Justin Moore at the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center in Shipshewana, IN

Justin Moore plays an extended set on a fire sold out crowd ShipshewanaIN which includes local talentNate Barnes.

A sold-out crowd of all ages fills the seats at the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center for a high-energy performance featuring justin-moore and his band. Moore wraps up her 2022 touring schedule this weekend after another performance Saturday at WV. While the band are eager to hit the stage and finish these last two gigs before heading home for the holidays, they first have to make room for the local opening act, Nate Barnes.

Barnes is from South Haven, MI (65 miles northwest of Shipshewana) and has fond memories of traveling to this Amish community to visit shows in the past with his family. This show is special because he is surrounded by many friends and family in the crowd. Originally working at a nuclear power plant in Michigan, Barnes now lives in Nashville. To perform on this stage before Moore is purely an honor.

Nate’s performance is an acoustic duo set as he is joined on stage by fellow guitarist, Scott Zeller, who is his drummer during full band performances. The set includes original music by Barnes which was recorded at Quartz Hill Records in Tennessee. These songs include “Right About Me”, “Make A Wildflower Grow” and “Girl Like You” which he dedicates to his mother in the crowd.

Rounding out the 30-minute performance, he adds his latest release “Country Does” and his first Top 40 single “You Ain’t Pretty” which can be found on his you are not pretty EP.

After a short intermission to set the stage for Moore, the lights come on and music starts blaring from the speakers. The crowd immediately rises as Justin struts center stage with a guitar strapped over his shoulder. He kicks off his show with “Point At You” and “Til My Last Day” before ditching the guitar and showing off a dance move or two to his 2015 number one hit, “You Look Like I Need A Drink.” .

As the crowd goes wild with enthusiastic applause, Justin takes off his tan leather suede jacket and comments, “It’s not a wardrobe change. I started out cold but I’m not anymore.

Moore’s staging looks like a deer hunting man cave with a back curtain to mimic a wooden wall and overhead light stands with antlers attached. The model is appropriate for the time because deer hunting is now in season across the country.

While he consistently shows he’s a loving family man shaped after his grandfathers, Justin speaks of them both as strong military men. He talks about how they instilled in him the respect and honor of all veterans who continue to fight for our freedoms and let us do what we do today. This goes beyond our military, but also includes police, firefighters, first responders and many more. Today being Veterans Day, he sends his respect and love. He goes on to sing his 2018 number one single, “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home”.

Along with all the hits that have made Moore’s career over the past 15 years, it features new tracks from his upcoming album. Stray dog. They include “Get Rich Or Die Trying”, a fun song that Justin saved for about ten years before he finished it and released it to the public. Other new music performed includes his hit “With A Woman You Love”, with “Like There’s No Tomorrow” mixed with “Bed Of My Chevy”.

Justin recounts a text from his dad telling him he’s a great dad. It chokes Justin talking about it as it leads into “Grandpa” and “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away”. At the end, Moore walks away from the microphone leaving his hat dangling.

Moore is from the small town of Posen, Arkansas, which has a population of 300. This led to the inspiration for her first number one single in 2009, “Small Town USA”

After leaving the stage for a break, the band returned for an encore on their own to cover Joe Walsh’s cover of “Life’s Been Good”. The band is made up of Roger Coleman (guitar and vocals), Stephan Laplante (guitar), David Dubas (bass guitar), Wil Houchens (keyboards) and Tucker Wilson (drums). Justin returns to the stage for a medley of his old songs – “If You Don’t Like My Twang”, “My Kind Of Woman”, “Beer Time”, “Run Out Of Honky Tonk” and “Flyin’ Down A Backroad” . .”

To wrap up the evening, Moore performs the appropriately tuned “Home Sweet Home”, his cover of the Motley Crue hit for the Nashville Outlaw (Motley Crue) tribute album.

For everyone present, it seems like everyone enjoyed the show as they stand, sing and dance throughout the two hour show. Many are singing in the hope that Justin will return to perform other popular songs that weren’t on the night’s setlist. With a career that spans 15 years and includes 11 number ones, it’s hard to play everyone’s favorite song in a short time.

Now the group has headed to West Virginia to wrap up 2022, before enjoying their time at home with families over the holidays. They will start their 2023 You, me and whiskey tour with Priscilla Block in February.

JUSTINE MOORE
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NATE BARNES
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BLUE GATE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
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