Concert-goers sometimes leave with a memento handed down from the stage, such as a drumstick, a set list, or a plastic baggy full of famous-person sweat. Go home happy with this GrouponLive deal to see Chris Cagle with The Lost Trailers and Keith Anderson at the Congress Theater. For $12, you get general admission for one on Friday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. (up to a $29.75 value, including all fees). Doors open at 7 p.m.
“I’m a lot like charcoal. Once you light me up, I’m gonna burn hot for a long, long time, but if you pour water on me it takes a little effort to get me started again.” In this self-actualized statement, Chris Cagle sums up not only himself, but also his constantly shifting experience in the music industry. The country artist, best known for his No. 1 hit, 2001’s “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out,” worked hard to make a name for himself in his adopted hometown of Nashville, churning out four albums before retreating from the spotlight to Oklahoma in order to reassess his then-tumultuous personal life. After building the family ranch; meeting his wife, Kay; and becoming a father, Cagle unearthed the naked emotions that found their way into the songs of his latest release, Back in the Saddle. The aptly titled album, buzzing with rocky country anthems such as “Let There Be Cowgirls” and “Now I Know What Mama Meant,” also contains softer, more insightful tunes such as “Probably Just Time,” a musical love letter to his favorite watch. Whether a barn stomper or a barn waltzer, each track displays Cagle’s newfound ability to fuse his signature raucous style with a pensive outlook. Reflecting on his charcoal metaphor, he continues, “Bigger Picture Group and my family have helped light that fire for me. So let’s throw some gasoline on it, light it up and watch it burn.”
After impressing Willie Nelson so much with their first album that he booked them for his Fourth of July picnic, The Lost Trailers went on to tour with Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, and Montgomery Gentry, racking up a trio of American Country Award nominations along the way. The duo—comprised of Stokes Nielson and Jason Wyatt—incite hard-drinking rabbits everywhere to stamp their feet with party-ready tracks such as “Holler Back” and “Country Folks (Livin’ Loud).”
Before he made a name for himself with the Southern-rock single “Pickin’ Wildflowers” and the heartfelt hit “Every Time I Hear Your Name,” Keith Anderson co-penned some of contemporary country music’s most celebrated tracks, most notably “Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?)” for Garth Brooks and George Jones, as well as Big & Rich’s “Lost in This Moment.” On his records and during his live shows, the singer-songwriter alternates between a rich tenor and a gravel-tinged growl.
Chris Cagle Singing “What Kinda Gone” in a Live Acoustic Performance in Birmingham’s 102.5 Bull Lounge
Keith Anderson Singing “Every Time I Hear Your Name” at Grand Ole Opry
With its gargantuan ballroom space, the Congress Theater is just as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the ears. The former movie palace, which boasts a curved upper deck lined with red-velvet seats, beckons concertgoers to its lushly vintage confines for country-music shows, bluegrass festivals, and electronic-music performances. Regardless of the act, audience members revel beneath an ornately decorated domed ceiling that's perfect for jetpack escapes when the dance floor gets too crowded. The theater also is branching out into its surrounding neighborhood by filling attached storefronts with restaurants, small grocers, and other community partners.