Keith still as good as he ever was
Toby Keith is known, for the most part, for two things: kick-ass country music and unashamed patriotism.
He has no need to apologize for the former and no interest in doing so for the latter, either.
During a powerful 90-minute set Friday night at the Marcus Amphitheater, Keith rolled through a catalog of hits that helped contribute to his status as the most played artist on the radio during the 2000s. Opening with "Bullets in the Gun," from his most recent album of the same name, all the way through to "A Little Less Talk (And a Lot More Action), Keith's Summerfest headlining show was a non-stop sing-along for those in attendance.
Keith kept the chatter to a minimum, stopping briefly to thank Milwaukee for welcoming him, again to inquire about the alcohol content of the beer made here (No, Toby, we don't sell 3.2 beer in these parts) and once more, to give the law enforcement community a shout-out before rolling into "Beer For My Horses." Oh, and of course there was a nod to the Packers.
With as may hits as Keith has under his belt, there was no need for chatter anyway.
Surprisingly, Keith avoided much of his most recent work. Aside from "Made in America" (during which footage was shot for the upcoming music video) and "Get Out of My Car," he briefly sampled from his 1999 "Don't Make Me A Bad Guy" ("God Love Her") but other than that, stuck to the classics.
Not that anyone seemed to mind.
His booming voice, however, did struggle at times in the Amphitheater. Yet the Easy Money Band still provided more than adequate support for Keith's acoustic licks and powerful vocals.
Now let's get to the patriotism.
Critics claim that Keith is the typical country star who wraps himself in the flag in order to appeal to his fan base. Keith, though, doesn't flaunt it.
Sure, many of his lyrics have a slight tint of jingoism but he doesn't hide from the fact that he's the son of a veteran who instilled a sense of pride in his country in his children.
"Don't ever apologize for being patriotic," Keith said, closing the show with his two most American numbers.
Several times during the evening, Keith made mention of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday and while many in the crowd waved American flags during the concert - especially during "Made in America," there wasn't the slightest hint of phoniness.
Along those lines, the slowest portion of the evening came during the encore, which Keith opened with "American Soldier" and finished with his trademark Fourth of July anthem, "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue."
Opening act Eric Church was impressive in his show, which checked in at just under an hour. While Keith represents the period of transition in country music – moving away from the traditional guitar and banjo and more towards rock and pop, Church represents the future of the genre.
Sure, there were boots, but the cowboy hat gave way to a ball cap. The button down shirt gave way to a low-cut t-shirt. Appearances aside, Church's deep voice was the perfect fit for his particular brand of intense, Southern rock and the Amphitheater went crazy when he wrapped up his portion of the evening with his hit "Drink a Little Drink, Smoke a Little Smoke."
Setlist, Toby Keith at the Marcus Amphitheater
July 1, 2011
- Bullets in the Gun
- American Ride
- Talking About Tonight
- Made in America
- Whiskey Girl
- Just Talking Bout Me
- God Love Her
- Get Drunk and Be Somebody
- Somewhere Else
- Who's Your Daddy
- Good As I Ever Was
- I Love This Bar
- Should Have Been A Cowboy
- Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again
- Get Out of My Car
- Beer for My Horses
- How Do You Like Me Now?
- A Little Less Talk
- American Solider (encore)
- Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (encore)
And now all these rednecks are at Wal-Mart getting ready for their 4th events by buying a ton of crap made in COMMUNIST China. Yee haw, 'Merika "F" Yeah! Smart as yogurt!
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