KENNY ROGERS WITH BILLY DEAN
The Stiefel Theatre
© Lydia Lowe 12/02/2012
Kenny Rogers with Billy Dean . . .What an unusual Christmas show! Kenny Rogers took the stage first. He sang a variety of his hits, (The Gambler, Coward of the County, Lucille, Lady, Through the Years, Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town, You Decorated My Life) told a few jokes, and some stories. He spoke about earlier shows and audiences.
Then Kenny left the stage and Billy Dean took over. The music went from soft, sweet, ballads to high energy. Dean sang a few songs, (Only Here For A Little While, Somewhere In My Broken Heart, You Can't Count the Cost, Billy the Kid) spent some time bonding with the audience, and recalling his time on Star Search, where he won and it started his career.
Kenny Rogers then returned to the stage to finish his song set. He even showed some clips on a giant screen from The Gambler movies. It was great fun for the audience to sit back and remember those movies.
This was a unique way to showcase the talents of both artists and their diverse musical styles. It happened so seamlessly on stage, one fading into the other. There was the calm country ballad styles of Kenny Rogers followed by the high energy of Billy Dean’s rocking country style.
After a brief intermission, Billy Dean took to the stage and it was all about Christmas music. There was snow falling on the stage from up above as a children’s chorus from the area schools provided background vocals. Kenny joined the group on stage for a song or two, including one called "Mary Did You Know" which was a duet he had sang with Wynona Judd at an much earlier time in his career. Judd appeared via a video clip on the big screen.
The concert was a feel good concert full of musical hits, Christmas standards and nostalgia. Not to be missed.