A group of ‘daily heroes’ including veterans, firefighters, medics, cops and EMTs got more than just a free concert yesterday from Big & Rich. The country duo felt the event needed a quick kick in the pants, and so they bought everyone a shot of Crown Royal!
Of course, September 11 usually a day of sadness and grief, but Big & Rich decided to use the day for appreciation and hope. Together with Charlotte, North Carolina country station The New 103.7, the band honored both fallen heroes and daily heroes with a free concert. Staging it at country bar Coyote Joe’s, over 100 of Charlotte’s best and bravest men & women enjoyed free lunch with their families, an exclusive first listen to Big & Rich’s upcoming album Hillbilly Jedi, and an hour-long intimate acoustic show.
— Grace James (@TheGraceJames) September 11, 2012
Big Kenny and John Rich were in good spirits as they took the stage and effortlessly transitioned into a guitar jam session. “We’re here to have fun,” Big Kenny told the crowd, adorned in his infamous eccentric top hat. While they went on to sing big hits such as “That’s Why I Pray” and “Save A Horse Ride A Cowboy,” they also managed to joke around with a few covers.
“Now, a song from one of our favorite country artists,” John Rich began as they started playing a familiar melody. “Madonna,” he finished, as the crowd laughed. They then performed their own rendition of “Like A Virgin,” which easily transformed into a medley that included “Free Fallin'” and “American Pie.” The duo’s talent was undeniable as they and their band effortlessly switched from one song to the next.
But a Big & Rich party doesn’t end with just music. After introducing a song as a “party song,” Big Kenny stopped and asked the crowd who was drinking during the day. As only a few people cheered, and he immediately said it wasn’t nearly enough. So what’s a guy to do? “I’m buying a round of Crown Royal for everyone, put it on my tab,” he yelled to the bartender in the back of the venue. “In fact, put it on my tab from last time I was here that I walked out on.”
With a parking lot full of police cars, paramedic trucks and fire trucks, Big & Rich of course also wanted to make sure everyone remembered the meaning behind the day. Together, Kenny and John thanked every person in the building, reminding them how important they are to the country, and how things wouldn’t be as great as they are today without them.
“@marcesavage:Thank you for performing for our 1st responders 2day in Charlotte NC! You are proof of being a good citizen!//God bless ya’ll!
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 11, 2012
Before they left, Kenny and John took everyone outside for a group picture, taking time to sign things and even take individual pictures.
Big & Rich’s new album Hillbilly Jedi hits shelves next Tuesday, September 18.
-Jodi Phillips / The New 103.7