Brooks and Dunn Last Rodeo
BROOKS & DUNN: THE LAST RODEO
September 2, 2010
After two decades of making music history, Brooks & Dunn ended their
record-breaking career with a concert finale that benefited the Country Music Hall
of Fame and Museum-thereby helping preserve the history to which the duo's
music and legacy now belong.
"This is not a funeral, we did show up to party," Kix Brooks announced
early in the concert. Without naming names, he thanked those in attendance who
helped create their success-including songwriters, band and crew members,
and many others. In a nod to the band's legions of fans, he concluded, "Most
importantly, to the people who paid our rent for the last twenty years, all I can say
is, 'Thank you."
Ronnie Dunn, for his part, paid tribute to Nashville, the city where the
duo moved to pursue solo careers, met through a suggestion of a record label
chieftain, formed a partnership, and found such great success. "I love it here,"
Dunn said. "There's nothing like it. You go all over the world, and we have been,
and there's no place like this place right here."
Over two hours of music, Brooks & Dunn drew from nineteen years of hits,
including early #1s "Neon Moon" and "Boot Scooting Boogie" to standouts "My
Maria," "Believe," and "Red Dirt Road," which Brooks deemed "my favorite song
we ever wrote together."
The night's only guest appeared when Reba McEntire walked out near
the end of "Cowgirls Don't Cry," to sing a closing stanza and hug her longtime
friends and touring partners. Four U.S. Marines, in their dress blues, marched out
during "Only in America," which ended with two cannons filling the arena floor
with bursts of red, white, and blue streamers.
The two both cracked jokes about why they were breaking up. Brooks cited
his penchant for crazy concert ideas and telling long-winded stories onstage; Dunn
quipped that it was over his on-going jealousy that Kix was the member who got to
wear a cowboy hat.
While they included a few rarities for the special occasion, the duo focused
on a lengthy catalog of hits that gave them such a long, celebrated career,
highlighting the same rousing country rock, revved-up honky tonk, and soulful
balladry that turned them into the most successful duo in popular music history.
They ended with "Brand New Man," the duo's first single, and first #1 hit, from
1991. "We love you," Dunn shouted at song's end, as the two took plenty of time
to wave and bask in the prolonged standing ovation that continued long after they
left the stage.