By the Way

Sara Evans covers Sam Smith in Gulfport while audience takes concert selfies

Sara Evans covered Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” at her Gulfport show.
Sara Evans covered Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” at her Gulfport show. Sara Evans

If you weren’t one of the ones who caught Sara Evans’ sold-out show at the Island View Casino on Saturday in Gulfport, you really missed a great performance.

There’s a lot of talent that comes in and out of the Coast casinos -- you can see anything from oldies to classic rock to country, usually within the same weekend.

But there’s something special about Evans. And that special something is the fact that she’s a great singer and an electric performer.

It’s been almost 20 years since she dropped her debut album “Three Chords and the Truth,” which was produced by Pete Anderson. Anderson was Dwight Yokam's producer for many years and the duo had a very successful run of almost 20 years. He also produced albums by the Meat Puppets and Jackson Browne.

Now that the music history lesson is out of the way, back to Evans.

She opened the show with one of her biggest hits “Born to Fly” and she managed to pack about 20 songs into her show, from “Suds in the Bucket” to Edwin McCain’s “I Could Not Ask For More,” which she had a hit with in 2001.

But it was a cover of Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” that really brought the house down.

This is where Evans really showed her vocal skills. She played the song very late in the set and was rewarded with a standing ovation from her audience.

Believe me, you can’t fake this song. You can either sing it or your can’t and Evans brought it — big time.

It is worth mentioning, however, that there is a new disturbing trend at concerts on the Coast and that is the “concert selfie.” There were lots of concert selfies at Evans’ show in Gulfport.

Here’s the premise of the concert selfie — someone walks up in front of the stage while the band or singer is performing, throws the cellphone up in the air and takes a selfie of themselves with the performer in the background.

I’ve seen it at Alabama, Cheap Trick, Gary Allan and on and on. Paul Anka actually stopped his show to let a fan catch the perfect concert selfie before finally inviting her to the after show meet and greet for a better photo.

The concert selfie is awkward and it stops the momentum of the show.

Take your concert selfies while you can, because Apple supposedly has the technology to make cellphone usage at concerts a thing of the past. It’s an infrared signal that can be emitted at concerts that will block the camera apps on phones.

Then, we’ll just have to pay to attention to singers like Evans and enjoy the show. You know, like listen to the music?