ME & MY GANG TOUR 2006... By Janelle Landauer
Featuring Blake Shelton and Rascal Flatts
February 18th, 2006 - Lincoln, Nebraska - Pershing Auditorium
After making fans wait outside in below zero weather for more than 45 minutes, fans were finally able to enter the auditorium. Blake Shelton took the stage at 8:30 p.m. though he was originally scheduled for 8 p.m. Shelton started the night off with "Redneck Girl" - a Bellamy Brothers cover song. Shelton then sang his smash hit "Some Beach." Shelton does a great job up on stage, although he does have quite the foul mouth. The highlight single that Shelton performed was his hit, "Austin." The fans seemed to embrace him well and sang along to his radio hits. Another great thing about Shelton's show was his performance of "Ole Red." This is the true side of Blake that we've all come to know and enjoy. All in all, Shelton did pretty good.
Rascal Flatts came out at 9:25 debuting with "Where You Are" from their "Feels Like Today" album. The Flatt boys sure have went high tech since I first saw them in 2000. The start of their set was really nice with a countdown 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1... The guys are set up behind the curtains shadowing through as the curtains drop.
I must say it is AWESOME to see Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney up front singing on a couple songs. Usually the background vocalists are just that, but finally that is not the case. Jay and drummer Jim Riley battled off their "drumming" talents on "Hotel California" while Jay sang. Next Joe Don Rooney showed his flawless guitar abilities while singing "Liza Jane," - a Vince Gill cover tune. Jay also later sang the Elton John smash hit "Rocket Man" and did an extraordinary job vocally and on the keys.
Talk about a great show! After the guys sang "Mayberry" - part of the stage and the guys were whisked off to the rear end of the auditorium where the fans normally need strong binoculars to even see the guys. The stage at the rear of the audience was set high and they performed for the usually "unfortunate" nosebleed fans on that side. While over there, they performed "Sara Beth" and "I'm Movin' On."
During their set on "Here's To You," Gary brought a young fan on stage and let her sing little parts of the chorus. It was great to see the fans having such a great time and the guys of Rascal Flatts including their dedicated fans in the show. During the show, the guys also introduced a couple of their friends - the lead singer of the band Chicago and Josh Brown, who is a field goal kicker for the Seattle Seahawks. Brown was also a field goal kicker for the Nebraska Cornhuskers!
The guys regrouped for an encore of "These Days" and the cover song "All Night Long." I guess when you sell millions of records, you should be able to do what you want and they are --- from the fantastic stage layout to the confetti shooting out at the end --- Rascal Flatts have definitely come a long way. Over and over again, they show why they are the best group in country music today.
Special thanks to John @ echomusic!
Rascal Flatts Set List (9:25 p.m.)
Where You Are
This Everday Love
Love You Out Loud
What Hurts The Most
Hotel California (Jay on drums/vocals)
Liza Jane (Joe Don on guitar/vocals)
Don't Get Hooked On Me
11. I'm Movin' On
12. Rocket Man (Jay on piano/vocals)
13. Bless The Broken Road
14. Feels Like Today
15. Fast Cars & Freedom
16. Here's To you
17. These Days
18. All Night Long
Featured Artist: Rascal Flatts