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Toby Keith plays all-male Saudi concert while Trump rides around on golf cart

Photo: Kevin Winter/ACMA2014/Getty Images

President Trump’s official visit to Saudi Arabia over the weekend wasn’t all billion-dollar arms deals and eye of Sauron cosplay. He also showed his hosts some good old-fashioned down-home American bro-spitality in the form of a concert from Toby Keith, one of the small handful of musicians who are willing to publicly associate themselves with Trump. And only tangentially so: Keith’s concert in the capital city of Riyadh was not an official state event, but was put on to “coincide” with Trump’s visit by Saudi entertainment company Lammt. Lutist Rabeh Saqer opened the show, which was advertised as “an Arabian lute & American guitar united in a star-studded night.” Freedom isn’t free, but tickets to this particular show were.

According to local custom, the show was open to men only, lest attendees be overwhelmed with impure thoughts during “Beer For My Horses.” The consumption of alcohol is also prohibited in Saudi Arabia—although clandestine consumption is reportedly quite common—severely limiting the setlist for the writer of such hits as “Whiskey Girl,” “I Love This Bar,” and “Get Drunk And Be Somebody.” (Who are we kidding? He probably played them anyway.) That’s not to mention “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American),” which Keith claims to have written in 20 minutes and which contains the following verse:

Justice will be served and the battle will rage

This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage

And you’ll be sorry that you messed with

The U.S. of A.

‘Cause we’ll put a boot in your ass

It’s the American way

As for Trump, he declined to attend the show, and rode a golf cart with Melania and the Saudi king (with Ivanka and Jared Kushner following closely behind on another golf cart) around the lobby of the National Museum as Keith’s performance live-streamed nearby. American press were also restricted from attending the event, and watched it via live stream. Thus, considering that the normally quite active Keith just so happened to forget to mention this particular gig on Twitter, we must rely on attendees for footage like the sick jam session below.


[via AP, Spin]

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