Fans who went to Intrust Bank Arena on Thursday to see Blake Shelton because they love him as the affable judge on “The Voice” weren’t disappointed.
Neither were people who went because they love Shelton’s country hits like “Boys ‘Round Here,” “Honey Bee” or “Mine Would Be You.”
Those who went hoping that he’d bring famous girlfriend Gwen Stefani on stage like he did a few nights ago in St. Paul – those fans were disappointed.
But the 8,000 who turned out for Shelton’s concert seemed to cope just fine.
Shelton, who last was in Wichita for a brief cameo on stage with then-wife Miranda Lambert in May of last year, delivered a show similar to the one he brought the last time he headlined in Wichita in October 2013.
He performed mostly the same songs, straying from the last time’s set list to offer up singles from his newest album, “If I’m Honest,” including his most recent hit, “Came Here to Forget.”
He also brought back the sense of humor that makes him popular with his television fans, pausing between songs to joke and goof around.
The singer, wearing blue jeans, a blue button-up shirt and boots, sipped from a plastic cup throughout the show and repeatedly expressed amazement that so many people had come out on a school night.
“It’s Thursday, and this many people are here?” he said in his signature Southern drawl. “Y’all did call in sick tomorrow already, didn’t you?”
Shelton also spent some time showing off his vocal coaching skills, offering a critique of the crowd’s sing-along ability.
“I am a coach on ‘The Voice,’ so I don’t know. I have to do it. I just have to say it,” he said.
On the upside, he said, the crowd’s collective voice had good pitch, and as singers, they kept a decent beat.
“No wonder Martina McBride is from this area,” he said, as the crowd cheered. “I get it now.”
“But man, when it comes to the tone of y’all’s voices, it’s not like Martina. And this is the part that’s gonna upset you. … You know what it is, and this is ironic because Kansas is flat, but I’ll be damned if y’all don’t sound like a bunch of hillbillies,” he shouted, and tore into his hit “Hillbilly Bone.”
Also on the set list: “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking,” “Ol’ Red,” “Neon Light,” “All About Tonight” and “Austin.” He also performed “She’s Got a Way With Words,” a biting breakup song from his new album that some fans have speculated could be about his ex, Lambert.
He closed the show with a cover of “Footloose” and one of his fan favorites: “God Gave Me You.”