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One for the music, two for the show

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Sunday night’s Brooks & Dunn/Big & Rich concert was an interesting contrast: The latter, following the opening act Warren Brothers with a seven-song set, entertained with a black cowboy rapper, a midget, fireworks and a hooky, drawn out rocking hit song called “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.” Then Brooks & Dunn, while putting on an entertaining show of their own with a fancy stage-wide LED screen behind then, showed why they’ve sold million of records in 14 years with a solid array of songs. Whether Big Kenny and John Rich, is around in 2020 and bringing along “the next big thing in Nashville duos” depends on whether they can follow up with 20 more catchy songs like “Save a Horse” or “Take a Ride on the Love Train.” The sideshow entertainment was fun, and had most of the 6,192 fans roaring, but we all know that in the end, it’s about the songs, even if those songs are honky tonk with a Nashville polish. Brooks & Dunn came on stage with no fanfare at all, its backup band looking like roadies tuning the guitars while the duo strolled in from backstage when everyone, including three shapely female backup singers, was in place. They then covered the gamut of their discography, from “Neon Moon,” “Brand New Man” and “Boot-Scootin’ Boogie” to a moving “Red Dirt Road” to its latest rocking hit, “Play Something Country.” Both bands featured solid backing musicians with a rock-guitar edge. Though Brooks & Dunn, through their fancy LED screen, gave technological nods to Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, June Carter and other Nashville greats of the past, this wasn’t your daddy’s country show by any stretch. — By Jim Harris

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