Hundreds attend free country concert at The Park at Riverwalk

Elka Wyatt

On Saturday, Oct 25, at Brighthouse Networks Amphitheatre at The Park at Riverwalk, hundreds of people attended a free concert featuring country music recording artist Trent Tomlinson.
Opening up for Tomlinson were the Swamp Coolers, a local rock band with a bluesy feel. They performed songs such as “She Don’t Love Me,” and “She Loves My Automobile,” by ZZ Top.
Tomlinson, 33, is known in the country music industry as a songwriter both for himself and other artists such as Emerson Drive, Sara Evans and even George Strait. He is also known as a performer with hits such as “One Wing in the Fire,” “She Just Might Have Her Radio On” and “The Bottle.”
Tomlinson performed several songs from his previous album, “Country Is My Rock,” as well as selections from his upcoming album.
One song he debuted from his soon-to-be released album was written for his 9-month-old daughter, called “Guys Like Me.” Another new song deals with how life used to be before the Pledge of Allegiance was taken out of schools and when sometimes a good old-fashioned whoopin’ was sometimes what a kid needed. “That’s The Way It Still Ought To Be” talks about issues that would be deemed controversial by today’s standards.
Addressing the crowd about gas prices and his stance on the Pledge of Allegiance, Tomlinson said, “I better stop there before I pull a Dixie Chick and ruin my career.”
The crowd was surprised when, during “Putting Country Back on the Map,” a new song, Tomlinson jumped over the metal railing and met fans straight on, walking through the audience, stepping on chairs and even going clear up to the grass on the hill, where concertgoers were sitting on blankets.
Tomlinson once again took the stage and shouted, “If you don’t like this next guy, you can kiss my ass!” The band then broke into “Folsom Prison Blues,” written by the late Johnny Cash while the crowd cheered loudly.
“Are there any country boys left here in Bakersfield?” asked Tomlinson. The crowd responded with another loud cheer as the opening notes of “A Country Boy Can Survive” by Hank Williams, Jr. was played. The audience sang along, old and young alike.
“Everyone knows the words to that song,” said John Lowell, 40. “If you don’t know the words, you just ain’t American.”
Tomlinson left the stage, and the guitarist and bass player encouraged the audience to make as much noise as they could so Tomlinson would come back out. Tomlinson then ran out with a white “Flying V” electric guitar and ended the show with his signature song, “Country Is My Rock.”
Sitting in a reserved section were fan club members with “meet and greet” passes.
After the concert, Tomlinson and his band members met with those fans, taking pictures with them and signing autographs. Then Tomlinson sat on the merchandise table and signed autographs on pictures and t-shirts for fans.
Tina Joyner, 43, attending the concert said, “He was awesome; the show was awesome!”
A teenage girl, Shelby, who was with Joyner, said, “He hugged me!”