Rascal Flatts thaws out Mizzou Arena
The Ohio country group followed sets by Hunter Hayes and Sara Evans.
Missouri residents made it obvious that Rascal Flatts was the main event Thursday night at Mizzou Arena. Despite both of the opening acts being decent names in the current country scene – Hunter Hayes and Sara Evans – it was evident whom the crowd came to see. What looked like a pathetically-attended show for the Thaw Out 2012 Tour became a rockin’ arena packed from floor to ceiling by the time Gary, Joe Don and Jay hit the stage.
And the trio returned the favor when it came to entertaining the packed house.
They opened their 20-song performance with “Why Wait,” a single from their most recent album Nothing Like This. This included an electrifying drum intro with each of the Flatts playing their own set of three light-up drums. It was a great way to get the crowd amped for what the rest of the night had in store.
Bassist Jay DeMarcus told the audience, “It’s Thursday night, but we might as well make it feel like a Saturday night." And that’s exactly what they did.
A couple of crowd favorites were “Summer Nights” and “Life is a Highway,” which had nearly everyone on their feet dancing and belting out every word.
But the belting didn’t only occur during their fast-paced songs. It was obvious that Mizzou Arena was brimming with some avid Flatts fans, because when it came to songs like “Bless the Broken Road,” “My Wish” and “I Won’t Let Go,” the crowd sing-a-long was practically as clear as the Flatts’ voices.
The only thing that seemed wrong with the entire show was the white pants. All three of the guys wore some fairly tight white pants - Gary’s black and bedazzled on the sides and Joe Don’s recalling the '70s with a little flare action. As great as the band was at performing, it should be in the fashion rulebook that white pants aren’t allowed in a man’s wardrobe past his 30s.
Nevertheless, that didn’t take away from the actual greatness of the concert. Not only were the Flatts fantastic singers that sounded exactly as they do on their records, but they also took every chance they could to connect and socialize with the crowd.
“They’re just pure fun when they’re on stage,” sophomore Lauren Smith says.
Three moments that were especially cool were Gary’s hand-in-hand walk around the stage with an adorable little girl from the front row, Sara Evans’ surprise fill-in for Natasha Bedingfield during “Easy” and a salute to the military as six Marine Corps members were brought out during the band’s closer, “He Ain’t the Leavin’ Kind,” which brought everyone to their feet.
“Not only was that my favorite part, but I thought it was moving and a great way to end an awesome show,” junior Katie Wall says.
In reality, all the trio really had to do Thursday night was sing their hits for the crowd, but they did so much more than that. That’s what makes them still popular and extremely lovable even after nearly 13 years in the music business.