Toby Keith & Colt Ford Party Up in Hartford

Toby Keith
Shut Up & Hold On Tour
Featuring Colt Ford
July 26, 2014
Hartford, Connecticut

Toby Keith brought his “Shut Up & Hold On” Tour to the Xfinity Theater in Hartford, Connecticut this past Saturday.  Alongside him, he had his Easy Money Band along with opening acts Colt Ford and Krystal Keith, his daughter.  As the norm for a Toby Keith concert, there were songs about drinking, being in love, heartbreak, red solo cups, and Patriotism.  And that suited the Connecticut crowd just right as a party broke out early in the day and never stopped.

I unfortunately missed Krystal Keith’s set as I was interviewing Colt Ford on his bus (see for the entire interview).  Colt spoke to me about touring and golfing with Toby, his new video for “Workin’ On” and Marcus Luttrell’s involvement, as well as how he is the best dancer in country music.  Colt had an amazing presence in our interview and that carried over into his set on stage. 

Colt took to the stage to Answer To No One and never looked back as he put together a bombastic ten song set.  If anyone in the crowd had not heard of Colt Ford, by the end of his set they certainly had to be intrigued.  Not only to did he attack the microphone with the the rapping skills of a seasoned veteran, but he sang, danced, and had a rocking backing band to add to the unique combination of musical mash-ups. 

And anyone who thinks that Colt Ford is not country is sadly mistaken.  When he sang songs such as The High Life, Crickets, and Ride Through the Country, its impossible to not understand that themes are as country as it gets.  His delivery may be a bit unorthodox, but in a time where music is changing and there is a lot more exploration, Colt Ford has created himself a nice niche that has served as a starting point for a lot of other artists to play off of.  In fact, he ended his set with a mash-up of Eminem’s Lose Yourself and Jason Aldean’s Dirt Road Anthem, a song he wrote with Brantley Gilbert.   I was thoroughly entertained by Colt’s set and a great majority on the crowd was in the palm of his hand by the time he finished.  The combination of dancing, flag waving, and cell phones illuminating the theater showed that Colt Ford has a real place in country music. 


As it is customary for any Toby Keith show, the set began with a hilarious video filmed in Las Vegas featuring Toby, Carrot Top and the new line of Ford F Series Trucks, Toby’s sponsor.  Once the video ended and the screen dropped, Toby jumped out and jumped right into some high energy songs, Haven’t Had Drink All Day, American Ride, and Made in America.  Toby used a lot more of the stage and catwalk than he has in past years, which is always great to see as he has such a dominating stage presence.  The crowd sang word for word with the megastar, as Toby pumped out hit after hit. 

As a fan of Toby Keith, who has seen him over twenty times live, it was a real surprise to hear some of the older hits that he had not done in a long time.  These classics included Country Comes to Town, Who’s That Man, and Dreamwalkin’.  He said his band had been working really hard to relearn the older songs and that he wanted to sing them since its been twenty plus years since he started in the business.  And the band plus Toby did not skip a beat as the old classics along with the newer hits were all masterfully executed. 

Despite the amazing catalogue of hits that Toby has delivered to the masses, year in and year out, a Toby Keith concert experience would not be one without the absolutely stirring encore that he produces each show.  He invites any members of the military in the crowd up on stage with him as he performs the chilling “American Soldier” and the patriotic “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”.  This Saturday night in Connecticut seemed to include branches of every part of our military, as they raised their flags and sang with emotion.  Toby’s show is truly indicative of what a long lasting mega star in the music business is capable of and I hope he keeps doing it on this scale for many years to come. 



