Backwoods Barbie Tour

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Backwoods Barbie Tour
Tour by Dolly Parton
Dp bbtposter.jpg
Promotional poster for 2008 tour
Associated albumBackwoods Barbie
Start dateMarch 28, 2008 (2008-03-28)
End dateNovember 19, 2008 (2008-11-19)
No. of shows47 in North America
17 in Europe
64 Total
Dolly Parton concert chronology

The Backwoods Barbie Tour[1] was the ninth headlining concert tour by American recording artist, Dolly Parton. Visiting the United States, Northern Europe and Canada, the tour supported her 40th studio album, Backwoods Barbie. The tour was well received by critics and spectators alike, earning more than nine million dollars in 2008. The European leg of the tour was the most successful outing of Parton's touring history, performing for 170,000 spectators in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands.[2] The tour was expected to reach Australia as well but this did not come to fruition.


After completing her previous trek, Parton focused on the upcoming musical 9 to 5: The Musical and recording her next album. The singer also started her own independent record label[3] after being told she was "too old" for mainstream music.[4] While promoting the song, "Better Get to Livin'", Parton announced her upcoming tour. The first dates revealed in Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago served as rehearsal shows before Parton played in arenas, theatres, amphitheatres and stadiums in North America and Northern Europe.[5] The tour was set to run from February to June, however, it was expanded several times to meet public demand.

To introduce the tour, Parton remarked:[6]

"I had this product that I wanted to sell. It was my performing. I try to think of it as the music business, and you can't just throw it out to anyone and then move on to a new product. So I got involved. God created me, but he gave me the go-ahead to do what I could with it."

Before the tour began, Parton positioned the first round of dates in the United States due to back issues.[7] The singer poked fun at her condition saying, "I know I have been breaking my neck and bending over backwards trying to get my new 'Backwoods Barbie' CD and world tour together, but I didn't mean to hurt myself doing it, But hey, you try wagging these puppies around a while and see if you don't have back problems. Seriously though, the doctors said I will be good as new in a few weeks, and I can't wait to get back out there."[8] The tour began in March instead of early February. After her rehearsal dates, the tour officially commenced on April 22, 2008 at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Death rumor[edit]

After Parton finished her European leg, rumors circulated the Internet of her death. It was believed this rumor began at a high school football game (in Tennessee) as the crowd gave a moment of silence for her death. FOX News later reported the singer died in early August of congestive heart failure at the Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center. Parton and her manager dispelled this rumor, stating the singer was "alive and well", although Parton joked she nearly had a heart attack upon hearing the news of her death, but laughed it off.[9][10]

Set list[edit]

This set list is representative of the August 14 show in St. Louis, Missouri. It is not representative of all concerts for the duration of the tour

  1. "Two Doors Down"
  2. "Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That"
  3. "Jolene"
  4. "Thank God I'm a Country Girl"
  5. "Backwoods Barbie"
  6. "Eagle When She Flies"
  7. "Shattered Image"
  8. "Coat of Many Colors"
  9. "Only Dreamin'"
  10. "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show"
  11. "I'll Fly Away"
  12. "When the Saints Go Marching In"
  13. "(Give Me That) Old-Time Religion"
  14. "Calm on the Water"
  15. "Daddy Was an Old Time Preacher Man"
  16. "Baby I'm Burning"
  17. "Better Get to Livin'"
  18. "The Lonesomes"
  19. "Puppy Love"
  20. "White Limozeen"
  21. "Here You Come Again"
  22. "Islands in the Stream"
  23. "9 to 5"
  24. "I Will Always Love You"
  1. "Jesus and Gravity"

