Concert Review: Toby Keith at Sprint Center

Because he’s a ka-jillionaire whose product is mostly shoveled by Wal-Mart and is therefore in no position to sell out anyway, I don’t know why it surprised me that Toby Keith, that big ol’ hunk of American angus, opened his Friday-night Sprint Center show with a seven-minute Ford commercial.

Or that hearty Ford logos bedecked his tailgate-themed stage set.

Or that this stirred reverential whoops from the breasts of an audience more like constituents than mere fans.

“Selling out” is a 20th century notion, and now that the bailout’s behind us, Keith naming his “American’s Toughest Tour” for America’s Toughest Truck is tantamount to patriotism.

Toby + flag = a boot in Prius’ ass.

And just as with truckbeds, the ad’s length didn’t hurt, since it took shots at prissy boy bands and showed us Keith — iconic and thickly-sketched, a cartoon of himself — quite literally performed feats of strength. Plus, there were explosions afterward. But even if he’d skimped on the fireworks and had followed it up with a pitch for pudding pops or Amway or something, nobody would have given a shit. Only way he could piss these fans off is if he went Taliban or let a Dixie Chick come first.

What didn’t surprise me was the love in the room.

Categories: Music