  1. Answer to No One
  2. High Life
  3. Crank It Up
  4. Workin’ On
  5. Crickets
  6. Driving Around Song
  7. Ride Through The Country
  8. Washed in the Mud
  9. Lose Yourself
  10. Dirt Road Anthem


  1. Haven’t Had Drink All Day
  2. American Ride
  3. Made in America
  4. Beers Ago
  5. Wanna Talk About Me
  6. God Love Her
  7. Whiskey Girl
  8. Beer For My Horses
  9. Dreamwalkin’
  10. Who’s That Man
  11. Country Comes To Town
  12. Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This
  13. Get Outta My Car
  14. Red Solo Cup
  15. Who’s Your Daddy
  16. As Good As I Once Was
  17. I Love This Bar
  18. Should’ve Been A Cowboy
  19. How Do You Like Me Now
  20. Little Less Talkin’
  21. American Soldier (ENCORE)
  22. Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (ENCORE) 

Toby Keith & Kip Moore Throw One Hell of a Party in CT

Toby Keith
Hammer Down Tour
featuring Kip Moore & Drake White
Comcast Theater, Hartford, Connecticut
Sunday, August 25, 2013

Long standing country veteran Toby Keith brought his Hammer Down Tour to Hartford, Connecticut this past Sunday and absolutely blew the roof off of the Comcast Theater.  Joined by country music’s rising star, Kip Moore, and new-comer Drake White, Toby and company put forth one of the most energetic shows I’ve seen this summer. 

I was unfortunately unable to get into the venue in time to see Drake White, but made my way into the pit just before Kip Moore took to the stage.  A huge backdrop with Kip’s back and outstretched arms made for an impressive visual on stage.  Kip appeared on stage with his patented backwards red trucker hat and cut off Rolling Stones t-shirt. 
I had previously only seen Kip at smaller club like venues in New York City and was interested to see how he would adapt to a larger venue.  Needless to say, he had absolutely no problem crossing over as he used every inch of the stage and T shaped catwalk, running, jumping, and sweating all over the place. 
Kip mixed in tracks from his critically acclaimed “Up All Night” album, including #1 hits ‘Beer Money’, ‘Hey Pretty Girl’, and ‘Something ‘Bout A Truck’, with a few new impressive tracks off of an upcoming album set to be released in October.  The highlight of his set came when he stripped down, sat on a stool, and performed a beautiful acoustic version of ‘Hey Pretty Girl’.  All the couples in the sold out crowd wrapped their arms around each other and forgot about the otherwise party atmosphere that dominated the night.  It shows the true appeal that Kip Moore has as he can touch upon all aspects of life through his lyrics and infectious delivery. 
Kip Moore Setlist:
  1. Crazy One More Time
  2. What I Do
  3. Reckless
  4. I’m Going Back On South
  5. Beer Money
  6. Fly Again
  7. Drinking, Smoking
  8. Unless Heaven’s Got A Dirt Road
  9. Hey Pretty Girl
  10. Something ‘Bout A Truck

I must admit I am a long time Toby Keith fan and have seen him live well over twenty-five times.  But there was something different about Toby this time around.  He changed up the setlist to make things a lot more modern (old staples such as ‘I’m Just Talkin’ Bout Tonight’ and ‘You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This’ were removed).  And he seemed to genuinely be enjoying himself a lot more on that night as he was more active on stage and extremely demonstrative. 
He came out to a non-single cut, “Haven’t Had A Drink All Day” and pumped right into a bombastic “American Ride” and then a passionate “Made In America”.  He was strutting his stuff all over the stage and was very interactive with the crowd.  In fact, I was in the pit with my good friend, Michael Wilcoxin, who just served our great country overseas in Kuwait.  He was wearing his Army “Greens” and Toby instantly spotted him.  In true Toby Keith fashion, he instantly came over to Mike, gave him a fist pump and even gave his guitar pick to him.  But more on that in a minute …
The rest of Toby’s set included mostly high energy hits.  ‘Beer For My Horses’, ‘Who’s Your Daddy’, ‘I Love This Bar’ and ‘Beers Ago’ were just some of the tracks that Toby chose from his extensive catalogue for this summer night.  When it was time for ‘Red Solo Cup’, two enormous inflatable cups appeared on both sides of the stage and the entire crowd whipped out their own solo cups.  Outside of the slower ‘Hope on the Rocks’, Toby kept up a party atmosphere that had everyone singing, smiling, and partying all night long. 
However, anyone that has ever attended a Toby Keith show knows that the highlight of his set and of the night is the beautiful dedication he does for our troops and our country as his encore.  “American Soldier” followed by “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” may be the best encore in country music, period.  And on this night, he pulled my friend Mike as well as some other military members, and even a wounded warrior, on stage to help celebrate the USA. 

