Lyle Lovett at Flintfields
By Sarah Ward, Staff Writer
If I had a boat
I’d go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I’d ride it on my boat…
(Lyrics of Lyle Lovett’s popular song “If I Had a Boat”)
Then if I had some hills
I’d call up Lyle Lovett
And if he called me back
I’d have him sing right there…
(The Flintfields version)During a conversation two years ago with the Elk Rapids News, Karin Flint, owner of Flintfields in Williamsburg, shared some of her vision for additional uses of her beautiful property. At that time, Horse Shows by the Bay has already become a tour de force in northern Michigan. But Karin still saw her property as having endless potential. One such dream was to have Karin’s favorite singer/songwriter, Grammy-Award recipient Lyle Lovett and His Large Band perform right there in Flintfields.
So after much preparation and a strong will to make that dream come true, Karin made it happen and it was a beyond amazing magical evening. So this past Friday evening ticket holders of the first-ever concert event to be held at Flintfields had the opportunity to hear the clever lyrics, genius musical talent and vocals of “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band,” as they rolled over the moonlit hills of a new concert venue. Local resident Lynn Bauer shared, “This was my first visit to Flintfields and I am thrilled to have such a beautiful venue for concerts so close to Elk Rapids. There was plenty of parking, a lovely, relaxed setting, and exiting went quickly and smoothly. I look forward to attending more events at Flintfields!”
Venue visionary Karin Flint said, “It was an incredibly special evening filled with amazing music, a crowd thoroughly enjoying themselves with good food and in a beautiful place to take it all in.” Before the start of the show, Lyle jumped at an opportunity take a ride on a horse inside the show ring that was right beside the stage. For spectators entering the area it was a surreal vision, a true southern cowboy riding his horse before the start of his show. Both Karin and Lyle Lovett expressed their thanks for the loan of the horse from the owners and local residents Tom Pierson and Rachel Ory. “He was so excited to have the chance to ride, he virtually ran to his tour bus to put his riding boots on,” Karin shared.
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band played creative songs for three delightful hours, with a genuine and a true downhome delivery. Lyle recognized each member of his band in such a way that the audience truly felt the gratitude and respect that he has for his fellow performers that accompany him on stage and on the road. Tent Venue and Porterhouse Productions worked tirelessly in the blazing sun erecting the clamshell tents and quaint stage to create a classy yet relaxing environment. “Supporting Karin in her vision and in her efforts to bring arts to our region is very important because she supports our area by investing in such events like this,” commented Sam Porter, owner of Porterhouse Productions. The rapt audience, many of which who danced and swayed to the tunes, would surely second that opinion as voiced by Elk Rapids resident, Rob Ford, who said he “thoroughly enjoyed the concert and hoped it is the first of many to come.”
Karin was “over the top” about the entire evening even mentioning the absence of trash left behind by the audience. She literally had chills when she went to assist with cleanup efforts and saw that everyone was so incredibly respectful and left “nothing, absolutely nothing,” behind, not even in the parking lot. So if you have a boat, a pony or a dream and you want to see it happen, never give up hope and maybe, it just might happen.