Diamond Rio, who debuted in Rexburg over 20 years ago, when the gro was called the Tennessee River Boys, performed at BYU-Idaho on Friday, April 4, for students and locals in the John W. Hart Auditorium.
Over the years the gro has earned three platinum albums, won the Country Music Association’s Vocal Gro of the Year award four times and placed 32 singles on the Billboard Chart.
The band’s mandolin player, Gene Johnson, said despite the 20-year gap, the performances were similar experiences and that “the crowd was amazing.”
“It was one of the most entertaining concerts I have ever been to,” said Marisa Black, a junior majoring in university studies.
Several students on campus grew listening to Diamond Rio.
“I have known Diamond Rio since I was a youngster, I grew listening to country,” said Brian Hayes, a sophomore studying electrical engineering.
The band promised the crowd they would play all of their favorites. They started with the hit “Unbelievable” and continued with “One More Day,” “Beautiful Mess,” and “Mama Don’t Forget to Pray for Me.”
In addition, they played a few bluegrass versions of ’70s rock songs including “Layla” and “Carry On My Wayward Son.” Lastly, the gro played songs from their newest Christian album.
Diamond Rio recently signed with the faith-based record label, Word Records, to produce a Christian album. The album is titled “The Reason” and was released in 2009.
“The country fans have embraced the Christian album,” said Jimmy Olander Diamond Rio’s guitarist.
The band has always chosen to sing positive lyrics, so the transition from country to Christian was not too difficult. The difference is in the song writing.
With “The Reason,” the band did not seek out top songwriters but instead wrote about their own experiences with faith. Dan Truman, the band’s keyboard player and the only Latter-day Saint in the band, gave some advice to BYU-I students looking to share their beliefs.
“It doesn’t matter what your passion is, the depth of your knowledge will come out in any arena. It takes more than going to church. People have to see it in you,” Truman said.
Dana Williams, the band’s electric bass player, even snapped a picture of the crowd on his phone and said he would post it on Twitter.
“I was really surprised, they seemed really down to earth,” said Whitney Mickelsen, a junior studying nursing.
Diamond Rio will continue their 2012 tour until September.