Footloose, not "Fancy" free

Footloose, not "Fancy" free

You know those two-for-one video sets available at Wal-Mart? Two movies for under $10? Usually, one of them seems really appealing and the other, well, you could maybe see yourself pulling it off the shelf on a rainy day… The “2 Worlds 2 Voices” might’ve been that way—except both Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson are equally appealing blockbuster hits.

We’ll try not to think about how the opening act, comedian Henry Cho from Nashville, Tennessee, wasn’t very entertaining (among the few funny jokes in his 30-minute performance: “My wife’s mom taught me that you can say anything about anybody…as long as you say, ‘Bless your heart.’”). We’ll even overlook the hokey set and unimpressive outfits. We’ll do that, in part, because we forget about it once we hear Reba’s twangy “Sweeeeet dreams” reverberate through the John Paul Jones Arena. Then the curtain goes up, and there they are.

It takes two, baby! Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire doubled up for a night of vocal bliss at John Paul Jones Arena.

They descend the staircase and launch into a girl-powered version of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This),” Kelly without her shoes and Reba practicing pas de bourrés. They follow that up with Reba’s “Why Haven’t I Heard From You?,” a distinctly country tune that, surprisingly, Kelly does a good job keeping up with. In fact, the “American Idol” winner does a good job keeping up with Reba’s country songs throughout the show—singing backup during “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” and getting a little gospel with “Love Revival” toward the end of the night. Likewise, Reba’s drawl holds up against Kelly’s pop-rock numbers. Reba may have the big hits, but it’s Kelly’s youth that lends a new relevance to them.

The best portion of the show doesn’t come until the 11th song—after a two-song set by Kelly during which she does a very flirty rendition of the big-band song, “Stuff Like That There”—when both women take to stools at the center of the stage and sweetly sing Reba’s “The Greatest Man I Never Knew” and a beautiful version of “Up To The Mountain.”

At the 25th song, the first tune of their three-song encore, they rise from the center of the stage, decked out in shiny, sparkly black tops to belt out—well, Kelly belts, Reba twangs—“Since U Been Gone” and “Because of You.” And then it begins. The very last song—the one a certain reviewer’s mother wouldn’t let her listen to when she was younger because it was, as her mother maintains, “about prostitution”—starts up. “Fancy” elicited hoots and whistles from the audience and Reba and Kelly sass it up on stage for their grand finale. Then the curtain drops. It was a performance worth two thumbs up, even if the opening act was a dud. Bless his heart.