Not everybody agreed with what he had to say.
An angry woman shouted futilely at the stage from deep in the crowd about still not having power at her house. She tried to encourage others to chant with her, but she was stumbling drunk and most of the people around her said they had power.
They weren't here to be mad. They just wanted to see the show, and Keith was spectacular. He delivered a real rock star kind of country show with great sound, humor and pyrotechnics.
He also seemed glad to be there.
Pulling from his latest record, "Clancy's Tavern," as well as the hits from his 20-year-career, Keith delivered hit after hit after hit. As with Richie, people danced and sang along. They just did it a lot louder with Keith.
And a little warning: If you ever go to a Toby Keith concert and get a space near the stage, you better know the lyrics. At one point during the show, Keith tossed the microphone to someone and coaxed him into singing the chorus to "Should Have Been a Cowboy."
Given that the man's face was projected on two big screens and he was being watched by potentially tens of thousands of people, he did OK -- even if the odds of him being asked to duet with Keith again were probably pretty slim.
For the Fourth of July at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds and as the entertainment for the biggest sports event in the state, there really couldn't have been a more appropriate performer for the Greenbrier Classic to have. Keith wears his patriotism on his sleeve and has an entire catalog of songs that pay tribute to being an American and what it means to him.
It would be easy to be jaded about Keith, to see him as an opportunist playing on the strong feelings of rural people for financial gain or a jingoistic oaf who slings red, white and blue around because those are the only colors he understands. But Keith isn't dumb, and he's not simple. He's sincere, and there's a lot of heart in his songs. On the Fourth of July in Greenbrier County, you couldn't ask for more than that.
Well, there were fireworks, too.
The Greenbrier Classic Concert Series continues Friday night with Rod Stewart and The Fray and Saturday night with Bon Jovi. For information, visit www.greenbrierclassic.com or call 855-453-4858.
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.