Chants of USA as well as cheers and applause rained down upon the members of the military who were on stage with Toby.  It really was a sight to behold as they instantly became the stars of the night.  Toby even sent them out to the front of the catwalk to receive the ovation that they so deservedly have earned for their sacrifices to keep us free.
In the end, Toby showcased what he truly loves most: supporting our troops, loving our country, and getting people in the mood to party.  As always, he nailed all three with his perfectly executed performance.  His final words before he left the stage with the American Soldiers alongside him were “Never Apologize for Being Patriotic”.  Toby, we never will. 
Toby Keith’s Setlist:
  1. Haven’t Had A Drink All Day
  2. American Ride
  3. Made in America
  4. Beers Ago
  5. Wanna Talk About Me
  6. Whiskey Girl
  7. Ballad of Balad
  8. Hope on the Rocks
  9. God Love Her
  10. Beer for My Horses
  11. Weed with Willie
  12. Get out of My Car
  13. Red Solo Cup
  14. Who’s Your Daddy
  15. Ain’t As Good As I Once Was
  16. I Love This Bar
  17. How Do You Like Me Now
  18. A Little Less Talk
  19. Stranglehold (Ted Nugent Cover)
  20. American Soldier (ENCORE)
  21. Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (ENCORE)

After the show, I was able to catch up with Kip Moore standing outside the entrance.  He was gracious enough to allow a short discussion with me about his upcoming album. He stated he is actually hoping to finish up the final cuts for the project this coming Tuesday. He expects the next single to be out this October and hinted that it might be “Unless Heaven’s Got A Dirt Road”.  He also guaranteed the new songs he played that night (see the above setlist) would be on the album along with a song called “New York City” which he is very excited about.  Furthermore, after some prying he told me he expects the album to be released “on or around January 18th”.  He was very humble during our conversation and seemed to be very excited about the new album.  I expect a huge future for Kip Moore.

Toby Keith Proceeds to Party in Hartford, CT

Toby Keith
Live in Overdrive Tour
w/ Brantley Gilbert & Thomas Rhett
September 20, 2012
Comcast Theater – Hartford, CT

It may have been a cool Fall night in Hartford, Connecticut, but things were sure on fire inside the Comcast Theater.  As a matter of fact, they were exploding at times.  Country music’s Big Dog Daddy, Toby Keith, brought his high octane Live in Overdrive Tour to New England with support from Brantley Gilbert and newcomer Thomas Rhett.  As usual, Connecticut made this show yet another sell out for Toby and they were not disappointed one bit.

Up first was Thomas Rhett, who recently released an EP to Itunes.  His sound is very new age country and his live persona was very likeable.  He sang typical country tunes about drinking, love, and being from a small town.  However, the standout song in his set was his newest single “Beer With Jesus”.  It’s a very lyrics driven song about what he would say if he could spend time, and have a beer, with Jesus.  I expect it will do very well at country radio and he sang the song with passion and soul.

At one point, Rhett jumped into the crowd and ran all the way to the back section with a megaphone as he sang and rapped the lyrics “Front Porch Junkies”.  It seemed to win over the crowd and keep them enticed to his set.  Overall, I was very impressed with his set and look forward to seeing more from him. 

Up next was Brantley Gilbert.  He is an artist who has turned from songwriter to country music’s rising star in one short year.  He penned such tunes as Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” and “My Kinda Party” before scoring his own deal.  Both songs went on to be megahits for Aldean, but Brantley has started collecting number 1 songs of his own (Country Must Be Country Wide, You Don’t Know Her Like I Do).  However, it is his live performances that take him to the next level. 

