Craig Morgan invited a couple of girls clad in summertime short-shorts and shirts tied at the midrift on stage with him.
The girls, good sports indeed, were the eye candy and props needed for his sexy single "Party Girl." They sat on a storage chest at center stage and he danced with his back to the audience, a little hip-swivel and subtle grind. It was good fun and the audience, numbering in the tens of thousands, cheered and whistled as you would expect they would.
The girls left the stage a few minutes later and with one verse left, Morgan headed to the catwalk. Just about then a girl from the audience, similarly dressed as the two invited guests, jumped on the ramp. She was draped in an American flag and she danced her way down the ramp like she owned it.
At first we thought she was another prop. Until Morgan's people sprinted down the ramp and tried to firmly guide her off. She ignored them briefly but quickly realized they weren't playing when they led her off the ramp the same way she came.
Morgan, being the consummate entertainer and a good sport, didn't acknowledge the disruption and continued on with his show.
Morgan warmed up the stage for headliner Miranda Lambert. For those of us who remember his frequent shows in Tucson — it's been a few years, but there was a point early in his career when you could pencil him on your calendar and he'd be there — the show was a trip back in time. He played those old favorites including "Wake Up Loving You," "Love Remembers," "Redneck Yacht Club," "Almost Home," "This Ole Boy" and "Bonfire," then sprinkled in a couple rock covers.
When the audience sang along to the chorus of "Redneck Yacht Club," Morgan stopped them mid-verse.
"Stop. Stop. That sounds like a Blake Shelton concert," he said and there was a silent, collective gasp. "I know his wife's going to perform in a few minutes."
Morgan ended his 75-minute show with a tribute to the military — he's a veteran — and fire and police officials.
Lambert is set to go on stage in 30 minutes.