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Concert Reviews:
- Brooks & Dunn - July 31, 1998
- Joe Diffie - May 4, 1996

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Brooks & Dunn
with Joe Diffie and Wade Hayes

A Concert Review

October 14, 1995

The Rosemont Horizon

Rosemont, IL

A Review by
The Dude on the Left &
The Dude on the Right
Archive Photo
Kix Brooks
The Dude on the Right
It was country night at the Rosemont Horizon, with a triple bill of Brooks & Dunn, Joe Diffie, and Wade Hayes. Yeeeee Haaawwwww!!! Yeppur, I pulled on my cowboy boots, dusted off my ten-gallon hat, and rode my horse to nearby Rosemont where the planes spooked the horse, then he threw me into a ditch, where I was rescued by this cute nurse who wanted to go to the show but she didn't have a ticket! So, what was I to do? Well, I left her by the roadside because if all I'm worth is a concert ticket, then I'll go find someone else cheaper. If you believe that story, in the immortal words of a great country song, I've got some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you!! Anyway, on with the review.

Brooks and Dunn know how to put on a show! Yep, to entertain the crowd while the stage was being made ready, giant balloons were tossed into the crowd. I found it odd, but the crowd didn't, so I guess it was cool. And then, the lights went down, the cowheads lowered, and Brooks and Dunn arrived to the thrill of all in attendance. It was a night of hits on a stage reminiscent of a desert scene, complete with a fading sunset and all!!

Now, for you non-country folks, Brooks and Dunn both wanted to be solo artists when some brilliant individual in Nashville probably said something to himself like "A goof ball with a voice, Mr. Serious with a voice, let's put them together on stage and see what happens." What happened was a great mix of talent and entertainment that has brought the guys multiple duo of the year awards, and some 13 number one hits. But, on top of that all, they put on one hell of a show, and I really forgot that as goof ball-ish Kix Brooks is, he sure can sing a ballad with the best of them from his heart. Ronnie Dunn, however, is much of the front-man, belting out "Brand New Man" and all the other hits with a voice with just enough hint of twang to bring back that older country sound.
Archive Photo
Ronnie Dunn

I like the show, and from the response of the crowd, they did too. From the soulful rendition of the Eagle's "Best of My Love," to Mr. Brooks donning a Chicago Wolves jersey, making his way into the first mezzanine, swingin' on a rope back to the stage and the quickest running start into a guitar riff I have ever seen. I think they make a great pair, and the crowd seemed to think so too. I give Brooks and Dunn TWO THUMBS UP!!!

Prior to the duo there came a man named Joe Diffie. Oozing confidence while strolling on-stage to the tune of "Third Rock of the Sun," Mr. Diffie used every trick in the book to entertain the crowd. From using sing-a-longs, bright lights, and songs that either touch your heart or maybe make you laugh, he is far worth his entertainment dollar. He had the crowd almost crying during "Ship That Don't Come In," but then blew the mood and brought back the laughs. He used his band members great, spotlighted them when necessary, and even played a little ZZ Top, although it sounded slightly out of his range. Even though, a great entertainer and even an encore, Joe Diffie gets TWO THUMBS UP from me!!!

Whew! And if that weren't enough, prior to the Joe man there was newcomer Wade Hayes. We'll keep it brief, like his set, but to keep it plain and simple, Wade needs to loosen up. Take a lesson or two from Joe and the B&D boys - be confident, utilize your audience, and don't be afraid of the front of the stage - the women will catch you if you fall. Many a time during his set he beckoned the crowd to get wild, then turns his back while the band kicks in. Work the crowd, smile, wave, and the crowd will follow. Sorry, although musically talented, the entertainment value makes a concert, and Wade Hayes only gave a SHRUG of entertainment value in my opinion. Get out there and have fun - country fans will love you!

