The ever-popular country music duo Big & Rich is comprised of Big Kenny and John Rich, both guitar playing singer/songwriters. Before their inception in 1998, Big Kenny Alphin was a solo artist while John Rich was a bass player/vocalist and founding member of the country group Lonestar. The two joined forces after meeting in a club one evening and started writing songs together. Now in 2018, they continue this bond by touring together with their band from town to town and state to state, and managed to find the road to Treasure Island Resort & Casino and tons of waiting fans.
The evening started with Minnesota-local Chris Hawkey. Being very familiar with Chris’ music and style, it was quickly clear that the crowd was hooked in from the very beginning. Early in the set, the band broke into the song ‘Northern Lights’ and the crowd exploded in roaring cheers. From start to finish, the set was executed with total precision, gathering huge response from existing fans and many new fans.
After a short break, the stage was set for Gary Allan. As the lights dimmed, Allan strutted onto the stage wearing a black leather jacket and his metaphorical heart on his sleeve. Allan proved to be a compelling musical storyteller, whose enduring romantic love songs, breakup ballads and even the refreshingly rare party tune were performed with emotional veracity. The mainstream country maverick seemed to gravitate toward songs with meaning, and he is able to make that meaning resonate with listeners. He didn’t spend a lot of time chatting up the crowd, but he was clearly intent ofnmaking a connection, continually roaming the compact stage to sing to different parts of the audience and tossing out dozens of guitar picks into fans’ eager hands.
Before Big & Rich took the stage, DJ Sinister mixed up some country dance tunes to help get the crowd pumped up into an up-beat feeling. Whether he was behind his turntable scratching up a mix or out front of the stage dancing it up, the crowd was standing in front of their seats and dancing in the aisles.
With the crowd all worked up and excited for the evening, Big & Rich took the stage announcing that they are “Comin’ To Your City” and bringing the party with them. As John stood behind his microphone stand playing his guitar, Big Kenny danced around the stage singing and reaching out to those directly in front of the stage.
Keeping the crowd on their feet, the guys get “Loud” before blending in with the AC/DC cover “Money Talks.” To pay tribute and honor to the late Tom Petty, Big & Rich covered the hit song “Won’t Back Down.” With the entire crowd on their feet and in a frenzy, Big & Rich rolled through their set with constant roaring cheers. The evenings set ended with “Rollin’ (The Ballad Of Big And Rich).” In all, as fans exited the venue there was a very pleasing buzz in the air.
Summer concerts are never better this year. Be sure to check out the full line up of Treasure Island Resort & Casino’s concert series online.