This show was a part of “The Gambler’s Last Deal” farewell tour. It was comprised of his Greatest Hits, coupled with Christmas classics. He kicked off his set with “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” as he was greeted with a warm reception from the crowd. Rogers interacted well with the audience and continued with such tunes as “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home,” which had a jazz vibe to it, and “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” which was performed eloquently by Grammy-winning country songstress Linda Davis.
He serenaded his fans with a medley of three of his biggest hits such as “Through The Years,” “You Decorated My Life” and “She Believes In Me.” It was also an added treat to hear him sing 60’s tunes from his pop band, Kenny Rogers and The First Edition.
Rogers threw in several Christmas songs in the mix such as the upbeat “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” as well as “Let It Snow” and a down-tempo version pf “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” the latter of which he sang as a duet with Linda Davis.
Other noteworthy Christmas carols included “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” “Mary, Did You Know?” and the refreshing “Winter Wonderland.” He described “Lucille” as the song that changed his life musically, and rightfully so.
The powerhouse vocals of the night included “Coward of the County,” as well as his signature tune, “The Gambler,” which was a musical experience in itself. He also delivered a moving rendition of Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight.” “Islands in the Steam” was the fan-favorite song from the second part of the show, and with the help of modern technology, he was able to collaborate with country queen Dolly Parton on the poignant “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”
Overall, Kenny Rogers was able to put on a solid performance at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Connecticut, as part of “The Gambler’s Last Deal.” It was great to see “The Gambler” take a final bow in Connecticut. Linda Davis was wonderful too. He proved that his music is timeless and nostalgic, and it will certainly stand the test of time. Wishing Kenny Rogers all the best in his forthcoming retirement, and we thank him for all these decades of music entertainment.