Reba, Brooks & Dunn bring the hits to Las Vegas
The path to Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn’s Las Vegas residency dates back to the ’90s when the queen of country music and the “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” duo merged their resources for the first of four successful tours during that decade. The collaboration extended into the recording studio and eventually to Caesars Palace after the acts were invited to appear together in the Colosseum for what would become Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas, which debuted in June 2015. Now the residency, which resumes this week, has been extended through December 2017 with no chatter of a final engagement.
The residency finds McEntire clearly having fun with Brooks & Dunn. Previous Colosseum shows have kicked off with all three performers onstage for Brooks & Dunn’s “Play Something Country” before alternating stage time. McEntire backs Brooks & Dunn for some songs and vice-versa until they join up again for the finale. Along the way they mine their respective extensive catalogs, with Ronnie Dunn providing lead vocals on hits from “Brand New Man” to “Only in America” as Kix Brooks riles up the crowd with his extroverted showmanship.
McEntire dazzles in designer fashions while reaching back through the decades for chart toppers ranging from “Whoever’s in New England” to hit covers such as “Fancy,” which has inspired a musical currently in development for Broadway. McEntire’s own run there as the lead in Annie Get Your Gun may be one of the factors that make her feel right at home in the midst of a spectacle on the scale of Together in Vegas. Her effervescence and stage presence easily reach every corner of the 4,100-seat Colosseum.
She definitely will be trading off lead vocals with Dunn on “If You See Him/If You See Her,” the 1998 hit recorded after Brooks & Dunn toured with McEntire the previous year. Fans will likely hear their latest duet, “Still Feels Like Mexico,” from Dunn’s 2016 solo album Tattooed Heart, at upcoming shows, as well as “Cowgirls Don’t Cry,” originally recorded for Brooks & Dunn’s “Cowboy Town” but re-released with McEntire’s accompaniment in 2009. The duo have been including “Red Dirt Road,” “Neon Moon” and “Believe” during their turns under the Colosseum lights, while McEntire has been delivering hits such as “Why Haven’t I Heard from You,” “Just Like Them Horses” and “Is There Life Out There.”
The residency means less touring and travel time for the country stars, allowing McEntire more time for her film, TV and lifestyle branding endeavors as well as her new online MasterClass course on country music she offers on her website. Dunn now records for Big Machine Records, which counts McEntire on its roster, while Brooks is currently heard weekly as the host of radio’s American Country Countdown. With no mention so far that the 2017 Caesars Palace dates could be the last, McEntire and Brooks & Dunn could be Together in Vegas for some time to come.
Caesars Palace, 7:30 p.m. June 21, 24-25 & 28, $59.50-$205 plus tax and fee. 888.929.7849