Lafayette’s Heart Beats Red, White, and Blue for Aaron Lewis

Originally published in Through the Lens Magazine on March 9, 2016

Article and photos by Melodie Yvonne Ramey

LAFAYETTE, IN – Another sold out show was evident in the heart of Lafayette at the Lafayette Theater as the line waiting for the doors to open stretched down the street for what seemed like eons. Inside the theater the ambience that awaited the eager ticket holders was that of a beautiful glorified patriotism as the red, white, and blue lights formed twinkling stars on the wall. The friendly staff was eager to please as per usual, and helped each and every patron in the door with personal care. The bar was immediately mobbed, but the well trained chemists behind the counter mixed drinks with style, and kept everyone’s glasses full and faces smiling all night long.

 

Travis Marvin was the opener, and he did a fabulous job setting the tone for the evening. Travis is a Kansas native that has been rocking his own region for nearly a decade and gaining momentum and fans everywhere he goes. The current show was no exception as he impressed the audience with some wonderful originals including a brand new song he had just wrote about 2 weeks prior. The name of the most recent melody is “Never Had a First Time“, and was immediately a crowd favorite. Marvin also threw in a few covers including Eddie Rabbit’s “I Love a Rainy Night“. He played with a fervid passion that radiated off him into the crowd as he encouraged them to sing along. He followed that up with stunningly powerful vocals on “The Dance” by Garth Brooks, and brought the fans right along with him on his emotional melodic journey. Travis then broke out in an energetic version of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” that had the crowd ready and raring to go for the evening’s long awaited headliner.

The crowd chomped at the bit during intermission awaiting their star, Aaron Lewis. Lewis was once the lead singer for Staind, but unlike most artists who set out on a solo career his has been fully recognized and acclaimed. Lewis’s solo foray into country music has served him well. With his new genre it goes without saying that there would be much love ready for him here in corn country. It’s obvious that the crowd had Staind fans among them, but the love and support demonstrated for Lewis’s solo career is above and beyond the call of duty. Maybe it’s his reciprocated devotion to his fans and his country, but either way Aaron Lewis is beyond reproach in the eyes of the adoring crowd. He began his set with a very touching dedication to his country in the form of a hat’s off, hand over the heart Pledge of Allegiance which the crowd eagerly joined. This patriotic attitude no doubt helps foster that sense of comradery that could be felt radiating forth from the audience. They were proud to be in front of such a great country man, and proud to follow his lead. The music began, and the hats were returned to their proper places as the crowd erupted in song and dance. Aaron’s band did a phenomenal job backing his impassioned vocals.  The way they immediately drew in the fans was a tribute to their talent as they helped make Aaron’s true old style country songs shine for a society that seems deprived of them this day in age. The band backed Lewis up, and helped him along as he told the “Story of My Life“, and they took that shot of redemption right along with him “Like Sunday” on that Saturday night.

 

Of course, it wouldn’t be a night with Aaron Lewis without a few of the old time popular fan favorites for good measure. Lewis Broke into “Right Here“, and the powerful ballad inspired a beautifully harmonized group sing-a-long that began at the front row and reached all the way to the farthest corners of the balcony. Lewis always demonstrates much appreciation to his fans. While performing his beautiful rendition of “It’s Been Awhile” he made sure to throw that in with a quick change of the main chorus lyrics to “It’s been awhile since I said thank you very much.” Then with a tip of his hat he disappeared off stage to signal the end of the show. As with any good act nowadays, though, an encore was more than prepared, and the same crowd harmonization appeared again when Lewis stepped back on stage without his band to set a more intimate setting. He immediately began to play the other long but not forgotten melodic treasures wrapped in memories including “Everything Changes“, “Tangled Up In You“, “Something to Remind You“, “Please”, and of course he saved the best for last with an extremely powerful and moving rendition of “Outside“.

