Sunday, January 18, 2009
I Fail At Rascal Flatts
I thought it would be fun. Boy, was I wrong.
I have deep admiration for the shiny gloss and technical perfection displayed on Rascal Flatt's hits. I happily sing along to their songs when I monitor country radio in my car. Yet until last night, I'd never seen them perform.
It's going to take some time to recover.
Their concert Saturday night at the Sprint Center was excruciating.
Just how bad was it? I witnessed almost 300 live music performances in 2008. In the 18 days of the new year, I've already caught 15 live acts. I disliked Rascal Flatts' effort more than any of those shows. In fact, the last time musicians made me so miserable was during Shania Twain's dismal concert at Kemper Arena in 2003.
It's not that Rascal Flatts didn't try. Their light show and extended stage were impressive. And the band gave it their all. Yet the aggressive blandness and shameless pandering- "I see some of the greatest country music fans in the entire world"- rubbed me the wrong way.
But what do I know? I was seated amid a sea of ecstatic twelve-year-old girls and delirious gay men. They loved it.
"I thought black was supposed to be slimming," a man seated next to me hissed as opening act Jessica Simpson strutted across the stage in a tiny black dress.
Whatever. I thought she was gorgeous. And she can sing.
Simpson's obvious charms, however, are poorly suited to an arena setting. She could be a spectacular cabaret singer in the tradition of Peggy Lee and Marilyn Monroe. I'd happily pay top dollar to see her perform in a small club.
Rascal Flatts? Not so much.
(Here's a proper review of the concert.)