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ISSUE 116 VOL 13 PUBLISHED 3/7/2003

Keith flaunts 'country pride'

By Anonymous
Contributing Writer

Friday, March 7, 2003

“Country came to town” Saturday in the form of a six-foot-four inch country artist named Toby Keith.

The Target Center attracted roughly 13,000 country fans to hear this angry American rant and rave about the Taliban, delight in gettin’g some action and hear Keith advocate justice.

For those who have not heard Keith’'s music, but may have heard of his song “"Angry American”" that was vetoed for an ABC Independence Day telecast, one may have the wrong impression of Keith who, in actuality, does more than ferociously express his pride in America.

Keith, the 2001 Country Male Vocalist of the Year, celebrates the fun things in life. Proof of his humorous attitude was seen just prior to Keith entering the stage.

Keith'’s mascot, a bulldog, who sniffs his way down the streets, occasionally stopping to pee, was shown on the videoscreen. Like the bulldog, Keith emerged as an unleashed dog ready to take on the night.

Keith sported a patriotic outfit wearing a red bandanna, white jeans and a jean jacket. Keith however, did not perform like his “Big Dog” attitude portrayed in his recent album "“Unleashed,”" where the songs are often labeled as chauvinistic by fans.

Keith did not rev up the crowd in the first half of his two-hour-long performance, since he spent most of the time standing in front of the microphone and casually meandering around the stage.

However, some fans did not seem to mind what Keith did because they simply enjoyed singing along to every song. Singing songs such as “"I Wanna Talk About Me,”" “"Beer for My Horses”" and “"Who’'s Your Daddy"” gave the crowd plenty to sing about.

“"I enjoyed Toby'’s performance because he is a vibrant performer and because all of his songs are so upbeat," Danielle Fackler ’'03 said.

Keith broke away from his tough side and made time during the middle of his performance to sing two of his more quiet and passionate songs, “"My List"” and "“Rock You Baby."” “"My List”" expresses the sometimes overlooked parts of life, not written on our to-do lists. The chorus, “"Go for a walk, say a little prayer, take a deep breath of mountain air, call up my folks, just to chat, its time that I make time for that," showed the softer side of the larger than life Keith.

Finally, emerging from the quick lull in the concert, Keith let his emotions out of the doghouse. Keith passionately sang “"Angry American,”" while strumming to his guitar painted like the American flag.

The crowd rose from their seats and remained on edge throughout the entire song. A giant American flag decorated the screen behind an excited Keith. Fireworks dazzled the crowd after the popular line “"we’'ll put a boot in you’'re a--, it'’s the American way,”" followed by a constant stream of red, white and blue confetti.

Nothing could quiet the crowd after such a compelling and aggressive song. After Keith disappeared from the stage, the crowd demanded an encore, and soon faced Keith’s egoist side as he played “"How Do You Like Me Now"” as his final song.

“I really appreciate Toby’'s openness with his emotions and opinions,” Blake Olson ‘'04 said.

Saturday night’s performance was not the first for Keith in Minnesota. Keith was a headliner performer at WE Fest last August in Detroit Lakes, Minn., and will revisit the WE Fest arena again this summer.

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