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bluestocket
08-24-2003, 09:49 AM
Has anyone of you seen Toby Keith live recently? Okay, I don't have the chance to see him here, just read a cool review on the Internet. The ENTERTAINER of the YEAR doesn't seem to be able ever fitting the shoes of Garth or the Dixie Chicks at live concerts. What a shame :)

Weekend Reviews
Toby Keith unleashes a corny live show

By Michael Corcoran

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Monday, August 18, 2003

From the moment country hit-maker and Ford pitchman Toby Keith took the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater stage Saturday night, levitating from an F-150 pickup, to his final encore, 120 minutes had passed. But you couldn't really say Keith put on a two-hour concert. This set had more padding than a Dolly Parton look-alike contest at Oilcan Harry's.

Toby talked, mostly about how the current era of political correctness has encroached on his constitutional right to be a flag-wavin', beer-drinkin', gangster-lynchin' mullethead. He led unimpressive sing-alongs on numbers like "Shoulda Been a Cowboy" and "Let's Talk About Me" and took several breaks, most notably while singing "Beer For My Horses" and "Who's Your Daddy."

Those huge hits from his most recent "Unleashed" album were delivered as if Keith were being fed the lyrics from a TelePrompTer while wondering what's for supper. He restarted songs that had petered out and let his corny band (mimes cringed) vamp for way too long before a forceful encore cover of Merle Haggard's "Fightin' Side Of Me." Then there was that most felonious stalling technique -- the bass solo at the end of the "Shock N' Y'all" tour's accidental theme song, "A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action." Who let the air out? (Who, who, who, who?!)

But what really made this concert land with a thud was an acoustic series of "bus songs" with only Keith and his songwriting partner Scotty Emerick on stage. The segment started off promisingly enough, with Emerick, a fine singer, taking the lead vocals on "I Can't Take You Anywhere," which appears on his upcoming solo debut. If anything, it was a relief that Toby's horn section, whose choreographed movements just didn't look right without Afros and matching peach-colored suits, was taking a break.

But then the superpatriot from Oklahoma started talking about the aftermath of 9/11 while introducing the worst composition 12,000 or so people have ever heard at the same time. "The Taliban Song" was Seals & Crofts as Andrew Dice Clay, full of references to camel riding and veil wearing, with the middle finger in place of a point. Then, Keith and Emerick sang "I'll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again," a 30-second idea they stretched out to six or seven minutes. These "bus songs" belonged on the stage like Top Ramen noodles on "The Iron Chef."

Although he sunned himself on Jimmy Buffett's deck with "Good To Go To Mexico," an atypical Calypso-flavored tune, Keith basically has three kinds of songs. There are the jingoistic jingles that have made him infamous in some circles, the boogie numbers like "When Country Comes To Town" that have made him rich and the love ballads that made Saturday's crowd predominantly female.

Surprisingly, it was the slower songs that worked best in concert, with Keith airing it out on "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like That" and "My List" like the country radio god that he is. The "Angry American" anthem "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," delivered with the required emotional commitment, was also a standout.

Too often, however, it was all just a bunch of sound coming from the stage. The horns were shrieking, the two backup singers were wailing like Merry Clayton on "Gimme Shelter," the rhythm section flogged, the guitarists flailed and Keith struck a macho pose. But there was little punch to any of it. "How Do You Like Me Now?," once a rhetorical question, called for an answer Saturday: not much.

kristen166
08-24-2003, 10:31 AM
It would be hard to out do Garth's live show, but I am not saying it can't be done.

I would love to see Toby Keith live, I think he is great.

Can't stand the Dixie Chicks, I never could really stand them. I think a lot of artist out do them in a live show.:)

Kristen

TrishaNGarthFan
08-24-2003, 11:02 AM
I've seen toby probably five times in concert, and he's great! Much, much superior to the chicks in concert. Oh...someone who I really don't care too much for but has the Garth energy in concert...is Kenny Chesney.

Sue


It would be hard to out do Garth's live show, but I am not saying it can't be done.

