The artificial fog cleared from the Capital Centre stage as green lasers beamed down, turning Kenny Rogers into a silver-haired god.
The country-gone-pop singer played to a sellout audience of more than 19,000 last night. They came to the stage in waves -- women young and old, some carrying babies, others with long-stemmed roses and cowboy hats in hand -- for the husky-voiced Rogers, who wooed them with "So In Love With You."
Dressed in a white three-piece suit and a lilac shirt, Rogers broke into one favorite after another: "Show Me a Bar With a Good Lookin" Woman," for instance, and "Reuben James."
The multimillion dollar balladeer, who recently signed a fat movie deal with Home Box Office, didn't miss an opportunity to play up his down-home everyman image as scenes from a hospital delivery room, featuring his son Christopher, were projected on screens, accompanied by Rogers singing "You Are So Beautiful." A beaming Rogers bragged: "Most guys just carry pictures in their wallets. Not me!"
A movie accompanied another hit, "Coward of the County," as if the words weren't enough to convey the impact of the story-style songs that are a trademark of the 44-year-old Rogers. The crowd, packed with more tight jeans that a Weight Watchers' convention, rose to its feet to scream approval again and again.
Crystal Gayle, who followed comedian Lonnie Schorr in the opening act, led off the three-hour show with a medley of pop hits, ending with a return to her roots with the country favorite, "On Rocky Top." The show is repeated tonight at 8.