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Juice leaves crowd wanting more

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I was pleasantly surprised, but not in love Monday night with "The Queen of Hearts."

Just a week ago, I could not have told you who Juice Newton was or how she was connected to the music industry, but now I can. My friends offered their own renditions of "Angel in the Morning" and "Queen of Hearts" to help me.I had no idea what to expect when I entered the SCERA Shell. Just the atmosphere was a new experience. About 500 people representing every age group were waiting on the grass for Juice. It really was a community theater - complete with little children rolling down the hill in sleeping bags. The atmosphere was fun, real casual and kicked back.

When Juice ran out on stage in a light-blue tank top, red miniskirt and red pumps, the audience did not react too much. They just kept right on reading their books, doing their crossword puzzles and engaging in conversation.

She started out much too slow. She needed to capture the audience's attention away from their toys and other paraphernalia that accompanied them to the concert.

She sang a few songs I was not familiar with, as well as the title track, "The Trouble with Angels," off her new CD. At this point the crowd began to set aside the books and goodies from the cooler to listen to some good ol' music.

Throughout the whole concert, I felt like I was waiting for her to pump up the volume and play "my songs" - those I knew before I bought the greatest hits CD.

Then, after slowing it down even more and playing "Ride 'Em Cowboy" off her greatest hits CD and some new songs, came "my songs."

First was "Love's Been a Little Bit Hard on Me," followed by "Angel of the Morning" and then "Queen of Hearts," and then it was over?

Just when the audience was having a good time, she stopped.

She said, "Thank you so very much" in a hoarse country-kind of voice.

By this time, the crowd had put their bookmarks in their books, set aside the snacks, stood and begun to shout, "JUICE, JUICE, JUICE." The crowd wanted more Juice; she had not quenched their thirst.

Of course, she ran back on stage for an encore number of "The Sweetest Thing." And then she left.

As we were walking away it was announced that you could meet Juice Newton and get an autograph, so I got in line.

All in all, I left the concert in a good mood. Every now and then I'll probably listen to "my Juice songs" off my "prized CD" with the autographed cover, when I want to be reminded of a fun night.