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Review: Acclaimed country act performs 1st Bay Area show in over 14 years

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Wearing his trademark black cowboy hat and a sizable grin, Kix Brooks greeted the large crowd of country music fans who stood before him in Mountain View.

“We are glad to be back in California,” he said. “We have had some of the greatest parties of our lives in this place.”

And Brooks and his longtime musical partner Ronnie Dunn would have yet another one on as the platinum-plus-selling duo —  known as Brooks & Dunn — finally brought the Reboot Tour to Shoreline Amphitheatre for a rip-roaring fun Friday night (June 7).

The approximately 12,000 fans in attendance acted like they’d been counting down the days for this event to happen — and, indeed, a goodly portion probably had been — as evidenced by the way they hooted and hollered, boot-scooted and, of course, then boogied through one big hit after another during the 19-song set.

It was the first time that Brooks & Dunn performed in the Bay Area since 2010, which was the same year that “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” duo decided to call it quits on a career that was highlighted by an amazing 20 No. 1 country singles. Five years later, they’d regroup for a lengthy residency with the legendary Reba McEntire in Las Vegas, which nicely set the set stage for a full-on reunion tour that was suppose to begin in 2020.

Then COVID hit, of course, which pushed Brooks & Dunn’s Reboot Tour (and pretty much everything else entertainment related) back. Fast forward another four years and — well, you can understand why Bay Area fans were so excited to finally get their first date with the Grammy-winning duo in over 14 years.

Backed by a rock-solid seven-piece band, Brooks & Dunn were in primetime ’90s-era form throughout the roughly 90-minute set. They wasted no time in getting the party started as they opened the show with one of their best — “Brand New Man” — the anthemic title track from the twosome’s landmark debut of 1991.

The 71-year-old Dunn, wearing mirrored sunglasses and a baseball cap on backwards, was in particularly good voice as he crooned through “Brand New Man,” “My Next Broken Heart” (also from that same debut album) and “Red Dirt Road,” the title track from the duo’s 2003 album that resulted in one of the evening’s most passionate audience sing-alongs at Shoreline.

“‘Red Dirt Road’ is my favorite song that Ronnie and I ever wrote together,” said the 69-year-old Brooks, signing off on the crowd’s exuberant reaction to the power ballad.

Although not on the same level as a singer as Dunn, Brooks would also deliver a handful of highlights during the show, including a really nice version of the ballad “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone,” which was the sole selection of the night from 1994’s “Waitin’ on Sundown.”

Setlist
1. “Brand New Man”
2. “Put a Girl in It”
3. “My Next Broken Heart”
4. “Mama Don’t Get Dressed Up for Nothing”
5. “We’ll Burn That Bridge”
6. “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone”
7. “Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You”
8. “Red Dirt Road”
9. “Lost and Found”
10. “Hard Workin’ Man”
11. “Play Something Country”
12. “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”
13. “She Likes to Get Out of Town”
14. “Neon Moon”
15. “Rock My World (Little Country Girl)”
16. “Believe”
17. “My Maria”
Encore:
18. “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”
19. “Only in America”

 

 

 

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