The Dude on the Right
A Concert Review
To her million-plus fans, she is simply Reba. To the rest of the
world, she is a singer/actress/mom/40ish year old named Reba
McEntire. But whether a fan, or the rest of the World, you will
always have to admit that this lady will never just put on a show,
she performs a show.
A warm August night brought Reba McEntire back to the Chicago
area, no more Poplar Creek this time (I really, really,
reeeaaallllyyyy miss Poplar - I'll get to that later), she was at
the cavernous cave called The New World Music Theatre. She brought
dancers, she brought a Taxi Cab, she brought a talented back-up
band, she brought a stage set that looked straight out of the Prince
"1999" video, she brought a platform that ascended over
the crowd, but most of all, she brought a performance that shows who
the hardest working woman in country music really is.
Arriving in a taxi for the opener "Fancy," Reba blasted
her way into a show full of action, tears, excitement, and touching
songs that hit everyone's heart at one time or another. She threw in
some older classics: "Whoever's in New England,"
"Cathy's Clown," she hit on some newer classics: "And
Still," "She Thinks His Name is John," and "Is
There Life Out There." She had me wanting to grab my cellular
phone and call my dad and tell him I love him on "The Greatest
Man I Never Knew," and she had the 30,000+ people giving a
standing ovation for the floating stage over the audience during the
duet with Lynda Davis, "Does He Love You."
The night was filled with Reba performing to just about
everything that everyone could want to hear, although if that were
truly the case she would have had to been up on stage a hell of a
lot longer than 2 1/2 hours. But she did some cutesy things, like
her "tribute" to the movies she was in, from "The
Little Rascals" to "North," even to
"Tremors." Yep, that's right, Reba McEntire was in that
great movie called "Tremors," you know the one where the
big snakes eat the people in the desert. As this big giant snake
exploded from out of the stage, I was thinking to myself how I
couldn't believe she didn't get an Oscar for that one. Alright, that
was a cheap shot, I admit, and she really isn't that bad as an
actress, but performing on stage shows her true talent, and it
showed this night.
Well, what do you think Reba gets? Hard to tell, huh? Yep, Reba
McEntire and her entourage of entertainers all get TWO BIG OL'
THUMBS UP!!!! They all put on one hell of a great show no matter
what that one guy from some big ol' Chicago paper said.
Oh yea, why I miss Poplar Creek. Reba has a great voice, but
unlike a loud show where muddied voices blend with the music, the
echoes of The World Music Theatre drown out her lyrics. Thankfully I
knew the words anyway, otherwise it would have been a very long
evening. Poplar, on the other hand, before being reduced to rubble,
had great acoustics, no echoey cave sound, and it was a hell of a
lot easier to park. Enough rambling.
Opening for Reba was a great entertainer in his own right - Toby
Keith. He knows how to work the crowd, and he sure is a lot of fun.
He even gives little lessons about what that whole "pealin' the
label" thing is all about, and knows that a Sox jersey on the
south side will get anyone applause. Yep, Toby is coming up quick
and he gets TWO THUMBS UP as well.
And if that weren't enough, opening for Toby Keith was Rhett
Akins, another up-and-coming star. He too works the crowd well, and
doesn't hide behind his microphone or monitors. Good Luck Rhett,
keep up the good work and you'll go far. For the night though, ONE
THUMB UP is what he gets. Time will probably get the other, but for
now it's just too soon to call.
Another day, another dollar (don't I wish!) But, let's do the
drill: Party Smart, and as always, Rellim Reeb, Rellim Reeb!!!!!!