Most of Brantley’s songs are loud and have a bad boy swagger.  His performance matched that description and more.  He stomped around the stage throwing up rock signs and flexing his muscles.  He had the crowd pumping their fists right along with him.  His songs like “Take It Outside” and “Kick It In the Sticks” had the energy level inside the venue up to a 10. 

However, it was on “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” that Brantley seemed to be most authentic.  It’s a song about a confident man trying to explain his love for a woman to someone who just can’t seem to understand.  Brantley’s live delivery made the song much more passionate and showcased the depth of his vocal talent.  The rest of his set was full of energy and he certainly had the crowd in the palm of his hand.  He sets out next week on his first headlining tour and I look forward to catching him again soon. 

The main event was yet to come and was preceded by the annual humorous Toby Keith/Ford F-150 video clip.  After the video, the shade over the stage fell and the first of many pyrotechnic exploded and out came Toby to the bombastic “American Ride”.  And in true Toby Keith form, the concert began with two American-themed songs (American Ride & Made In America) and ended with two American songs (American Soldier and Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue).

Toby’s setlists don’t change much from show to show as he likes to play his hits for the fans while adding in his newest singles.  While America was a main theme of his set, so was alcohol.  His last three singles are all centered around everyone’s favorite liquids and the crowd sang along to “Beers Ago”, “I Like Girls Who Drink Beer”, and the infectious “Red Solo Cup”.  Before singing the latter of the drinking anthems he proclaimed it is the song that “you cannot stop, you can only hope to contain it”. 

While those songs are all good and fun, it is some of his other material that makes me such a Toby fan.  “God Love Her”, “How Do You Like Me Now”, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and “Beer for My Horses” are classic country songs and among the genre’s best.  Toby let his band members have their shines as well, especially guitarist Rich Eckhardt who really showcased his immense talent at the front of the catwalk multiple times.

But in the end, Toby Keith concerts are defined by his encore, which I have often claimed is the best encore in music, period.  Some nights he brings out multiple soldiers, family members of military members, etc.  On this night, Toby brought out a single soldier to stand next to him while he sang his patriotic anthems.  The soldier had an American flag on his back and was visibly moved while Toby sang the meaningful lyrics.  Both “American Soldier” and “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” rang home a little more since we, as a Nation, just remember 9/11.  The soldier Toby brought up at the end was Marine Corps Sgt. Greg Caron. He lost his legs in Afghanistan last November when he stepped on a roadside bomb.

All in all, it was the typical Toby Keith show:  Opening acts who are major talents and got the crowd amped and ready, and a headlining show full of hits, action, explosions, and big production.  You know what you are going to get at Toby show and that is okay, because it is one of the best concerts, year in and year out, that music has to offer. 


Toby Keith

  1. American Ride
  2. Made in America
  3. Get Drunk & Be Somebody
  4. God Love Her
  5. I Like Girls That Drink Beer
  6. Beers Ago
  7. I Wanna Talk About Me
  8. Whiskey Girl
  9. Weed with Willie
  10. Who’s Your Daddy
  11. Get out of my Car
  12. Red Solo Cup
  13. As Good as I Once Was
  14. I Love This Bar
  15. Should’ve Been a Cowboy
  16. Beer For My Horses
  17. How Do You Like Me Now
  18. A Little Less Talk
  19. American Solider (ENCORE)
  20. Courtesy of the Red White and Blue (ENCORE)
Brantley Gilbert
  1. My Kinda Party
  2. Hell On Wheels
  3. Dirt Road Anthem
  4. You Don’t Know Her Like I Do
  5. My Kinda Crazy
  6. Courtney Must be Country Wide
  7. Take it Outside
  8. Kick it in the Sticks
Thomas Rhett
  1. All American White Boys
  2. Make me Wanna
  3. Beer With Jesus
  4. Front Porch Junkies
  5. Something To Do With My Hands


Beer With Jesus – Thomas Rhett
Country Must Be Country Wide – Brantley Gilbert
Beers Ago – Toby Keith
Red Solo Cup  – Toby Keith
Should’ve Been a Cowboy – Toby Keith