I would love to see Toby Keith live, I think he is great.

Can't stand the Dixie Chicks, I never could really stand them. I think a lot of artist out do them in a live show.:)

Kristen

ProducerJ
08-24-2003, 01:09 PM
I haven't seen Toby either, but I read an equally bad review on him the other day... I can't remember where...

He's campaigning hard for the CMA Entertainer of the Year nod, doesn't sound like his stage show is living up to the hype.
J.

GriggsGarthGirl
08-24-2003, 04:55 PM
Toby's been getting a LOT of bad reviews lately. Here's one from About.com's country site--http://countrymusic.about.com/cs/concertreviews/a/aa081803a.htm

Have ya'll seen his latest video? I think there are a couple scenes in there that are a whole lot more objectionable then anything in that Rascal Flatts video. They show a guy opening a duffle bad that has a human head in it. Nasty. For someone with a target audience of 7 year olds that's a bit much. Then there's the shot of the drag queen in the bathroom. And most objectional of all is the blatent Ford ad near the end. Think he might be coming towards the end of his 15 minutes, which he's already dragged out too long.

Honeybunny31
08-24-2003, 11:52 PM
I saw Toby in concert last year!! I thought he was great..

As much as they travel and play every nite, they are bound to have off nights... even though I never heard of our guy having one....lol

Take Care,

Lisa

allisonv7
08-25-2003, 12:17 AM
I was never much of a Toby Keith fan till I saw him in concert, in my opinion he puts on a great live show and while I still don't like his music like I love some others' I know when I go to one of his concerts its going to be a great time.

allison.

p.s. i'm crossing my fingers he'll be at farmaid!

DixieChick4GB
08-25-2003, 08:00 PM
I saw Toby a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed the show. It sounds like some of these reviewers don't like him to start with. If you like him like I do, you will naturally like to hear him singing and like looking at him. :)

BTW, I also saw the Dixie Chicks and I feel that their Top of the World show was the best concert I have been to in years. It was quality from beginning to end an top to bottom.

Elaine

Zack
08-25-2003, 09:46 PM
I think DixieChick4GB hit the nail on the head. If I saw Garth on his worst night ever, he would still rock simply because of my bias. However, if I saw David Bowie on his best night, it would still suck, again, due to my preconcieved bias.

Critics in all genres of entertainment know how to milk current situations for all thier worth, and right now, Toby is open game. Several years ago, it was Garth. A few years from now, it'll be someone else.



P.S. The Chicks stage for this years tour has to be one of the best concepts I have ever seen.

charter9
08-25-2003, 10:43 PM
I think DixieChick4GB hit the nail on the head. If I saw Garth on his worst night ever, he would still rock simply because of my bias. However, if I saw David Bowie on his best night, it would still suck, again, due to my preconcieved bias.

Critics in all genres of entertainment know how to milk current situations for all thier worth, and right now, Toby is open game. Several years ago, it was Garth. A few years from now, it'll be someone else.



P.S. The Chicks stage for this years tour has to be one of the best concepts I have ever seen.

I'd have to agree with this assessment. Based on these quotes from the review, it sounds to me like the reviewer started his assignment with a pretty big chip on his shoulder concerning Toby:



Toby talked, mostly about how the current era of political correctness has encroached on his constitutional right to be a flag-wavin', beer-drinkin', gangster-lynchin' mullethead.




But then the superpatriot from Oklahoma started talking about the aftermath of 9/11 .....




There are the jingoistic jingles that have made him infamous in some circles, ....


Of course, while I do really like Toby and his music, I'll be the first to admit that he seems to have a chip on his own shoulder about certain things! ;)

PRINWOO
08-27-2003, 10:48 PM
I've read and heard some really not so nice reviews about Toby's shows from some of my contacts. I attended his show at the begining of the month with his new stage, it was good, I wouldn't vote him entertainer of the year based off that show.

But that's my opinion, everyone else I know that attended that show is still amazed by it. I also have to admit that I am a hard sell when it comes to concerts. Working in the venue industry, it is very difficult for me to switch from work to pleasure. I get very easily distracted and start noticing security issues and possible guest concerns while attending shows. I know, I'm weird.

