Jonny Lang returned to the Wessner Family Amphitheater at the MN Zoo in Apple Valley, MN on Wednesday, July 3rd. It Is hard to believe that at 36 years old Jonny Lang has already had a successful career for two decades. Lang is a blues, gospel, and rock guitarists, singer, songwriter, and has had five albums that charted on the top 50 of the Billboard 200 charts, as well as a Grammy Award for Turn Around. Lang’s current lineup is Barry Alexander on Drums from Minneapolis, James Anton on bass who is also from Minneapolis, Akil Thompson on rhythm guitar, and Dwan Hill on keys.
The Molly Maher & her Disbelievers trio opened the night with her blues Americana music. Molly is a St. Paul native, based in the Twin Cities, and has toured nationally. Molly surprised concert goers by sharing that this was a last-minute change of line-up for them to be performing and the trio was literally practicing 45 minutes before. The people in the audience were really captivated by her charm and energy. Molly gave recognition to the tech crew for the evening, and really supported the female crew members working on staff, sharing with the crowd that she not only performs but is a guitar tech, and stage technician.
The Jonny Lang band opened the sold out show with his song Freight Train and was evident that everyone was excited to see Lang and his band. People went wild then they performed his originals like the Rack ‘em Up, and especially for Red Light. They covered Stevie Wonder’s song Just Enough for the City, and people continued to sing and clap with the band.
Towards the end of the set, people cheered for an encore. The band returned playing Bring Me Back Home, where Lang continued to do these incredible vocal harmonies with his guitar. For their second encore song they played Angel of Mercy and drummer Berry Alexander gave one of the best drum solos I think the MN Zoo has ever heard. For the final encore, Lang switched to use an acoustic guitar to play his hit song Lie To Me, where the audience went crazy when they realized that was the song he was going to play. Half way through the rest of the song the band returned to play rest of the song and close the night.
While leaving the amphitheater, I heard fans sharing how blown away they were from the energy of the show, and how much they love the intimacy of this venue. Which I have to agree, and I was in complete awe of the geniuses and musical creativity, but to also be in such a beautiful venue.