The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 20, 2014

What is this strange sound?

By Joe Malan, GetOut Editor
Enid News & Eagle

— Enid Event Center, you’ve made me a country music fan.

Maybe I shouldn’t go that far. But Enid Renaissance Project’s crown jewel certainly has allowed me to explore the opposite end of my musical “spectrum.”

Allow me to explain.

I didn’t listen to much country — any country, really — until I got married. My wife, Michaelene, is a huge country music fan. Her two favorite artists are Luke Bryan and Chris Young.

Let me pause by inserting a shameless plea to Enid Event Center and Global Spectrum: Bring Luke Bryan to Enid! I don’t really like Chris Young, so you can forget about him for the time being.

(Now I hope my wife doesn’t read this column. I’ll probably be in the doghouse sooner than I want to be.)

But seriously, it’s crazy how going and seeing music performed live can change things. When I was going to college at Valparaiso University (Bryce Drew ... remember him, basketball fans?), my musical tastes were geared toward the trance/dance music scene.

What the heck is trance music, you ask?

Let me fire off a few names: Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten.

If you recognize even one of those names, you get a big golden star for the day.

Since graduating from Valpo in ’08, my musical tastes have shifted quite a bit. Gone are the days of sitting for hours and hours at my computer listening to Atb and Bt, and occasionally Ludacris every now and then. Now, when I actually get the time, I’m listening to everything from Daft Punk to Lorde to Major Lazer to Randy Houser.

Which brings me back to country.

I never thought there would be a chance in you-know-what that I would start listening to country music. I mean, it was country. All they talked about in those songs were three things: a) drinking b) losing your wife/girlfriend and c) losing your dog.

But times have really changed. Granted, there probably are a few songs floating around out there that deal with b) and c), but country music speaks a lot more to me now than it used to. Now, I see country music as about getting together and enjoying life — having a beer, sure — but taking risks, not counting the minutes of your life and just going out there and giving it your all.

But I have my wife and the event center to thank for helping me make that discovery.

Just look at the acts that have been brought to Enid: Gary Allan. Justin Moore. Randy Houser. David Nail. Eli Young Band. And now, Darius Rucker.

I understand a lot of people would like to see more rock bands come to town (that’s a topic for a different column), but those are some pretty heavy names in today’s country scene.

Taking a look at the names of these artists, that corny phrase, “Build it, and they will come” sticks out in my mind. It might be corny, but that’s the truth. It’s been great for Enid for these country artists to come.

And it’s been great for my musical palette, as well.

Now, Global Spectrum, about Luke Bryan ... or Florida-Georgia Line ...

Joe Malan is entertainment/copy editor at the News & Eagle. Email him at