Brooks & Dunn Boot Scoot Through 21st RodeoHouston Performance

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn
Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn Photo by Jennifer Lake
Brooks & Dunn
NRG Stadium
March 1, 2022

Growing up, I couldn't stand country music.

My family loved it, and that was enough reason for me not to. Despite my protests, country music served as the soundtrack to most of my childhood. For the life of me, I just couldn't understand why anyone enjoyed listening to such upbeat, life-affirming drivel.

But that was then.

These days, I find myself singing country music to my six-month-old daughter almost daily. She's especially fond of Brooks & Dunn's "Brand New Man," "Neon Moon" and "My Maria," which I've reworked to incorporated her name.

So when my wife and I heard that the best-selling musical duo of all time would be returning to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for their 21st performance since 1992, we knew we had to go. And the headliners didn't disappoint.
click to enlarge
Photo by Jennifer Lake
On Wednesday night, more than 72,000 RodeoHouston attendees were transported back to a golden era of neo-traditional country as Brooks & Dunn performed 18 tracks from eight of their 10 studio albums.

As if tailor-made for me, the set began with "Brand New Man," which remains a thoughtful take on personal growth more than three decades since its release. The rest of my daughter's favorite tracks made the cut as well, along with plenty of fan-favorites like "Ain't Nothing 'Bout You," "Red Dirt Road" and "Play Something Country."

The night wasn't without a few hiccups though. Dunn broke his microphone during the final chorus of "My Next Broken Heart" and Brooks was clearly struggling to hit a few notes throughout the evening, but a handful of missteps are easily forgotten with a group as legendary as Brooks & Dunn.

You know what's unforgettable? How it feels to sing along to songs you once resented; songs that have been stuck in your head against your will for as long as you can remember. You'll leave the venue and wonder, What caused such an about-face? What possibly could have changed in my life? And then you'll remember.

The Lord put a girl in it.

Brand New Man
Put A Girl In It
My Next Broken Heart
Mama Don't Get Dressed Up For Nothing
We'll Burn That Bridge
You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone
Ain't Nothing 'Bout You
Red Dirt Road
Lost And Found
Hard Workin' Man
Play Something Country
Cowgirls Don't Cry
How Far To Waco
Neon Moon
Rock My World (Little Country Girl)
My Maria
Boot Scootin' Boogie
Only In America
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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever