The doors were going to be opened at 7 o’clock but long before that a hand full of dedicated fans gathered in front of Amsterdam’s historic concert venue, Paradiso. Not only Dutch fans, but a lot of Belgians, Germans and even Americans made their way to the Dutch capitol to see Toby Keith play the European leg of his Locked & Loaded tour, which started in the UK and, after Holland, will make it’s way to Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia.
Sweden’s Jill Johnson warmed up the crowd. I had never heard of her and neither had the 1,500 people filling up Paradiso, but she was a welcome surprise. After playing a few songs, which included her recent single ‘Flirting With Disaster’, she thanked the audience and made way for Toby’s crew to prepare the stage for him and the band to get started.
The set list was ducktaped to the floor and a full red solo cup found it’s place on the side of his microphone stand.
Opening up the show with his recent number one hit single ‘Made in America’, Toby took the stage while the crowd gave him a standing ovation and big cheers. Continuing with ‘Cabo St. Lucas’ and ‘God Love Her’, everyone was in awe of his stage presence.
It was as if everyone suddenly realized how special it was to see him playing in such a small venue. Paradiso, which used to be a church in the 1800’s, is smaller then most of Toby Keith’s bars!
Toby was clearly having fun and enjoying what ever was in his red solo cup. Possibly a bit of wild shot maybe? Whatever it was, he urged us to do the same by singing songs like ‘Get Drunk and Be Somebody’, ‘A Little Less Talk And A Lot More Action’, ‘Whiskey Girl’, ‘Beer For My Horses’ and ‘I Love This Bar’.
‘Red Solo Cup’, which is a big hit on YouTube at the moment, is an awesome party song and received a fantastic reaction from the Dutch crowd. Some even managed to get their hands on a solo cup themselves event though they’re not sold over here. All-in-all, it was a great atmosphere!
‘Clancy’s Tavern’, the title song of his new album, which was released on October 24th, refers to Toby’s grandmother and the tavern she used to run. The song, which obviously is dear to his heart, was co-written with Scotty Emerick who joined the band for this European trip.
After singing this ode to his grandmother, Scotty and Toby remained on the stage by themselves and sang the hilarious song, ‘I Will Never Smoke Weed With Willy Again’.
It was clear he meant ‘American Ride’, and when the band started playing the crowd brought out their American, Dutch and Rebel flags. They’re all red, white and blue after all.
Before we knew it, it was all over. What a great concert! I felt blessed to have been there, and to have seen Toby play such a small venue where eye contact was still possible.
Every single person felt like they were part of the show. This may have been his first time performing in Holland, but I’m sure he’ll be back for more.
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