Gary and the "gang" rock out Nissan Pavilion

Sept. 13, 2006, midnight | By Elsi Wu | 17 years, 2 months ago

Rascal Flatts delivers electric performance for sold-out crowd

You know you're at a country concert when cowboy boots, hats, and Daisy Duke's are just staples of the regular attire. Armed with burgers, beers, and big voices, all of the area's hillbillies were out in full force in Bristow, VA to celebrate the reigning group in country, Rascal Flatts.

With an aptitude for powerful ballads such as their hit single "What Hurts the Most" and catchy rock-n'-roll infused tunes like "Me and My Gang," Rascal Flatts is on the road again promoting their latest, already multi-platinum album with the Me and My Gang tour hitting 38 cities across the U.S. and Canada.

The Bristow show was opened by country veteran Gary Allan who himself has released two back-to-back platinum albums. The sold-out crowd warmed up to Allan's smooth tunes including a country radio favorite, "Nothing on but the Radio" as well as his latest single "Best I Ever Had." Unfortunately Allan's performance didn't differ much from simply blasting the car radio. Except for one very impressive guitar solo by Allan's lead guitarist, but even that seemed excessive after a few minutes. Overall, Allan's performance was a little lack-luster and it seemed like people couldn't wait to get up and grab some grub when the set was over.

The crowd's excitement really hit the roof when the lights dimmed and the stage erupted in a flood of warning lights and sounds. The boys emerged from behind a silhouette and immediately launched into "Where You Are," a song from their last album "Feels Like Today." The song choice was questionable, considering the single is neither on their new album nor a top tune on Rascal's last album. Nonetheless, the staging made up for the song choice with choreographed pyrotechnics and waterfall images to accompany the lyrics "You're a waterfall washing over me/I'm a thirsty man let me drink you in."

With the audience singing along to every word, Rascal then performed "Love You Out Loud," a hit from their sophomore album "Melt." After a heartfelt shout-out to the Bristow crowd, Rascal really kicked into the rock-n'-roll vibe with "Me and My Gang," the single after which the tour is named.

The group's front man, Gary LeVox, expertly worked the crowd to keep the energy at a soaring level, while guitarist Joe Don Rooney and drummer (bassist and pianist) Jay DeMarcus broke out into solos. The group's jaw-dropping chemistry was the most impressive part of the entire show, especially when Jay and a back-up drummer faced off in a friendly showdown by playing short blurbs from rock classics such as Aerosmith's "Walk this Way" and AC/DC's "Back in Black."

Rascal Flatts also performed several moving ballads which are the bread and butter of their albums. During "Skin," a song about a leukemia victim finding her first true love, the crowd used cell phones as makeshift lighters, filling the entire theater with blue lights.

Another crowd favorite was "What Hurts the Most," Rascal's most popular single from their latest album. The song was set up by a short clip from the music video, depicting a young girl breaking down because of a relationship gone sour, very representative of the lyrics "What hurts the most/Was being so close/And having so much to say/And watching you walk away."

The show as a whole was a huge crowd-pleaser. From the songs to the playful onstage banter, Rascal Flatts made it clear that they are country's biggest band in both album and concert sales.

The band wrapped up the show with their remake of the classic, "Life is a Highway," recorded for Disney's "Cars." The ending was right on point, featuring a song with a catchy chorus, "Life is a highway/I wanna ride it all night long/If you're going my way/I wanna drive you all night long," and the classic country star signoff: a quick, sincere tribute to God and our men and women overseas. From the staging, to special effects to the band's electric performance, the show could not have been better.

Elsi Wu. Elsi Wu is really a middle-aged, obese Italian man. A perky CAP junior who lives for ESPN, Superbowl Sunday, Poms, and food, she watches Friends and Oprah RELIGIOUSLY along with any Redskins/Maryland games (you know, normal activities for the average obese Italian man). Instead of … More »

Show comments


No comments.

Please ensure that all comments are mature and responsible; they will go through moderation.