Article by UCN contributor Cheryl Walker.
Rascal Flatts brought their show to town with all the fun and games of the midway at a fair complete with a shooting range, mini golf, a dunk tank, face painting, exhibits, a prize wheel and a karaoke challenge to keep folks of all ages entertained before the evening performances. The Flatts Fest at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA on June 18 was the first of many scheduled across the country this summer.
First to perform on the main stage was Justin Moore who reminded me of a caged tiger as he paced the stage with purpose and intensity. When he wasn’t grabbing hands he was grabbing our attention with poignant lyrics to songs like ‘If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away’ and ‘Small Town USA.’
Easton Corbin came out next with his down home country charm and George Strait voice. He seemed content to stay in his comfort zone behind his guitar singing several of his own hits (see set list) and covering Brooks & Dunn’s ‘Put A Girl In It.’
Sara Evans added some much needed glamour and femininity to the show. She had to walk carefully in those high heels. She confessed her fear of a “Shania Twain moment” (falling) with the hazardous combination of heels and a slick, shiny stage. Yet Evans managed to maneuver quite well if not cautiously and often reached out and connected with her fans as she sang through a number of her famous songs.
Amid smoke and flashing strobe lights Rascal Flatts emerged through three separate doors, descended stairs and proceeded to three different drum sets for the intro which led into opening number ‘Why Wait.’
Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus looked mighty sharp in their black and white color coordinated outfits but the evening was all about the fans filling the pit and lining the stage frequently reaching out to the Flatts boys. Eager fans were rewarded for their adoration and enthusiasm with high fives, handshakes, winks and nods.
As the show progressed Rascal Flatts gave tribute to their early musical influences. DeMarcus played piano and sang Michael McDonald’s ‘Taking It To the Streets.’ Rooney played guitar and sang Stevie Ray Vaughn’s ‘The House Is Rockin” and Vince Gill’s ‘What the Cowgirls Do.’ But it was LeVox who got the crowd to sing along on his solo of the popular Stevie Wonder song ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered.’
Sara Evans ventured on stage to join Gary LeVox for a lovely rendition of the song ‘Easy’ from Rascal Flatts’ album Nothing Like This and Lionel Ritchie joined the boys via video magic for their encore performance of ‘Dancing on the Ceiling.’
For the latest news on Flatts Fest, please visit www.rascalflatts.com