Red, White & Blue Toby Keith

Hartford, CT

by:Jacqueline Bennett


Perhaps the only thing Toby Keith has more of than talent is patriotism. Both were apparent when the country singer brought his Locked & Loaded Tour presented by Ford F-Series to the Comcast Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, Friday, September 16.


Four servicemen got the thrill of a lifetime as Keith called them on stage to join him in performing what has become his signature tune, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.” One Marine and three Army soldiers, all in uniform, made their way down the aisles to jump on stage. Later, Keith stood back as they accepted high fives and handshakes from fans reaching up from below. Meanwhile, the visual was enlarged on a huge background screen.


Eric Church was a strong opening act for Keith who began his set around 10:00 p.m. and continued until close to midnight, singing many favorites, as well as, cuts from his current album, “Bullets In the Gun” for what looked like a full house . Despite the early arrival of autumn temperatures that dipped into the 40s, there was still a crowd for lawn seats up on ‘the hill.’


Patriotism was a theme threaded throughout Keith’s show. He mentioned his father who lost his right eye in service to the nation. Keith spoke too of his USO Tour visits to the troops and offered a “thank you” to American military men and women in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan. Scenes had been incorporated in video that accompanied the performance of Connecticut monuments, including the Iwo Jima Survivors Memorial Park and a 9/11 Memorial, located in Newington.


Among the selections that Keith sang were “American Soldier,”  “I Love This Bar,”   “I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight,”  “I Wanna Talk About Me,”  “Should ‘ve Been A Cowboy”, “I Ain’t As Good As I Once Was”  and “Whiskey For My Men, Beer For My Horses.”  The much-anticipated “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” was saved for last.


This is the third time I have seen Keith in concert. I look forward to going again. A request Toby – the next time you are in town, will you sing, “You Leave Me Weak?”