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BWW Reviews: Oak Ridge Boys - Still Mighty & Better Than Ever

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Related: Oak Ridge Boys, Golden Nugget

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I once asked a friend of mine what it was like seeing a certain legendary performer in concert. Her reply was, "It was a privilege." Well, if you ask me today what it was like seeing the Oak Ridge Boys at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas this weekend, my reply would be the same. It was indeed a privilege.

Now, that's not just because they sang the hits their audience knew - American Made, Y'All Come Back Saloon, among them - but because they did everything so well. They're in great voice and it was clear they returned the love the audience gave them. Their enjoyment of what they were doing and their enjoyment of working with one another and their musicians was obvious.

Their set list was made up of - naturally - their hits and some songs from their two new albums, Back Home Again and It's Only Natural.

The Oaks - lead singer Duane Allen, tenor Joe Bonsall, baritone William Lee Golden and bass Richard Sterban - last year celebrated the 30th anniversary of their mega-hit Elvira and the audience was on its feet when that song was performed. Among the other highlights: Allen's lead singing on I Get To, a number in the grand Oak's tradition of Thank God For Kids (which they didn't perform, much to the disappointment of a woman I met after the show who was not comforted when  mentioned that they did my favorite song, Ozark Mountain Jubilee); Golden's rendition of the John Denver song Back Home Again was so nice to hear and he also sang lead on Before I Die, song that contains the great line "Before I die, I wanna hit the Mississippi in a boat I've yet to buy"- great because that procrastination applies to so many of us

Richard Sterban - whose "oom poppa oom poppa, mow mow" is the part of Elvira that everyone remembers - sang lead on the hit Dream On. When the song ended, Bonsall pointed at Sterban and said to great applause from the audience, "We're the only band with one of those."

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Ellen Sterling



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