“This place is a beautiful venue for any type of concert, all of the red curtains and ornamentation was really something to see.”
Capitol Music Hall – Wheeling, WV on May 18, 2002
Our journey to Wheeling, WV began rather cold and rainy but knowing there was a Marty Party and good friends waiting was all the incentive I needed! We rolled into the town of Wheeling a little before 3 p.m., drove past the Capitol Music Hall and right across the street was a big ole bus, the main attraction had already hit town! Found our hotel and checked in, then decided to walk over to the Music Hall to see how long of a walk it would be in case we didn’t want to drive. It was a bit far and a bit chilly for walking so we located a parking garage for later on. Visited the gift shop and ran into some other fans, then headed back to the hotel.
Prior to heading to the Music Hall, we went for a bite to eat at a little diner near the venue and, as I was ordering, looked out the window and saw some more familiar fan faces. Arrived in the lobby just prior to them opening the doors. Once they were opened, it was time to locate our seats. This place is a beautiful venue for any type of concert, all of the red curtains and ornamentation was really something to see. Visited with some friends prior to the show and even ended up with better seats than we originally had thanks to some of those friends — third row!
Soon the lights dimmed and the opening act came on stage — a group called Eleven-Seven (I think). They were a full piece band and very talented. They also had another young local singer come out to perform then ended off with very patriotic music. It was very interesting sitting there knowing that all you were hearing was being heard live on the radio. The opening band even sang the Kroger commercial, very cool!
After a brief intermission, it was time!!! The curtains opened and there was the new band and the man himself, looking fine in his black leather pants, black shirt, and black jacket with the pink stitching. As usual, at a Marty show, they hit the ground running. There’s no way I can remember the order or all of the songs, but there were some old favorites, “Burn Me Down,” “Tempted,” “High on a Mountain Top,” “Long Black Veil” and, as is custom now, ended with “Hillbilly Rock.”
He sang some new songs he had written with Paul Kennerley. All of them were very good and very well received by the good-sized crowd. He introduced the new band members and highlighted two of them. Kenny Vaughan new lead guitarist, performed a song he had written called “Walk Like That.” It was a good song and had some really hot guitar picking in it! Harry Stinson the new drummer did a Marty Robbins song, that I can’t for the life of me remember, but he does have a very nice voice. Brian Nolf the new bass player did some harmonizing but no lead on any songs.
Marty asked how everyone liked the new band and they got a nice round of applause, and he said something to the affect, “Well, I guess we don’t suck!” But I suspected, and was right, that this band would have a lot of talent, Marty knows what talent is and makes the most of it. During the encore, he thanked the band and Connie who had appeared in the wings of the stage. They announced a Meet and Greet after the show for “card carrying” fan club members!
There were quite a few people in line, I think we could have had a fan club part right there. The line went smoothly and not too slow, but Marty did take his time to talk and visit with each and everyone of us! When my turn came, he delighted me by recognizing me, and when I mentioned I had been at the Carter Fold show we talked some about that. He seemed very much relaxed and at ease!
Several fans wandered out to the lobby and discussed getting a midnight snack somewhere. By the time we decided where to go and hit the sidewalk, from our left came Marty and some security people, he was headed to the bus, but took time to turn and wave and say goodbye to everyone.
It was truly a great show, it was an experience to be the first audience to see the new band. Hope everyone else gets a chance to head out and see them all soon. I think you’ll be pleased!