by Taryn Alessandro
Ron “Tater Salad” White
Drinking scotch and smoking on stage, I wouldn’t exactly call him a role model, but comedian Ron White sure is funny. Ron performed with nothing but a cigar and a glass of Johnny Walker Blue Label at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, July 25th.
Most of you probably know Ron from his “Blue Collar Comedy Tour,” with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy. Ron toured with the rest of the “Blue Collar Boys” from January of 2000 until March of 2003, grossing over $15 million dollars. The tour served as a huge launching pad for Ron’s career; since then he earned two grammy nominations, released a New York Times Best Seller, Ron ‘Tater Salad’ White: I Had The Right to Remain Silent, But I Didn’t Have the Ability, and made several appearances on Comedy Central.
Born and raised in a small town in Texas, Ron always captured listeners with his hilarious and sometimes ridiculous stories. He struggled in his early years, but now Ron is filling arenas with his “Blue Collar” brand of comedy. Ron constantly reminded us of his recent success with lines like “My jet, that you all paid for, was broken and I had to fly first class.” Poor Ron.
“I’m razor sharp tonight,” Ron says, after telling us about his trip with his son, Marshal “Tater Tot” White, to St. Paul’s “Casino” instead of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It must be all that scotch drinking.
Sheryl Crow with James Blunt
On July 26th, James Blunt swooned every girl in the 10,000 seat Mohegan Sun Arena with his heartbroken ballads. He earned a standing ovation with his touching performance of “Goodbye My Lover,” allowing the audience to sing the chorus. He later amped up the energy level by running down aisles, high-fiving fans, jumping around, and even “surfing” on his piano.
During her performance following James’, Sheryl Crow brought me tons of fond memories – from belting “Everyday is a Winding Road” in the backseat of a Jeep Wrangler, to playing “Leaving Las Vegas” on repeat, driving through the sweltering dry heat of Nevada. I’m a Sheryl Crow fan ever since her album, Tuesday Night Music Club debuted in 1993.
The much anticipated Sheryl gave us all the old goodies during her performance, including “A Change Will Do You Good,” “My Favorite Mistake,” “Run Baby Run,” “If it Makes You Happy,” and of course, “Strong Enough.” In the middle of “Can’t Cry Anymore” she surprised us by breaking into Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now.”
While giving us a sampling of her new album, “Detours,” released in February, Sheryl played new songs “Gasoline,” “God Bless This Mess” and “Detours.” “It doesn’t matter what journey you go on in life. It’s really the detours that teach you about who you are,” she said about her song, “Detours.”
After her set, the audience screamed and pleaded for more Sheryl. She came back for an encore with “All I Wanna Do” and her version of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” featuring vocals from her backup singers.