Let me start by saying I’ve never written a review before. After last night I couldn’t rest until I did my first one. Last night I had the pleasure of attending a Coffey Anderson “acoustic” show at the Dosey Doe in the Woodlands, Texas just north of Houston. The Dosey Doe is a renowned dinner-show venue in Texas.
Acoustic shows do not have the same level of energy as a full band show. They are more about the artist and the songs than the extra oomph you get with a band behind the artist and his songs. My expectations were tempered by the fact that was a “one-man” acoustic show; just Coffey and his guitar.
The act before him was a two-person acoustic performance. The music and the songs were pleasant. Just what you would expect. No energy and much of the crowd continued with eating their dinner and talking among themselves. The audience responded after each song with polite applause. While she was attentive and dutifully applauded, I could tell my wife was not into the whole acoustic thing.
This furthered my expectation that those of us in the audience were going to get an impressive and skillful performance by Coffey, but still long for his full band to get the real deal. I knew the crowd would provide a much bigger response to his performances. After all, they paid to see Coffey Anderson.
Talk about exceeding expectations. From the moment he stepped on stage, he changed the vibe in the room. He took advantage that the audience came to see him and would give him the opportunity to make that first “performance impression.” That first interaction can set the tone for the whole performance, just like it does with other human relations. He used those first moments to build rapport with the audience by engaging them, establishing common ground, and making them feel comfortable though humor. He won the audience over without singing a note.
The Many Roles of Coffey Anderson on Stage
What I saw on that stage was more than a great songwriter and singer. What I saw was a great entertainer. He had complete command of his audience through playing the role of
- Cheer Leader
- Loving Husband and Father
He showed why Coffey Anderson is a social media, Internet, and television phenomenon. He’s built his career without the need for a record label and radio play. He’s showed that there is another way to gain popularity for his music and adoring fans. He had the formula before streaming and the Covid Pandemic changed the financial model for making a living as an artist.
Singer/Songwriter: Anyone who follows country music knows that Coffey Anderson is a prolific songwriter and has the voice and delivery to make them very popular. The million and millions of streams of his music are evidence of that. The fact that most of the onlookers at this sold out performance were able to sing along as he performed his songs is another testament to that truth.
Storyteller: His performance was filled with funny stories. To name a few, there were stories about growing up in Bangs, Texas; getting his first guitar, meeting his wife, living in LA. The humor in his stories had all of us laughing so hard we were doubled over in our seats.
Comedian: Coffey could make a living as a standup comedian. He used his obviously well developed wit to deliver humorous yarns, amplify jokes with changes in expression and movement, and make witty responses to audience member comments. The audience was getting something many of them didn’t expect. They were having fun along with hearing great music.
Audience Cheerleader: He kept the audience fully engaged. He let them know that he was with them by highlighting Texas, his Texas roots, and first responders and our service men and women. Whether it was getting them to clap or sing along, he was a part of the audience and the audience was part of the show. He asked them questions and recognized special people, whether birthdays or service men and women. He even walked out on top of table where people were sitting to sing to someone. He had the audience right where he wanted them. They were with him one hundred and ten percent.
Husband and Father: Coffey brought his family to this event. His beautiful wife and three kids were enjoying the show along with the rest of us. If you know Coffey and his family through their Netflix Show, Country Ever After, then you know that Coffey is a loving father, son, and husband. From the stage he recognized his family and sang to his wife and told her he loved her. Such gestures endeared him even further to the audience if that was possible.
Everything he did during the performance in all those roles was effortless. I don’t know how much effort Coffey put into becoming such a fully rounded entertainer. According to him, what we were seeing is also what he is when not on stage. I hope some of it can be learned so other good artists can become better entertainers.
I came away from last night wondering whether I would prefer seeing him with his full band. The band might be a distraction. Last night was about Coffey Anderson as an individual performer. I’m not sure how a band would make it any more entertaining.