Whiskey For My Men...
In the area of their stateside base, the soldiers will tell you that there are only two kinds of music: rap or country… and since country was the only music acceptable to all of the car’s occupants, the Guys would usually pop in Toby Keith’s “Shock and Y’all”. I have said in more than one forum that the indelible image seared in my brain for all time is of these four young soldiers singing with commitment from “American Soldier”, “Oh, and I don't want to die for you, but if dyin's asked of me…” It’s still a very emotional song for me and I tear up every time I hear it.
It was that immersion to Toby Keith’s music – together with the Guys’ pure merriment whenever they sang “Whiskey Girl” or “The Taliban Song” -- that made me a fan of Toby Keith. I have since purchased a number of his other CDs and enjoy all of them. It was a no-brainer for me when I saw that he would be touring through Phoenix and I purchased tickets for DH and me to his concert last night.
We wore shirts I made that said “Damn Proud American Soldier’s Mom" (and Dad) with our son’s picture on it and some info on his Division and unit.
As expected, it was a crowd looking to have some fun and to be treated to a show – which TK surely provided. Now, I know that Toby does not need any more cheerleaders, but he played for two full hours -- after two opening acts, including a delightful set by Lee Ann Womack -– and it was a kick ass show. The audience ranged from the very young (3 or 4 years old) to the very old (70’s)… and there sure were a lot of pretty young things there with the short skirts, short tops, low-low jeans (welookedlikethatonce, welookedlikethatonce), and, of course, boots and cowboy hats everywhere!! I was fortunate to have a number of other women my age also willing to whoop it up, dance and sing along – with husbands who not only enjoyed the music but were secure enough to enjoy all us wives having a great time… and their daughters seemed only mildly embarrassed that their moms knew all the words and could dance like that LOL. (Note to young men looking for gorgeous all-American girls that know how to have a good time: go to a country music concert.)
Throughout his show, Toby Keith acknowledged and paid respect to our troops – even changing words in songs to salute their sacrifices – and also saluting fire, police and rescue personnel who put it on the line every day to keep us all safe. He performed his “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” and “The Taliban Song” and received huge cheers each time – and he received an especially loud cheer when he reminded the audience passionately not to listen to those nay sayers – “WE ARE THE GOOD GUYS AND DON’T FORGET IT!” He talked of his more than 60 USO tours around the world to entertain our troops and how much he admired the soldiers and reminded the audience that the soldiers were ensuring that they could come to concerts like his and live our lives in freedom. He asks everyone to symbolically raise their glasses to those that keep us safe during “Beer For My Horses” as he (and Willie Nelson via video) sing “We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces…”
And the very last gesture of his evening was when the four wives of the soldiers we had met earlier in the evening held up their hand lettered sign, “OUR HUSBANDS ARE IN IRAQ” and Toby came to the end of the stage near them (they were 20 rows from the stage on a side angle and about six rows in front of us) and first he saluted them, then bowed and blew kisses. The audience went absolutely wild!
So Toby, hats off to you… You are not only a great showman, but also a true American Patriot. We'll be back to see you again – but next time with one or more of our Guys in tow!
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