The stage was set, the speakers were pumping and the crowd clapped and whooped.
Country Hall of Fame singer Kenny Rogers performed to a sold-out audience Saturday night at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort.
The 75-year-old Houston native, known for his instantly recognizable raspy vocals and innate musical storytelling ability, performed some of his greatest hits such as “Through the Years,” “Coward of the County,” “Have a Little Faith in Me” and “The Gambler.”
In between some of his songs, Rogers paused to reflect on his life and his musical career.
He recalled working with “The First Edition” and the song from the 1967 song “Just Dropped In.”
“They just don’t make songs like that anymore,” Rogers laughed, referring to the lyrics. “I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in. I watched myself crawlin’ out as I was a-crawlin’ in.”
At one point, during the show in between songs, Rogers paid tribute to military veterans in the audience. He asked them to stand, and he and the crowd cheered and applauded the audience members.
Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during a special ceremony in Nashville on Oct. 27, 2013.
Diehard Rogers fans came from all over to see the star perform.
“It was fabulous,” said Margaret O’Toole. “I am a huge Kenny Rogers fan. It’s the third time I’ve seen him in concert.”
O’Toole and her friend, Don Martines, both Muskegon residents, drove up to Mount Pleasant to see Rogers.
“It took us an extra hour to get here, so we really love Kenny Rogers,” Martines said.
Martines fondly recalled when Rogers performed with “The First Edition.”
“That was kind of my era back from the ’60s,” he said. “So he did a wonderful job. We weren’t standing and yelling more because I thought he did a wonderful job.”
Soaring Eagle security officer John Hancock said the show was sold out, and that the maximum capacity of the entertainment venue seats about 3,700 patrons.