Went to the Toby Keith Leann Womack concert yesterday, dubbed the Big Throwdown II Tour, sponsored by Ford of course. Five of us went, and we completely missed the opening act, Shooter Jennings, who apparently is Waylon Jennings’ son. For you those of you who are not country-savvy, you might still know Waylon Jennings for the theme to The Dukes of Hazzard. We decided to blow off the opening act to enjoy some beers in the surrounding courtyard area instead because there was a nice cool breeze out there and it was just an awesome evening weather-wise. But when Leann Womack came on, we all rushed to our seats. She was terrific as an opener, and finished with Ashes By Now, probably my favorite of her songs. Then there was a break as they set up the stage for Toby, and it was just enough time for me to take a bathroom break and grab another $7 beer (geez). Toby then comes out in a spray of confetti, fireworks and lightshows which made me think of the beginning of Pure Country where George Straight comes out and performs to a stadium crowd which totally goes against his country roots. I began to wonder if Toby Keith had gotten too big and lost touch with his Oklahoma roots too? Thankfully he has not. The rest of the concert was just good old fashioned hard driving patriotic country music. The concert made me realize how many of his vast collection of hits are really great drinking and partying tunes. There was just hit after hit after hit. He played a funky reggae rendition of Should’ve Been a Cowboy which reminded me of ’94 when I went to St. Thomas and I remember getting all excited when somebody picked that song for karaoke. Cowboy music with a touch of the islands. Very cool. The rest of the concert Toby mainly stuck to the harder songs and stayed away from his slower stuff which kept the crowd into it from beginning to end. He did Beer for My Horses with a video of Willie Nelson accompanying him. Then there were a group of 3 soldiers- two girls one guy, in the front who they showed on the screen before Toby played The Taliban Song and everybody gave them a standing ovation. The soldiers were moved, and that in itself was moving. Then the show wrapped up, and Toby came back out for a two song encore. First was American Soldier and they showed the 3 soldiers on screen again, and they were singing along with all their might and that got me pretty choked up. I don’t care if they were invited to sit up front just for that effect, I’m a sucker for that patriotic stuff. So I was really brought to my feet when he finished with Courtesy of the Red White and Blue under a shower of red white and blue confetti. The whole concert had a real good vibe. It makes me wonder if there’s ever been a fight at a country concert; it’s such a family atmosphere. I joked to one of my friends that I bet we’d be able to count on one hand the total number of Asians we’d see that night. Sure enough, the final count was four. But one of them was me, and another was working concession so really there were only two. Still, I didn’t feel out of place in the least, again because everybody was so friendly out there. I had already intended on trying to catch Brooks and Dunn when they play there in September, but then we got a shock when we saw a little advertisement taped to one of the walls- Brooks and Dunn will be appearing with Big and Rich! Holy smokes. I just searched the internet and see that they have some concerts scheduled together, but PNC is not yet listed as one of them. But if it’s true, that’s gonna be one of the biggest country concerts ever to come through these here parts. That will be a must see. Now if only Big and Rich could drag Gretchen Wilson out here too. btw, have I mentioned lately that there’s nothing cuter than a girl in a cowboy hat? It’s a great look, that’s for sure!