The Great Divide at Tannahill’s Tavern and Music Hall in Fort Worth. 1/21/23
At 8pm sharp the evening’s musical ice breaker, a three man band called “Wight Lights” took the stage and just that. They did an outstanding job of knocking off the work week funk for those in attendance. I am unfamiliar with those guys but quickly grew a liking to them and will be getting better acquainted with their music soon enough. I highly recommend you do the same. They have a really mellow sound that really complimented that of The Great Divide so the pairing of these two bands was well planned.
Mike McClure walked out and took center stage as the crowd started cheering. Scotte Lester stage right with his rhythm guitars, Kelly Green stage left on bass with JJ Lester on drums and new guy, Bryce Conway on the keyboards. They kicked things off with a tune called “Without you” from their 1999 album Revolutions. The crowd instantly recognized and started singing along. “Through all the bad times. Through all the good. I’ve been watching you standing beside me like you said you would.” The vibe felt like a great big family reunion that’s been needing to happen as the crowd just flowed along with the band. This would go on for 24 more songs as they played a massive show.
The next song was easily one of their more recognizable songs, “Round That Bend.” “I’ll take my paycheck and buy you a ring. And the rest we’ll spend on hotels and gasoline. We’ll find a chapel in that early summer sun. I know it sounds crazy, but it sure sounds fun.” Everyone was ready to go after this one. They performed an array of songs from six different albums the remainder of the set. “Dragon’s Heart,” “Good Side,” “Break In The Storm,” “Set It All Down” all seem to flow well before another great mix of new and old tunes followed. “Used to Be,” “If You Want It That Much,” “Pour Me a Vacation,” a cover of “Navajo Rug,” “Out of Here Tonight,” “But I Do,” and “Never Could” was a great run of songs before breaking into “Wildflower” which included a lengthy instrumental display of guitar solos by Mike and Scotte.
“Coming Up Crows,” “Infinite Line,” ”College Days,” “San Isabella,” “Slippin Away,” and “Yesterday Road” was a shuffle of the Revolutions albums with a couple Providence tracks mixed in. They performed “Floods” and “Mr. Devil” before walking off the stage to prep for the encore, which the crowd was letting them know they wanted one.
After emerging from a short side stage break, they kicked off “Remain” which pacified everyone long enough for the show closer “Billy Covington.”
The Great Divide has been a long-time favorite band of mine. Since I was first introduced to them in 1997, they have had a permanent place in my cassette tape and cd collection, and now my Spotify playlist. Them splitting up was terrible and I’m sure many TGD fans would agree, it was a long wretched period that we’re all happy is over and behind us now that the boys are back together and playing again. The Great Divide fans can breathe easy again knowing the godfathers of red dirt country are back at the helm.
Watching them play live in a venue like Tannahill’s was like having an unplanned bucket list event occur right before my very eyes. It was such a treat to be able to see these guys play live as a band again. Honestly, the last time I saw these guys play as a complete band was sometime in 1999-2000 time frame in Manhattan, Kansas while I was stationed at nearby Fort Riley. I caught them again in 2003 right after I came home from Iraq at JC Cowboys in Weatherford, OK but Mike had already split and Micah had taken center stage for the band. So my last time seeing these guys play was almost 20 years ago and was weird without Mike so being able to see them play again and with Mike was pretty fulfilling. And with keys! Talk about a little extra honey in your coffee….
Find more info on the Great Divide and their new album here: https://www.tgdmusic.com
Enjoy our previous coverage here: REVIEW: The Great Divide “Providence”
Round That Bend
Break In The Storm
Set It All Down
Used to Be
If You Want It That Much
Pour Me a Vacation
Outer Here Tonight
But I Do
Coming Up Crows