The Big Throwdown II Tour, Nissan Pavilion, Bristow VA, 7/9/05
Listening to Lee Ann Womack sing is like listening to a pure, angelic sound. Her voice is always on-target, whether recorded or live. It’s clear she was born to sing country music. Her fans know and love this about her, and it showed in tonight’s performance. Speaking of the loyal fans, who poorly received her CD released in '02 showcasing Lee Ann’s more pop looks and sounds, they now welcome her back with open arms after her latest release, There's More Where That Came From. Her stage set-up was simple: drums, rhythm, electric, bass, keys and fiddle. No flashy lights – just music, a beautiful voice, and great songs. In her Capri jeans and white baby doll top, it was easy to see that she really knows her audience.
Lee Ann opened her set with "Now You See Me Now You Don't," a fun little ditty about leaving a relationship. She then went into her more serious songs, such as "Two is a Crowd," in which she sings about a husband who supposedly 'works' too much, and a wife working up the strength to leave. It’s a very traditional country song, and of course, was an excellent display of Lee Ann’s vocal ability. She also did a great rendition of "I Got The Picture, She Got You." With its nice bluesy sound, it was one of my favorites. Who knew she had that much soul?!
Among the crowd favorites was "I’ll Think Of A Reason Later," a clever tongue-in-cheek song about a girl not liking the new chick in her ex-boyfriend’s life. Our girl calls her nemesis a thin little target, and sings about blacking out her teeth. She doesn’t know why she hates her, but she’ll think of a reason later. Something every woman, at one time or another, has probably shamefully experienced. Next came her current single on the charts, "I’ll Hate Myself In The Morning," in which the audience got to enjoy the surprise guest Jack Ingram who wasin the video and also sang on the song. Of course, her big closing was the all-time favorite song for her to beat, "I Hope You Dance." It was every bit the show-stopper that a final song should be. Now on to the headliner, the one who sold the show, Mr. Toby Keith.
I was surprised to see all the entertainment aspects of Toby’s show, which started with a video of aliens trying to fight with Toby, but in the end were just trying to steal him and get him to sing. Toby, of course, escaped – by driving his Ford (who sponsored the tour) off the space ship. There were loud and bright fire works on the stage, and a huge band: Toby on acoustic guitar, plus two electric guitars, slide, bass, drums, a trumpet, trombone, sax, and background singers. Horns for a country singer? Who knew?! The set had a Ford truck coming through the back wall, and guitars were sent down from the top of the set each time he needed to change them out.
As for the crowd, they went wild when he came on stage. He has extremely loyal and devoted fans. I saw several military uniforms in the audience, which was fitting, as Toby is known for his strong support for our troops.
He started the show with "Red White, and Blue," while red, white, and blue fire works went off. He then went on to sing "What Happens in Mexico," followed by his hit song "I’m Just Talking About Tonight." Toby had the crowd hanging onto -- and singing along with -- his every word.
Toby didn't do a ton of new songs; he sang what the crowd wanted to hear and what they paid to hear. His hits! Including "Talk About Me," "Ain’t Much Fun Since I Quite Drinking," and one of my favorites, "Should’ve Been A Cowboy." This one he changed up a bit from the recorded version. He made it interesting by performing it with a hint of reggae, which was very cool.
Toby’s fans would have camped out all night to hear him sing. They did not want him to leave the stage. By the end of the night there were plenty of beer drinking, boot wearing, screaming fans to encourage two encores!
-Janenne Remondino, guest reviewer
Find Toby Keith Tickets: See the tour & form your own opinion!