And the crazy Trump related headlines just keep coming: It’s been announced that bro country superstar Toby Keith will be performing a concert while President Trump visits Saudi Arabia, and this being Saudi Arabia, the show will be for men only.
Representatives for Keith, who also played a pre-inaugural party for Trump, confirmed the singer will be playing in the capital city of Riyadh along with Arabian lute player Rabeh Saqer. However, in a move perhaps foreshadowing her role while in Saudi Arabia, Keith spokeswoman Elaine Schock offered no comment on the fact that she and all other women won’t be allowed in the building that night.
Saudi Arabia is truly rolling out the orange carpet for our carrot tinged Commander in Tweet and gathering as many of his favorite things as they can for his two-day visit. Joining Keith in this celebration of awfulness will be Fox News correspondent Bret Baier and the ever-charming Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. Sounds like a great group.
Saudi Arabia governs by following a strict interpretation of Islamic law which prohibits alcohol, segregates unrelated men and women in public places, and severely restricts the basic rights of females, who, for instance, are not allowed to drive cars in the country. It seems unlikely then, that Keith will play his cut “Whiskey Girl”, a track I’m sure al-Bashir will be sad to miss. (One imagines that such classics as “Beer For My Horses”, “I Love This Bar,” “Drunk Americans” and “I Like Girls That Drink Beer” will be unfortunately cut also.)
For the past two decades concerts that weren’t religious in focus were banned in Saudi Arabia, a fact that might explain why the Saudis thought booking Toby Keith sounded cool. One has to wonder if Mr. Keith is experiencing a moral quandary performing for a government who is being sued by 800 American families for its alleged involvement in 9/11, but I doubt it. No word yet on whether Keith will pull from his extensive list of “patriotic” songs written in response to the 9/11 attacks like “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” or “Made in America”, with their lyrics about boots in asses, King James (he of the bible) and Uncle Sam—but the imagined optics of such setlist choices is a wonderous one.