A musician’s sustainability definitely comes from the devotion of their fans or the lack there of, so it seems Lewis will be around for a very long time. Not many people can cross genres the way he has done, and still not only maintain a fan base, but increase it more and more to the point of sold out after sold out show. Aaron’s commitment to his country, his music, and his fans is mirrored right back in their eyes, and they’re in it for the long haul. He made a name with Staind, and he found who he truly was on the inside and out as he delved into the country music genre. Now he’s found a place where he is loved and belongs right in that beautiful little theater in the heart of the Hoosier land, and he’s already said all the right words to make sure they’ll all be right here waiting for him to come back.

SEE even more of the Music on Melodie’s YouTube now!

View more of Melodie’s concert and event photography at melodieyvonne.com/photo-galleries/concert-and-events/

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Photo and video footage shot for Photographic Melodie by Melodie Yvonne Ramey. Shot with Nikon D800E
All footage copyright Melodie Yvonne Ramey and/or the performing artists. No usage is permitted beyond non-profit online sharing without written permission from Melodie Yvonne Ramey and/or the performing artist. Photos are not for commercial sale. It is ILLEGAL to sell concert photographs without the permission of the artist. It is ILLEGAL to use these photos for anything at all without permission from the photographer. Please send any and all inquiries of usage requests to melodie@photographicmelodie.com. Non-profit online sharing of images is permitted only when following these specific guidelines… images are NOT to be altered in anyway. This includes, but is not limited to cropping, adding filters, removing color from, any other changes, and/or removing the watermark. Also absolutely no making money off of,  and/or taking credit for my images as it is illegal, and makes me long for death.

Categories: Concert Reviews, Concerts, Concerts & Events, Concerts 2016, Melodie Yvonne, Photo Reviews, ReviewsTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Melodie Yvonne

Melodie Yvonne Ramey grew up in the small southern Indiana town of North Vernon. She picked up her first camera at the young age of 5, and was immediately hooked. Melodie says, “I couldn’t tell you the name brand of my first camera offhand, but I can tell you it was a Tweety Bird camera. It’s a brilliant bright blue with Tweety Bird from Bugs Bunny perched on it. I still have it. I’m just not sure if it was the photos themselves that got me hooked or that brilliant lil yellow bird.”

Every trip, even just to the local park, was turned into a fantasy scene of her own imagination that would later be turned into epic tales in word and photos. Melodie spent her teen years learning from and mentoring under professionals such as Richard Young, John Sheckler, and The Grand Conundrum. She received an Associates of Applied Science in Visual Technologies majoring in Photography from Ivy Tech in 2002 after studying under acclaimed professors such as Hoosier photographer Darryl Jones, Jonathan Wilson, and many other masters in the field.

Melodie’s main focus has always been music photography. Growing up listening to amazing musicians like Shannon Hoon, Beastie Boys, Maynard James Keenan, Zack de la Rocha, Tori Amos, and classics like Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Elvis, Johnny Cash and the like inspired her dream to create visual images that made people feel the way they do when they hear the music. She wanted to help people SEE the music by capturing every magical moment of those amazing shows that she dreamt of as she gazed into music magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin. Later in life as Melodie learned more about the arts inspiration came from a number of other legendary artists, visual and literary, like Annie Leibovitz, William Moortensen, John Sexton, Erik Johansson, Helmut Newton, Hunter S. Thompson, Ralph Steadman, and HR Giger.

Melodie has done numerous jobs around the country ranging from working for bands to even being the official photographer on many southern Indiana Poker Runs. Her specialties are in nature, music, and candid event photography, as well as one of a kind photographic creations. Melodie published her first print book Photographic Memories: In the Beginning, a collection of poetry, in 2011, and has since published 2 more print works, Photographic Memories: Meet me in the Middle and Hoosier Heavens, her first photo book. Melodie currently acts as publisher, editor & lead contributor at photographicmelodie.com and does freelance work with many other media outlets, venues, and artists.

Melodie says, “I started out with a Tweety bird camera and a dream and I never let go. I will always love photography and the vessel it has given me to share the images of my heart and mind with the world. I have found that every single person on this earth visualizes the world in very different ways. Some people are optimists, some are pessimists. Some people are daydreamers, and others keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. Photography allows me to show some of these different visualizations. It allows the rationalist to see that it’s okay to dream, it can show the monsters hidden in the dark, and it can show even the saddest of people that there is still joy in the world.”

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