Not counting the fact that I was verbally abused by three dozen former Dixie Chicks fans because we wouldn't refund their tickets, love'em or hate'em the Dixie Chicks put on the best show I've seen this year.

Toby was okay, he just really made me miss Garth.

JMR

ProducerJ
08-28-2003, 09:55 AM
Jessica! I've missed YOU! Good to see you! :)

This was in Brad's column this morning:

Not so angry: Toby changes his tune?

Toby Keith tells the Los Angeles Times that his hit The Angry American may not accurately portray his complex feelings on war.

''People think because of the song, I just bang the war drum at every chance but that's not me,'' he said. ''It's OK to be antiwar, until the war starts. Then you support the troops.

''Look, my stance is I pick and choose my wars. This war here (in Iraq), the math hasn't worked out for me on it. But I'm smart enough to know there's people smarter than me. (National security adviser) Condoleezza Rice, (Secretary of State) Colin Powell, George Bush this is their job, and I have to trust in them. I support the commander in chief and the troops.''

The story says that Toby then paused for a while before continuing.

''I was for Afghanistan, 100%. We got struck and the Taliban needed to be exterminated, but this war here, in Iraq, I didn't necessarily have it all worked out. It didn't work out for me. I know a tyrant is gone and all of that, but whether it was our duty to go do that, well, I haven't figured that out.''

GBheartandsoul
08-28-2003, 05:35 PM
Here's the full article from Tuesday's Los Angeles Times.

THE LESS ANGRY AMERICAN

By Geoff Boucher

As he sang the lyrics to his celebrated patriotic hit Sunday at Staples Center, red, white and blue confetti rained down on the curled brim of Toby Keith's cowboy hat and rocket-red pyrotechnics shot up past a video screen showing the Statue of Liberty. This was the Toby the crowd wanted and expected, the roadhouse patriot.

But a few hours earlier, in a hushed dressing room, it was a different Keith - one who talked about the increasingly onerous challenge of playing the uncomplicated man in complicated times.

Away from the firepower of the stage, this fighting man from Oklahoma said that he has decided to call a cease-fire in his ugly feud with the Dixie Chicks ("We had fun with it, but I'm just done with it"), that he still has lingering questions about the necessity of the war in Iraq ("Honestly, I'm still doing the math on that") and that he wonders whether the hit song, "(Courtesty of the Red, White and Blue) The Angry Americian," has typecast him ("People think I bang the war drum, and that's not me").

Keith spoke before playing to a packed audience, one of the rare evenings when cowboy hats outnumbered ball caps in the aisles of the downtown venue. The tour is called "Shock'n Y'all," as in "shock and awe," and the concert T-shirts iclude one style of camouflage. On stage, Keith is about as subtle as a rodeo - not only does he not mind his tour sponsor Ford parking an F-150 flatbed next to the drum kit, but he also points to it when a lyric mentions trucks. When he sings a song about the firepower unleashed onAfghanistan, he introuduces it as "a love song."

It's a different tone in his backstage conversaton.

"You know, a best friend of mine, the guy that started the first band I was ever in, he lost a 2-year-old daughter to cancer - this was just a couple of weeks ago," a somber Keith said. "A few days after I found out she didn't have long to live, I saw a picture on the cover of Country Weekly with a picute of me and Natalie and said "Fight to the Death" or something. It seemed so insignificant. I said, "Enough is enough."

Natalie, of course, is Natalie Maines, the lead singer of the Dixie checks, who felt the wrath of country music fans and radio programmers earlier this year when she expressed her antiwar sentiments by insulting President Bush from the concert stage. Maines also labeled Keith's "The Angry American" as "ignorant," instantly casting her and Keith as cartoon-simple rivals in Nashville and throughout the heartland.

Reflecting the beat of that constituency, the Chicks suffered boycotts and plummeting album sales. Keith, meanwhile, has cemented his position in the top tier of country music bestsellers, with a No. 1 debut on the U.S. pop album chart, a hot tour and the public praise of a president.

