This past Friday, the Big Dog Daddy himself, Toby Keith, brought his current Interstates & Tailgates Tour to Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. It was a hot night just outside of Cleveland and it was about to get even hotter!
The wonderful Brandy Clark opened the show with songs from her debut album, (“Stripes”), songs that she had penned for other artists (Miranda’s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow” & “Biscuits”) and material from her newest album, Big Day In A Small Town. This was my first time experiencing Brandy’s live performance and I will most definitely be seeking out an opportunity to see her again! If you are yet to be familiar with her music, give this gal a chance (Video: “Three Kids No Husband”)! Brandy could’ve absolutely fit in with the ladies of 90’s country like Martina McBride, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Terri Clark!
I’ve seen Toby Keith perform a handful of times over the years, but tonight would be extra special for me. Though having attended many concerts at this venue, I had never actually been inside the pavilion at Blossom Music Center. What a difference in comparison to the lawn!
Toby made his way to the stage after his yearly intro/Ford truck video played on the large display screen. Keith kicked the night’s set off with “Haven’t Had A Drink All Day,” “American Ride,” “Made In America” and “Beers Ago.”
Toby’s setlist for the evening read like an all-time greatest hits track listing. Whether it be early songs, such as his debut single, “I Should’ve Been A Cowboy” to his breakout single, “How Do You Like Me Now?” and his latest, “A Few More Cowboys,” Keith made sure to cover it all. Toby even slowed it down for a bit to play some of his lesser performed love songs from the mid 90’s. I’ve seen Keith perform five or six times, but had only experienced “Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine On You” once before Friday night. It’s easily one of my favorite songs from Keith, so it was awesome to hear it again. “Who’s That Man” was also a special treat.
Of course Toby played all of his concert favorites. The crowd loudly sang-a-long with “Red Solo Cup,” Who’s Your Daddy?” and “I Love This Bar.” The standout moment of the evening, however, had to be Toby’s tribute to his friend and mentor, the late Merle Haggard. Keith put together a medley and video including a handful of Haggard essentials. “Mama Tried,” The Fightin’ Side Of Me,” “Silver Wings,” “Okie From Muskogee” and more were performed as the crown stood to sing the legendary lyrics back to Toby. What an incredible experience!
Toby continues his Interstates & Tailgates Tour through October 18th, wrapping up in Austin, TX.