by Robert Bell
8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $26-$60.
Even if you don't like Rascal Flatts' music — and I do not, at all — it is impossible to dislike the band. I tried really hard and failed utterly. The group's chart-demolishing pop-country songs and heavenly harmonizing are so overwhelmingly pleasant and innocuous and all-American that I had no choice but to submit to the band's multi-award-winning excellence.
In their songs, you'll find none of the drinkers and brawlers and cheaters that populate other country songs. Rascal Flatts is like that really handsome, popular, athletic kid in high school who was so universally friendly and guileless that no one — not even the hoodlums with their worn-out Led Zeppelin T-shirts and their cigarettes and their chips on their shoulders — could so much as utter an unkind word about him.
Speaking of that kid, he's got a super amazing girlfriend, and her name is Sara Evans. You might remember her from her recent appearances at Magic Springs or that ill-fated thing at War Memorial Park with Toby Keith. But let's forget about that. Right now, it's Rascal and Sara. Together, they're that power couple that you look at and just think, "Dang, they are gonna be so successful and prosperous."
Hunter Hayes opens the show. I don't know that much about him. He's like the new kid who doesn't say anything on his first day but turns out to be really good at PE.
Thursday Friday March 9, Rascal Flatts are playing the 2012 Starlight Gala at John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers. It's $200, but it's a benefit for Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter. See what I mean? They're such nice dudes that there is no way you can't like them.