When Tracy Lawrence took the stage Saturday night, the huge crowd went wild.
When Tracy Lawrence took the stage Saturday night, the huge crowd went wild. Lots of Tracy Lawrence fans in Southwest Arkansas remember his 18 No. 1 songs on the country charts and are looking forward to a new CD coming out soon. Lawrence mentioned the CD and said he hoped to have his many fans buy one when it comes out. The opening act “The Jason Helms Band” also enjoyed much applause when they took the stage and the crowd called for more. The local band has had many accolades bestowed upon them as of late, including being named honorary Texans. The Jason Helms Band has performed with the likes of legends Merle Haggard, Wynona Judd, Lee Ann Womack, Tracy Byrd, Joe Nichols, and Tracy Lawrence. The band sang several of their hits, including “She's My Kind of Woman;” “Headed Home,” and “Los Angeles.” Maegan Estes was this year's “Watermelon Idol” winner. She has competed in the contest for several years and has sung in many venues in Southwest Arkansas and beyond. She began singing one song, and technical difficulties stopped her from finishing that particular song, but crowd applause brought her back on stage and she was able to finish her second number. Lawrence had a stage presence of his own, singing his older songs with the same confidence as he had when he sang some of his new material. The crowd remembered with Lawrence when he sang “Texas Tornado;” “Sticks and Stones;” “Paint Me a Birmingham,” and “Time Marches On,” to name a few. As the night progressed, he began singing some of his new tunes, which will be on the new CD he spoke of at the beginning of the show. “I love being here in Hope, Arkansas,” he shouted to the crowd. “Are there any rednecks in the crowd?” “Are you ready to party?” Despite lightning and a cloud bank that moved in, cooler temperatures and a nice breeze came in and cooled the concert-goers off. Huge fans with sprinkler systems also helped cool the crowd. Three concession trailers were available for fans to get drinks, food, and ice cream during the concert. Lawrence was well-received at the concert. He has played the Watermelon Festival before and enjoyed it this time, too, he told the crowd.