Country music fans in the Chicago land and greater Midwest area felt the magic this Friday night at an incredible Reba McEntire performance, featured specially at the Horseshoe Casino’s The Venue in western Indiana. While the casino itself was full of guests looking to hit it big at the slots or simply enjoy the locale’s fine dining, a considerable number of people had their sights set on seeing country music legend Reba as part of her national tour. More details and information regarding the Horseshoe can be reached here via their official website.
One of The Venue’s most anticipated shows this entertainment season was indeed Reba McEntire, who appeared on stage — to the cheering and palpable excitement of her many fans — this Friday, May 16, at 8 p.m. I had the delight earlier this weekend to attend the show, and in Reba’s own words, was taken through her iconic voice and impressive history into her own musical journey with my fellow audience. While the evening at The Venue was memorable in and of itself, the fun didn’t stop there — I was also able to enjoy my brief stay at the Horseshoe Casino for a few hours through other activities as well.
As a longtime resident of the south suburbs of Chicago, the hour-or-so drive out to the Horseshoe passed quickly. Parking was readily available in the casino’s lots, and before my mom and I knew it — as a major Reba fan, I was looking forward to making the show a belated Mother’s Day gift for her — we were inside the large, lavish landmark. We managed to make it to our destination with a few hours to spare prior to the performance, so my mom and I grabbed a bite to eat and tried out luck gambling before hitting The Venue.
Unlike our last visit to the Horseshoe, I was prepared this time to accommodate our dining wishes. Having made a reservation for two at the exclusive Jack Binion’s Steakhouse (be sure to do so if you plan on eating here, as there is frequently, in my experience, a long wait without one), my mother and I enjoyed a first-class meal while overlooking a stunning view of Lake Michigan. We shared a fresh Caesar salad and fried perch dinner, which certainly hit the spot. Our taste buds more than fulfilled, we then returned downstairs to play the slots.
Flashy and teeming with life and energy, the Horseshoe’s casino is enough to keep anyone happily entertained. Having some fun on the nickel machines for an hour or so was a blast, and though we walked away empty-handed — my mom was able to break even, at least — the experience only made me anticipate our next visit to win that money back all the more! At around 7:30 p.m. or so, we both decided it was time to make our way to The Venue.
While this may be my second time at the Horseshoe Casino’s hottest entertainment scene now, it still managed to take my breath away. The spacious design of the stage and auditorium — in addition to perfectly set lighting and sound effects — makes the overall audience experience an altogether positive and enjoyable one. Finding our seats was no problem at all thanks to the warm and helpful greeting of escort personnel. The excited vibe only made my mom and me feel more enthusiastic for this show — I could almost feel my fellow country music fans ready to celebrate this special night with singing legend Reba.
Prior to the performance, I also had the pleasure of speaking with a couple of guests and even Mr. Feeley, The Venue’s head of entertainment, about the upcoming event. Audience members told me how much they had been looking forward to seeing Reba, as she had been around “for years” and was a reminder “of country music’s great roots.” Mr. Feeley also mentioned that having the honor of hosting Reba McEntire was a “huge show for The Venue,” as it provided them an opportunity to welcome a relatively new group of guests to the site — country music fans especially — and what’s more, the show was SOLD-OUT, a testament to its value.
Shortly after 8:00 p.m., cheering erupted in the auditorium as the band appeared on stage, and a moment later — following a brief video montage of the star’s long history in both music and film — Reba herself appeared to thunderous applause. The atmosphere was on fire, and many of us began to sing along as the legend, wearing a light, flashy silver shirt and black cowboy boots — opened the performance with her hit single, “Can’t Even Get The Blues No More.”
Let me tell you, while Reba McEntire may now be 59 years old, the country music legend still looks great, and her voice is iconic, powerful, and moving as ever. She soon followed up her opening song with “Fear of Being Alone,” and I couldn’t help but smile to see my mom beside me following along with the rest of the captivated audience. Reba then warmly welcomed us to The Venue, and said how thankful she was for not only her impressive career, but for her supportive fans. She told audiences how she wished to take us along with her through that varied career by singing some of her hit songs throughout the decades of the 80s, 90s, and now — and take us along she did.
From her stunning voice to her lighthearted presence on stage and amiability with her band mates, Reba is every bit of a fun firecracker in person as she has always appeared. Some of her other hit songs she included in last night’s repertoire were “Where Were You?” and “Somebody Should Leave,” as well as a lively rendition of “Walk On!” From her mentioning of her appearances in country music videos, duets with stars like Kelly Clarkson, and extensive history that boasts time on Broadway and television shows, Reba McEntire truly is a woman of the ages. Even after she said goodbye for the night, a request for a lively encore from her many fellow fans was enough to bring her out one more time, capping off a perfect performance. Suffice to say, I believe that this is one Mother's Day gift my mom won't soon forget.
Reba’s national tour isn’t over yet, so if you haven’t caught one of her recent performances yet, you’re not out of luck. And for more entertainment and late-night fun, remember to always keep the Horseshoe Casino in mind. The Venue always has a remarkable lineup of performers, comedians, and musical groups in store, so be sure to check out what they have to offer for your own tastes and style (you can do so here). For that night or even a weekend away from stress and work, prepare yourself for a time of fun, risk, and reward at The Venue and the Horseshoe Casino in Indiana.