Snowflakes cascaded from the ceiling because the Oak Ridge Boys burst onto stage at Gaylord Opryland’s “Christmas in Tennessee” dinner present. Although band members are of their 70s and 80s, they carry out with an vitality that’s many years youthful than their years.
“It’s a fast-paced, enjoyable present,” says Oak Ridge Boy Joe Bonsall. “We’ve obtained an enormous Christmas present. It’s an enormous, huge deal. We’ve obtained huge manufacturing, video screens in all places, Santa Claus and each facet of Christmas.”
The Oak Ridge Boys have lengthy been nation music’s street warriors of the Christmas season. All through the group’s profession, the boys have launched 40 albums – together with eight Christmas tasks. They’ve mounted intensive Christmas excursions for years, however this vacation season, they settled down at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Heart for a 31-show residency. Visitors come early and dine on an elaborate, multi-course vacation meal, and the Oak Ridge Boys take the stage simply because the viewers finishes its decadent chocolate pudding dessert.
“The climate exterior is frightful, however the fireplace is so pleasant,” they croon with bouncy enthusiasm. “And since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”
“All people’s having fun with it,” Bonsall says of the expertise. “The band is de facto on prime of all the things. We labored actually laborious on this present this yr. We needed to make it completely different than final yr, and we’ve obtained sufficient Christmas music on the market to do a very completely different present yearly. It’s simple for us to dip into that and pull out Christmas music after Christmas music and put collectively a extremely cool, fast-paced, enjoyable present. And that’s what we’ve achieved right here.”
The Oak Ridge Boys stack the highest of the present with a few of their largest hits, together with “Elvira” and “American Made,” to fulfill their hardcore followers within the viewers earlier than they transfer onto the Christmas classics. Bonsall says it, so some huge man doesn’t yell, “Sing Elvira” throughout “Silent Evening.”
The plan works like a appeal, and the boys transfer seamlessly from their signature songs into the timeless hits of the vacation season. “White Christmas,” “Blue Christmas,” “Pleased Christmas Eve,” and “Christmas Cookies” are all on the menu till The Oaks shift into the extra religious portion of the present. They cowl Alan Jackson’s “New Child in City” after which highlight their well-known harmonies much more on “Jesus was Born At the moment.”
“Pleasure to the World” requires extra snow on stage, and the boys carry out their rocking chairs for some reminiscing and storytelling. It’s a phase the boys have loved in the course of the holidays for greater than a decade.
“Every man talks a bit bit about rising up and what Christmas means to us and tells a bit story about our childhood or two sing a number of songs,” Bonsall says. “It’s form of a magical time as effectively.”
After attending to benefit from the Christmas residency at Gaylord Opryland, Bonsall explains he’s unsure if the group will ever return to their earlier four-week vacation excursions. They get pleasure from driving themselves to the resort from residence every night time to fulfill their parked buses simply exterior the venue door. They’ll hop on the bus to vary garments after which stroll on stage. Once they’re achieved, they get to return residence and sleep of their beds. They play six days per week – Tuesday is their solely time without work. However nobody is complaining.
Bonsall says the chance to place company within the Christmas spirit and remind them of the true which means of the vacation is a pleasure.
“It appears to me that some individuals are making an attempt to maneuver us additional and additional away from among the concepts and among the values and transfer us away from God as a substitute of bringing us nearer,” Bonsall says. “I simply suppose we should be getting nearer. There’s part of our present that I hope individuals take residence with them about the true cause for the season, in addition to the enjoyable half. That’s an actual, significant half to me — to be a bit little bit of a witness on the market.”
The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Dinner Present is in manufacturing at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Heart by way of Dec. 25. Tickets are $39.99-$99.99 here.