If you saw country superstar Toby Keith’s “Locked and Loaded” show at SPAC recently, you were treated to a truck-load of catchy songs with great lyrics that were backed by a high-energy, rockin’ band.
But, you were also continually slapped in the face with some blatant advertising – starting with a commercial video on the huge screen at the back of the stage pitching the Toby Keith limited edition Ford F-150 pick-up truck. Evidently, this was all part of a “Made In America” campaign that Keith was spearheading with his tour.
It’s no secret that country musicians are the most patriotic vocally, and Keith is at the head of that pack. He capped off his nearly two-hour-long performance with a tribute to the American soldiers, pulling two military personnel up onto the stage to join him for the encores of “American Soldier” and “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American).”
It’s also true that so many country songs deal with the expected topics of whiskey, beer, getting drunk, women, cowboys, guns, tractor-trailors and, of course, pick-up trucks. Keith’s powerful and tuneful voice covered all those topics and more with songs like “Whiskey Girl,” the opening “Bullets in the Gun,” “Beer for My Horses,” “I Love This Bar” and “American Ride.”
Earlier in the evening, J.T. Hodges and Eric Church opened the tour by covering some of the same countrified topics with much shorter sets then Keith’s.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk