At one point during its show Friday night, Big & Rich was introduced to the Comcast Arena crowd by country rapper Cowboy Troy like a pro-wrestling tag team.
It made perfect sense, seeing as how the country duo of Kenny Alphin and John Rich operate with about as much subtlety as your average WWE “Smackdown” show.
Big & Rich aren’t country superstars, despite having a number of solid hits, including their show opener, “Comin’ to Your City,” and “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” with which they closed the show.
Rich announced that the band was in Everett to do whatever it wanted and he made good on his word. It gave the show a somewhat manic feel, especially once “Cowboy” Troy Coleman was invited out for the last quarter of the show and DJ Sinister, who displayed marginal skill behind the turntables, was given a chance to play the role of hype man and clown.
In addition to pulling out their hits, Big & Rich played a number of medleys, including a run of funk songs that included “Brick House” and another bizarre string that spanned everything from “Tubthumping” to “American Pie.”
The arena wasn’t even close to full, with much of the lower bowl and floor empty and nearly none of the nosebleed seats claimed. Big & Rich seemed genuinely appreciative of those who did turn out and the crowd showered them with cheers — many of them prompted — the whole night.
The show was a pulsing mess of distorted guitars and barely discernible vocals. The best-sounding song was a new one the band debuted as an encore, “Lovers Make the World Go ’Round,” which featured just the two frontmen on acoustic guitars.
Before they launched into the sweet number, Rich reflected on the good old days when Big & Rich was just “John and Kenny,” two friends who stayed up late drinking coffee and Crown Royal and writing songs.
They should have left it at that, but of course they couldn’t help themselves and closed with a loud party song that ended with Rich lighting a guitar on fire and smashing it to pieces.
One wonders what John and Kenny would have thought.
Owen R. Smith on Twitter @inanedetails