The Cinch World’s Toughest Rodeo was back in St. Paul at the Excel Energy Center for 2 nights. I can’t speak for Friday night’s show, but Saturday was a packed house and had 2 hours of thrilling bareback riding, saddle bronco, and bull riding as well as ladies barrel racing. Throw in the clowns, cowboys with bullwhips, pistols, lassos and an appearance by trick rope champion Rider Kiesner and it was a great rodeo. The audience consisted of all ages, many wearing sequined hats and jeans. The music played during the rodeo spanned all tastes from Country Western to Rap. Sitting close to the field, I was amazed at the size and strength of the broncs and bulls in particular. The announcer said they averaged 2000 pounds and when they got close, it seemed like that was conservative.
In addition to the unbelievable skills of the cowboys and cowgirls, highlights of the evening included mutton riding, where young girls rode sheep bareback and were awarded points for style and length of ride. One young lady was 3 years old and did really well. Another highlight was a heckler in the crowd who was called out by the announcer and given a gift certificate, but only after dancing. The rodeo clown commented a bleach eye rinse was in order to remove that scene. He was correct.
Another highlight was Rider Kiesner, a 4-time world champion trick roper. He started his portion of the show with a flaming lasso and performed some awesome fiery rope tricks. He handed the lasso to someone on the sideline, who appeared to catch fire. The fire was quickly put out and he continued to do some more jaw dropping tricks with various numbers and sizes of lassos.
After Kiesner’s performance, the top 2 riders in each of the events went head to head to determine the champion for each event.
On Saturday night only, after the rodeo, Dylan Scott and his band performed. The “Party on the Dirt” is part of a promotion with K102, whose contest winners got access to the dirt dance. Non-winners were able to listen from the stands.
Scott and his band had a lot of energy and the audience really enjoyed their performance. Scott covered the entire stage and even went to the far sides and the back of the stage to acknowledge the fans with less than perfect views. It was an enjoyable set. He spent time talking to the audience on various subjects including Justin Bieber, brushing your teeth and showers. The shower discussion being the longest, when a young woman in the front row admitted to not showering for days. Not your normal concert conversation, but it may start a new trend.
Overall a very fun night and I will look forward to returning next year.