Rascal Flatts Offers a Pitch-Perfect ‘Riot’

The Joint at Hard Rock, Feb. 25


Photo by Erik Kabik/ ErikKabik.com

These guys are the white-bread and butter of country pop, and on the debut of their Hard Rock residency, Vegas Riot!, they did their job perfectly, pumping out a steady stream of anthemic and power-ballad tropes. Gary LeVox’s high-end modulated vocals and the band’s practiced, clean instrumentals hit all the notes. Highlights included the pointedly poignant steel guitar on “I’m Movin’ On”; the anticipatory cryin’-in-my-beer “Riot”; the requisite pick-up trucks in “Banjo”; and in the break-up song “Here Comes Goodbye.” In “Mayberry” they deftly presented the packaged nostalgia of a nonexistent past. But all that cliché didn’t matter, because by the time they pushed out the “Life Is a Highway” encore, those Rascals had carefully constructed an escapist evening of honky tonk and heartbreak that, for many, is just what the doctor ordered. See for yourself through March 14.★★★✩✩

Photos by Erik Kabik/ ErikKabik.com