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Brooks & Dunn played at the Las Vegas Hilton from December 10th - 12th. I saw the last show on the 12th. This was my first time seeing them perform, and it won't be the last!

The guys regained their CMA Duo of the Year title this year with a brand new album ("Steers & Stripes"), and successful tour ("Neon Circus and Wild West Show"). I also see why they've won the Entertainer of the Year award in the past. They really put on a great show.

The show started at 10:30 pm, right on time. The curtains parted and you could see a giant steer head decorated in patriotic colors on the back wall. There was also another steer head on the stage that was covered in mirrors, and a roulette wheel that spun during the opening song, which was "Only In America."

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During the song, canons shot out streams of confetti, similar to what you might have seen when they sang the song at the CMAs earlier this year. It was awesome.

Ronnie Dunn They launched into their second song, "How Long Gone" next, while showing clips from the video behind them. Next came "My Next Broken Heart," then the first single from their most recent album, Steers and Stripes, "Ain't Nothin' About You." Kix mentioned that Billboard named the song the most played song of 2001.

Kix Brooks Ronnie sings lead on most of their songs, but Kix took a turn on lead with a cut from Steers and Stripes called "Go West." He said it's not a single or anything, but he likes it a lot.

During the next song, "Honky Tonk Truth" they again showed clips from the video, which featured the late Dale Earnhardt.

Ronnie Dunn and his Neon Moon guitar After that, someone shouted out, "Neon Moon," and the guys obliged, as the back of the stage twinkled with lights and the spotlights were turned off but all you could see was a blue shaped crescent moon which was on Ronnie Dunn's guitar. Cool!

Next, they sang their first number one single, "Brand New Man," and following that, they brought out two stools and Ronnie started talking about his college days in Texas, and hanging around with these three other guys, driving around. He was playing in a country band at this time, and the college found out and took him aside and told him he had to choose, either playing country music, or staying in school. He chose to play country music, and left for Tulsa, where he met his soon-to-be wife. He talked about arguments, and all while he was talking, Kix was sitting on his stool next to him playing a tune on a mandolin. This tune was the instrumental part of "Husbands and Wives," which was the next song Ronnie sang.

After the song was over Ronnie got up and headed off stage. Kix said, "Hey bud, you're supposed to take care of that before the show." and Ronnie said, "I did my part lengthening out the show, now it's your turn. I'll be back." Kix then strapped on a guitar and noticed that some people just came to their seats in the third row. He started teasing them, saying "10:30 too early for ya? We tried to hold the show for you." Then, he went on to explain the stuff the people missed. "We started out with "Only in America," and the canons here shot out confetti and that was cool, and next we did "How Long Gone," and then we sang "My Next Broken Heart," and then we saw these girls over here," and he points to the front row on the opposite side where he had pointed out some girls that had sashes on that read "Little Miss Neon Moon," and "Little Miss West of Santa Fe." He had them stand again for the people. Then he pointed out a lady that said she'd attended 52 Brooks and Dunn shows, and had her stand again. Then we sang "Ain't Nothin' 'Bout You," and then I sang a song from Steers and Stripes called "Go West." It's not a single or anything, but it's kinda cool. Then we played "Honky Tonk Truth" and showed clips of our buddy Dale Earnhardt, which was cool. Too bad you missed that. Then Ronnie came out here with his guitar that has a glowing moon on it and we sang "Neon Moon," then Brand New Man," and then we sat down and sang "Husband's and Wives." So that's it... now you're all caught up to speed." I bet those people won't be late to a show again.

Brooks & Dunn Ronnie returned and Kix said he wanted to dedicate the next song, which he sings lead on, to Dale Earnheart. They sang "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone."

Next up was "My Maria, and Kix drank a big gulp of water, then tossed the bottle into the crowd. This was the start of the interactive part of the concert. During "Mama Don't Get Dressed Up For Nothin'," Ronnie banged a cowbell with a drumstick, and every so often, he would toss a drumstick in the audience. I didn't count how many drumsticks he tossed out, but it was a lot!

A cage-looking-thing rose up on the back rear of the stage during "Hard Workin' Man," and then came more interaction. A large blow-up girl rose out of the left rear of the stage during "Rock My World (Little Country Girl)" and Kix and Ronnie divided the audience into two parts. One part would sing "Rock My World" and the other would sing "Little Country Girl." During this song Kix threw out his hat.

The guys left the stage after that, and after much cheering, came back to do an encore of "Bad Girls Go Everywhere," and lastly "Boot Scootin' Boogie." During the first of these songs, while it was still dark and Kix and Ronnie hadn't come back on stage yet, some giant Brooks & Dunn balloons were tossed into the audience to bounce around. During the last song, Kix brought a girl up on stage to dance with him. Also, during the last song, a giant blow-up scorpion and a giant blow-up snake graced the stage. The snake was curled up in the cage at the rear of the stage. They both had glowing red eyes.

Whew! It sure was a show! If you like excitement and interaction, get yourself to a Brooks & Dunn show. You'll love it. If you're the sit in your seat, don't sing to the songs type of person, you might want to skip this show, cuz you'll be overwhelmed... but then again, maybe it will make ya like to stand up and dance, and ya just might get a drumstick souvenir to boot.

Here is the set list:

Audio Clips courtesy of: Barnes & Noble.

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