Much of it is due to "The Angry American," which skipped the mournful cadences or emotional pain offered by Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising" and Alan Jackson's "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" and instead essayed the pain of Sept. 11 as a roadhouse call to arms.

Blared from pickup trucks in the backwoods as well as armored vehicles in Baghdad, the song is reminiscent in its heartland ubiquity to "God Bless the USA," the soft-focus patirotic ode by Lee Greenwood that reflected a different ear and vibe in the 1980s.

"Alan Jackson's song was everything we, as a country, wanted to hear, and Toby's song was everything we wanted to say," said James Stroud, the producer of the song and also chief of the record label DreamWorks Nashville. Stroud was backstage at Staple watching Keith get ready for the show. "You know, he reminds me of a young Willie Nelson as a songwriter. He's that good. And that song is one people will remember a long time."

A song can shape a public persona too, and "The Angry American," Keith says, has also already typecast him in some ways. "People think because of the song, I just bang the war drum at every chance, you know, Go fight, join up, but thats not me," the 41-year-old said. "It's OK to be antiwar, until the war starts. Then you suppport the troops.

"Look, my stance is I pick and choose my wars. This here , the math hasn't worked out for me on it. But I'm smart enough to know there's people smarter than me. [National security advisor] Copndoleezza Rice, [Secretary of State] Colin Powell, George Bush - this is their job, and I have to trust in them. I support the commander in chief and the troops.

Keith took a long pause to consider his words, and then added: "I was for Afghanistan, 100%. We got struck and the Taliban needed to be exterminated, but his war here, in Iraq, I didn't necessarily have it all worked out. It didn't work out for me. I know a tyrant is gone and all of that, but whether it was our duty to go do that, well, I haven't figured that out."

Keith has, however, figured out how to please a crowd.

He is not as animated on stage as fellow Oklahoma native Garth Brooks, but like Brooks, he knows the potency of a saloon singalong tune, and "Good to Go to Mexico" and "I Love This Bar" fill the bill, while he nods to his influences by including a portion of "Fightin' Side of Me" by Merle Haggard in his how, as well as an extended take on "I'll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again," a playful song about willie Nelson's legendary herbal pursuits.

Keith's music is Charlie Daniels for a line-dancing crowd, but the influences of Jimmy Buffett, Lynyrd and the Eagle can be heard too.

The crowd-pleasing extends to a show-opening video montage that includes footage of Keith's Ford commercials (big cheers), his appearance on pro wrestling (big cheers), funny dogs and buxom women (biggest cheers), Peter Jennings (big boos - Keith fans abhor the television newsman because he reportedly bounced the singer from a network appearance because of "The Angry American") and...no Dixie Chicks.

In past months, Keith's show had included a concocted image of Maines and ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in an embrace. That and other Chicks slams have been excised.

Keith said he is weary of the entire topic now, but he won't completely forget it, either.

"People try to make everything black and white. I didn't start this battle. They started it with me; they came out and just tore me up. One thing I've never, ever done, out of jealously or anything else, was to bash another artist and their artistic license."

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Keith grew up on a farm, worked in oil fields and played semipro football before beginning his recording career a decade ago. His hardscrabble path made his victory sweet when he was named entertainer of the year by the Academy of Country Music in May.

He has worked hard and he bristles at the idea that his "Angry American" was commercially calculated for the times or that anyone, Dixie Chick or not, might not take him seriously.

"You're going to get some people say you're just standing in front of the flag for commercial reasons, but there comes a time when you get everything lined up, you've done everything for the right reasons, the song is true, the spirit is true, and they want it."

He pointed to the wall behind which thousands of fans were waiting for his show and his song. "And [i]they want it."

Seira:)

bluestocket
08-29-2003, 07:36 AM
LOL. If I didn't know Toby had no clue about politics he proved it right now when he mentioned Bush as being SMART. Oh PLEASE!!!!!!!
*blue*