It’s hard to believe that Rascal Flatts hit the country music scene 18 years ago. They have had 16 number one singles on the country charts. The trio is one of the hottest touring acts of any genre of music and remains one of Nashville’s most reliable headliners. The “Back to Us” tour is nearing the end with only a few more dates on the schedule.
AVA Amphitheatre brought the country superstars to Tucson on Nov. 1. AXS was there to catch the action and here are five reasons that you should experience their live act.
1) Rascal Flatts is one of the most decorated acts in country music
The band has sold over 22 million albums and 28 million digital downloads. They are the most awarded country band of the past decade. They have racked up a multitude of awards throughout the years from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, Country Music Television, Billboard Roadworks Touring Awards, People’s Choice Awards, Radio Music Awards, Grammy Awards for best country song, Broadcast Music Inc, American Music Award and American Country Awards.
The list is exhausting but signifies a job well done by this supergroup.
2) They give an upbeat, energetic show with much to love.
The Nov.1 show displayed dazzling lights and background videos. During “Rewind,” a montage video played in the background of the band at different milestones: Meeting Muhammad Ali and getting their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are examples.
There were two drum sets as a part of the four backing musicians. There was everything needed for an outdoor arena show.
The band has so many number one Billboard country hits from which to choose for the show. Fans were elated to know the words and to be able to sing along to their favorites. The show included their gold and platinum hits, “Fast Cars and Freedom,” “Stand,” “Here Comes Goodbye,” “What Hurts the Most,” “Life is a Highway,” and “Bless the Broken Road.”
Covers included the Eagles “Take It To the Limit” and their 80’s medley Of “Summer of ‘69/ Jessie’s Girl / Don’t Stop Believing.”
For a complete set list, click here.
3) Gary LeVox is the best lead vocalist in the business
LeVox is one of the founding members of the band. His high tenor voice is unbeatable and unbreakable. The personable singer has perhaps the widest and strongest range of all men in country music, potentially moving chords smoothly through four octaves at a time.
He is an expert at getting the audience to participate in the show as he struts across the stage pointing the microphone at the fans to encourage them to sing. There were many moments when LeVox amplified the crowd’s voices, but the loudest came when “Life is a Highway” was performed.
“Here Comes Goodbye,” showcased LeVox’s incredible vocal range best during this show.
4) Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney keep the band grounded
DeMarcus wears many hats within and outside of the band. He was the other founding member of the band. On stage, he often acts as the spokesperson. In addition to playing bass, he has incredible piano chops that were displayed during the acoustic section of the show. His off time is spent co-producing albums with other performers including Chicago’s album Chicago XXX.
Rooney was asked to fill in for their original guitarist one night early in their career and the three bonded immediately. Rooney also plays banjo for the band. Rooney amped up his guitar chops for a segment in “Yours If You Want It”
He and DeMarcus were featured on rock-tinged solos in “Fast Cars and Freedom.”
5) The band stills strives to remain relevant after 18 years
Rascal Flatts’ last album, Back to Us, was released in May of 2017. It contains their number one hit “Yours If You Want It.” The album contains a song duet with Lauren Alana. Chris Stapleton and Luke Laird wrote another song on the album.
DeMarcus revealed in a recent interview that the band is working on a new album of cover songs. It sounds like "something we’ve never done before."
Rascal Flatts seem to be touring incessantly and their shows are sold out. More than seven million concertgoers can’t be wrong. The reason for this success is that they bring everything they’ve got every single night.