I wanted to experience a Big & Rich time, and that is not exactly what I got at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sport Centre last night.
Although not sold out, the crowd was certainly having a good time. My husband (who isn’t a country music fan) agreed the show was very good & his reasoning was simple – they played a rock show verses a country music show, adding more classic rock songs to the stage than country in a series of guitar melodies & cover tunes. Gretchen Wilson did a brilliant version of Hot Blooded that had the crowd singing along with her. It appears her vocal talents are wasted on honky-tonk styled songs when you hear her perform bits from Janice Joplin & Foreigner.
As for Big Kenny & John Rich, their performances were both entertaining & solid. I hoped that with a repertoire which includes many excellent acoustic & melodic pieces that they would have performed one or two of them (Holy Water or Deadwood Mountain), but they stuck to what they felt the crowd wanted to hear, starting the show with the tour’s title song Fake ID (a duet with Gretchen Wilson), and ending with an extended version of Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy. The only caviet to this song set was Gretchen Wilson’s dialed down hometown country favourite tune called Angel from Montgomery. Here is Bonnie Raitt’s version:
I have to admit that although the show was excellent, I was disappointed I didn’t get to hear the music I expected to hear from such a talented coupling of artists. Gretchen Wilson could burn a house down if she really wanted to with power chords as veins in her tiny body & the Big & Rich team have the duet, tongue-in-cheek cowboy rocker thing down to a science. I’m a rock chick from the 70’s, but I came out last night for a country show and left more deaf than satisfied with my preconceived expectations.