Cardboard cutouts of country singers Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks will conclude a farewell tour tonight with a sold-out show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The duo, moved around the stage using a complex system of pulleys, cranks, and levers, has been on its Last Rodeo Tour since April, playing to crowds all around the country.
Ideally, Kix and Ronnie would have completed their farewell tour in the flesh, but that option wasn’t even on the table, according to one inside source. “You have no idea how poorly those guys get along now: Kix is always stealing Ronnie’s hairbrush, and Ronnie keeps treating Kix’s jeans with itch powder. It was decided that the easiest thing would be to have these cardboard stand-ups made and build the show around them. The fans have been surprisingly receptive to the idea.”
Of course, promoters didn’t advertise the fact that cutouts would be appearing in lieu of the actual stars. Most fans didn’t even notice the change, so we had the opportunity to break the news to some of them over the weekend.
“Really, those weren’t the real guys? I can’t say I’m surprised,” said John Clark, who attended the July 23 show in Minot, North Dakota as a winner of a radio station contest. “We were so far back in the nosebleed section we couldn’t really tell anyway. For all we knew, it could have been The Judds onstage.”
“The only difference I noticed was that Kix didn’t move around quite as much as usual, and Ronnie seemed a little more animated,” said another fan who watched Brooks & Dunn’s August 7 tour stop in St. Louis from the front row. “I never would have guessed they were cutouts. The lighting and production values were fantastic.”
While the duo’s management claims that the cutouts were created exclusively for the farewell tour, another source inside the Brooks & Dunn camp says they’ve been in use since at least 1998.