Brooks & Dunn, Travis Tritt ‘Reboot’ Country Music in Virginia

One of the biggest country music tours stopped at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow

In the country, after the city limits sign, well, there is a… A large amphitheater nestled in the lush countryside of Bristow, Virginia. It was here at Jiffy Lube Live that Brooks & Dunn and special guest Travis Tritt gave tens of thousands of fans an unforgettable night of ’90s hard-core country on Saturday, October 2.

Tritt started his hour-long set with “Put Some Drive in Your Country”. His exuberant and bouncy stage presence hit the rafters as he released 11 of his biggest hits. A headliner in his own right, Tritt fans will be happy to know that almost everything they want to hear is in his set. The rockers “TROUBLE” and “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde” are present.

The melancholy “Where Corn Don’t Grow” is played slower than previous live versions. This gives Tritt the opportunity to feel every note with his powerful vocal performance. The highlight of Tritt’s set was the nostalgic performance of “Smoke in a Bar”. This is the last single from his new album, Engraved in stone, and is still so true to Tritt’s roots.

Tritt recently made headlines for refusing to play at sites with negative COVID mask and vaccine / test requirements. He alluded to it when telling the outdoor crowd in Virginia that it was great to see, “… all of your beautiful faces WITHOUT MASKS. Live free or die, that’s what I’m saying! ”The crowd seemed to agree. (Virginia does not have a mask mandate, although Live Nation will require proof of vaccination at all sites from that point onwards. this month.)

After an incredibly quick set change, Brooks and Dunn took to the stage for exactly 90 minutes with 24 of their most beloved honky tonk tunes. The crowd ate favorites including “Brand New Man”, “Play Somethin ‘Country”, “Neon Moon” and of course “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”.

The duo tapped into their catalog in the middle of the set, playing shortened versions of a few classic ballads. “That Ain’t No Way to Go,” a song Brooks said he hadn’t played in 25 years, received the biggest standing ovation from this section.

The seven-piece group performed on a setup that included a large video screen and curved lighting beams. The latter evoked the wooden logo of Brooks & Dunn. The screen displayed backgrounds and landscapes that matched the mood of each song. This tour is called the “Reboot” tour after their most recent remix album with country stars. However, fans can rest assured that the hits are played with their classic arrangements.

Brooks was dressed in his white shirt and black waistcoat. He leaps onto the stage playfully with his inimitable energy. The more stoic Dunn chose a simple black tee and a baseball cap. The duo swapped primary vocal responsibilities. The two have powerful twangs that complement each other. Their vocal mix defined an era of country music in the ’90s, and their vocals are still as powerful as they were 30 years ago.

But there is a bigger picture here. The pendulum returns to the country music era of Brooks & Dunn and Tritt – known as neo-traditional or “90s country”. Artists who grew up in the 90s are more influenced by Alan Jackson than by Florida Georgia Line. (And this writer says – thank goodness.)

The industry sees it in a new generation of artists led by Luke Combs (who even graced all three on the same night across the country in California) and including Tyler Booth, Jake Hoot and Randy Houser avoiding the bro-country clubby for more honky tonk the flavors. A remix of “Neon Moon” has gone viral on TikTok.

This trend is reflected in the opener of the evening, Elvie Shane. Shane recently had radio success with “My Boy” and his debut album will be released before the end of the year.

I have often said that country is the ultimate intergenerational musical genre. The trio of Shane, Tritt and Brooks & Dunn provided a completely fulfilling night in ’90s country also enjoyed by the thousands of baby boomers and millennials in attendance. This tour really serves as a much needed country music “reboot”.

This article is part of a new series called “Reviews on the Road”. TMU travels to report on the return of live music across the country. We are proud to document this important period in entertainment history.

Check out our podcast for more in-depth discussions on this topic, and stay tuned for more gigs in more states. Please email matt@themusicuniverse.com with the locations you think we should check out.

Our thanks to the tour management and the Travis Tritt press team for allowing us to cover the Reboot Tour.

About Roy B. Westling

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