Country star Toby Keith
ended his concert Saturday night at the Teeter Center in Mansfield, Mass., with these words: "I'll never apologize for being a patriot." This after an unabashedly pro-military encore, which included classic Keith songs "American Soldier" and "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" which he sang in front of military personnel he pulled onto the stage from the crowd below.
Check out my photos from the show!
Keith is the first guy I ever interviewed in country music, and what you see is what you get with the former roughneck from Oklahoma. (That's someone who works on an oil rig by the way). Keith has an amazing connection with his audience and kept up a steady stream of no-holds-barred dialogue between performing his hard driving brand of country music. At one point, Keith proclaimed, "I don't sing many love songs, so let's get this over with" and that's about the only time he slowed down. Somehow his covering Ted Nugent's "Strange Hold" at the end of the show did not seem out of place.
The uber-confident Keith does what he wants, pulls no punches and takes the fans along on a great ride. As far as I could tell, no one sat down for the entire two hours! And on multiple occasions, Keith insisted he is not about politics, but simply pro-USA and a supporter of those who devote their lives to ensuring our freedom. Its not an empty proclamation -- Keith has a rare devotion to the troops, playing not just in large secure bases overseas, but often to small groups of soldiers close to the front lines. Somehow all the pyrotechnics and confetti and clever videos of his stage show do not overshadow the fact that this is a guy who genuinely loves what he does and loves his country.
Blogs & Video:Early Show Extra: Toby Keith (June 20, 2007)
Country Star In The City (June 20, 2007)
Official Web Sites:Toby Keith
Big Dog Daddy Tour
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