Monday, August 18, 2008

Tearin Up The Town!

"Don't ever apologize for being patriotic!"
Those were the concluding words of Toby Keith to his overflow audience Saturday night at the Susquehanna Bank Center where Toby and Montgomery Gentry gave fans three solid hours of rip-roarin country music. And we were front and center for the whole extravaganza.
Toby was the headliner and he ended his string of hits program with Courtesy of the Red White and Blue which he sang with a full contingent of military personnel standing by his side. We're not talking generals and top brass here. We're talking ordinary GI Joes and Janes - the ones who do the heavy lifting, the grunt work.
Toby was backed up by his Easy Money band in front of a huge screen projecting an image of the performance and Toby's many videos. And the stage was set up like a Ford truck complete with a multi-level grill and huge headlights. Add to this ample pyrotechnics and shooting stars, streamers and confetti and you've got the prescription for a raucous country program that kept participants partying well into the night.
But I've got to admit it: Montgomery Gentry's opening act set everyone up for a night to remember. Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry know how to evoke a full range of emotions with songs like Back When I Knew It All, My Town, Lucky Man and That's Sumthin To Be Proud Of. This pair works so well together that it's hard to figure out where one ends and the other begins. Sometimes it's Troy turning on the charm and Eddie oozing macho. Sometimes, it's the other way around. When Gentry flashes his grin his choppers project the spotlight to the far reaches of the venue. And when Montgomery twirls that microphone stand around, hold onto your hats.
So many people were on hand to enjoy this high-energy evening (including the Eagles' Big John Runyon who sat a few rows behind us) that the audience enthusiasm was contagious.
After it was all over we headed back to Cherry Hill and waited for our hearing to be restored while enjoying an post-midnight chocolate sundae at Ponzio's famous diner. Quite a night!

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