight for me with Bowen’s stirring lyrics and strong vocals stirring up plenty of emotion.
Concert goers got a great taste of Bowen's 2021 Ep with my personal favorites, "Where Phones Don't Work" and "When Love Comes Around" Backed by a seasoned band of incredible players, Bowen shines as a songwriter and performer who realizes his songbook takes folks on a journey each time they come to one of his gigs. Bowen’s songwriting is serious, sensitive and real…and so is his singing voice. That voice is distinctive and stands out!
Honestly, Bowen could have gone on for hours longer and I’d have stood there watching him in awe. He’s an artist that deserves to be at the top of the industry. As a vocalist he’s versatile and engaging, as a songwriter he’s one of the finest storytellers in the Country genre. Hey Wade, come back to Chicago anytime!