Now, if that all wasn't enough, there was the entertainment of the lady sitting behind us. I hate to throw personal stories into these reviews (!!!), but some women should not be allowed to drink alcohol. Basically, the story goes - lady complains to me and my partner that we don't look like we're having fun, and if we don't like country we shouldn't review the show. Contrary to her opinion, we both love country, and as much as The Dude on the Left is my friend and all, I refuse to get up and dance with him. During most of B&D, this is all we hear between songs. Finally, the crowd comes to their feet, and we do to, where she proudly boasts "See, I told you you'd like country!" Then she drags my partner and starts dancing - much to the seeming dismay of her large husband. Now, that's all swell and all, but the bitch left early. Pardon my language, but for a lady nagging the entire time how we aren't having any fun, leaving before the encore seems like a slap in the face. Oooh, we have to leave early so we can get out of the parking lot. Well, too bad, don't drive, take a horse like me and the other dude!!! Enough ranting and raving.

Stay tuned, we have much more to come this semester. Party Smart, and as always, Rellim Reeb, Rellim Reeb!!!


Archive Photo

The Dude on the Left
Did you ever notice that every year Christmas seems to start earlier? Nothing worse that walking through the mall in June and seeing Santa sitting in his photo chair. Well this year a strange thing happened... Halloween came early. That's right, it was Halloween night at the Rosemont Horizon on Saturday the 14th of October. I was pretty disappointed with the originality show in peoples costume though. Every one was dress like a cowboy. There were Caballeros (Mexican cowboys), Rednecks (American Cowboys), and a type of cowboy I've never seen before. What do you call a 5'4" man from Japan wearing lizard boots, black ironed Wrangler jeans held up by a belt with a ten pound buckle, a denim shirt, black hat, and coke bottle bottom glasses. I call it hilarious. I will say that I did enjoy the women's choice of costumes. Painted on black denim jeans and boots are a real turn on for me. I haven't seen women so fine since the last Aerosmith concert I went too. At one point during the night a woman accidentally wacked me in the back of the head. I turned around and saw a woman dressed to the hilt and very drunk. She leaned over to apologize and offer me a beer. I was wearing ear plugs so I hard to hear what she was saying. I had to get very close in order to her. This was made difficult by her large bosom which was thrust into me. I said it was OK and sure I'll have a beer. She talked to me the whole night. I got quite an earful and eyeful too. At one point she even asked me to dance. I obliged. I took her hand in mine and placed my other around her waist pulling her in close. I was tempted to run my hand over her buttocks but she was sitting next to a really big cowboy. Really big. Shortly after we danced her man pulled her away and they left. Hey the night wasn't over. There was still another set coming. Oh... did I forget to mention this was a country music concert?

Rosemont's early Halloween night was a rocking and a stomping good time. First up was Wade Hayes. Wades only been on the circuit for two years now and still seems a little shy on stage. He gave a musically solid performance and showed genuine appreciation for the audience. I give Wade one thumb up.
Archive Photo
and Dunn

Joe Diffie came next. Joe's been pretty hot in the Country Music seen for the last couple of years. He played all his hits just like you hear them on the radio. He did mix it up a little by doing a rockn' cover of ZZ Top's "Tush." I like Joe because him and his band look like they're having fun on stage and that enthusiasm pours over into the crowd. Plus, Joe doesn't wear Wranglers. Nope, my boy stuffs himself into Levi's, and I mean stuffs. Hey Joe... Take some time off and call 1-800- 99Jenny. I give ol jelly belly Joe a solid two thumbs up.

The night ended with one of country's biggest duo's ever. It was the 13th number one album in a row duo of Brooks and Dunn. I really love these guys on the radio and being there that night I thought I was sitting in my car. With the exception of a soulful cover of the Eagles Best of Your Love ( which you can find on the Common Thread tribute album ) and Steve Thomas playing the fiddle from the hip, the show was musically boring. Brooks was a lot of fun to watch. He was all over the stage. At one point he disappeared and came running through the balcony audience wearing a Wolve's jersey. He was thrown a rope and swung back on stage. Way cool. Then there was his stiff long legged Wrangler wearing perfect hair and dimples partner Dunn. This guy comes off as a real phony to me. Forcing a smile while he gave the crowd a wink and shot his finger. God what a cliche'. During the night he related a sorrowful personal relationship story to the crown which lead too perfectly into a song. Nope, I ain't buying his bottled sincerity. Regretfully I can only give Brooks and Dunn one thumb up. I hope Brooks puts that thumb away for Dunn, if you know what I mean.


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