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
North America[5][11][12][13]
March 28, 2008 West Hollywood United States Roxy Theatre
March 30, 2008 Chicago Park West
April 2, 2008 New York City Highline Ballroom
April 22, 2008 Pittsburgh Benedum Center for the Performing Arts
April 23, 2008 Hershey Hershey Theatre
April 25, 2008 Uncasville Mohegan Sun Arena
April 26, 2008 Binghamton Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena
April 28, 2008 Fairfax Patriot Center
April 29, 2008 Atlanta Fox Theatre
May 1, 2008 New York City Radio City Music Hall
May 3, 2008 Atlantic City Borgata Event Center
May 5, 2008 Boston Boston Opera House
May 7, 2008 Minneapolis Northrop Memorial Auditorium
May 8, 2008 Chicago Chicago Theatre
May 9, 2008
May 11, 2008 Grand Prairie Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie
June 13, 2008 Stockholm Sweden Stockholm Olympic Stadium
June 14, 2008 Malmö Malmö Stadion
June 15, 2008 Viborg Denmark Viborg Stadion
June 17, 2008 Kristiansand Norway Sør Arena
June 19, 2008 Rotterdam Netherlands Ahoy Rotterdam
June 21, 2008[A] Cork Ireland The Docklands
June 22, 2008 Kilkenny Nowlan Park
June 24, 2008 Belfast Northern Ireland Odyssey Arena
June 25, 2008
June 27, 2008 Glasgow Scotland Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre
June 28, 2008 Manchester England Manchester Evening News Arena
June 29, 2008 Glasgow Scotland Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre
July 1, 2008 Nottingham England Trent FM Arena Nottingham
July 2, 2008 Birmingham National Indoor Arena
July 4, 2008 Cardiff Wales Cardiff International Arena
July 5, 2008 London England The O2 Arena
July 6, 2008
North America[14][15][16][17][18][19]
August 1, 2008 San Diego United States Humphrey's Concert by the Bay
August 3, 2008 Los Angeles Greek Theatre
August 4, 2008 Sacramento ARCO Arena
August 5, 2008 Berkeley Hearst Greek Theatre
August 7, 2008 Portland Theater of the Clouds
August 8, 2008 Seattle WaMu Theater
August 10, 2008 Denver Ellie Caulkins Opera House
August 11, 2008 Omaha Qwest Center Arena
August 13, 2008 Clarkston DTE Energy Music Theatre
August 14, 2008 St. Louis Fox Theatre
August 16, 2008 Pigeon Forge Dolly Parton Celebrity Theatre
August 17, 2008
October 17, 2008 Boca Raton Count de Hoernle Amphitheater
October 18, 2008 Orlando UCF Arena
October 20, 2008 Clearwater Ruth Eckerd Hall
October 21, 2008 Jacksonville Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
October 24, 2008 Atlanta Chastain Park Amphitheater
October 25, 2008 Richmond Brock Auditorium
October 26, 2008 Louisville Palace Theatre
November 1, 2008 Providence Providence Performing Arts Center
November 2, 2008 Ledyard MGM Grand Theatre
November 5, 2008 Raleigh RBC Center
November 6, 2008 Norfolk Constant Convocation Center
November 7, 2008 Reading Reading Eagle Theater
November 9, 2008 Orillia Canada Casino Rama Entertainment Centre
November 10, 2008
November 13, 2008 Winnipeg MTS Centre
November 14, 2008 Saskatoon Credit Union Centre
November 17, 2008 Milwaukee United States Riverside Theater
November 18, 2008 Green Bay Resch Center
November 19, 2008 Des Moines Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
Festivals and other miscellaneous performances
A This concert was a part of Live at the Marquee[20]
Cancellations and rescheduled shows

Box office score data[edit]

Venue City Tickets sold / available Gross revenue
Hershey Theatre Hershey 1,907 / 1,928 (99%) $150,762[24]
Patriot Center Fairfax 2,958 / 5,027 (59%) $260,647[24]
Fox Theatre Atlanta 4,216 / 4,670 (90%) $309,791[25]
Radio City Music Hall New York City 5,824 / 5,824 (100%) $466,728[24]
Borgata Event Center Atlantic City 2,050 / 2,259 (91%) $159,720[26]
Northrop Memorial Auditorium Minneapolis 2,928 / 4,474 (65%) $199,400[25]
Chicago Theatre Chicago 5,821 / 6,843 (85%) $524,378[25]
Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie Grand Prairie 4,069 / 4,173 (97%) $270,505[27]
The Docklands Cork 5,000 / 5,000 (100%) $584,786[28]
Nowlan Park Kilkenny 18,103 / 20,000 (90%) $2,256,876[29]
Odyssey Arena Belfast 13,025 / 14,000 (93%) $1,508,715[29]
Greek Theatre Los Angeles 4,695 / 5,295 (89%) $394,960[30]
ARCO Arena Sacramento 4,533 / 11,752 (39%) $174,378[31]
Hearst Greek Theatre Berkeley 3,501 / 4,200 (83%) $280,225[32]
Theatre of the Clouds Portland 2,884 / 3,074 (94%) $143,535[30]
Qwest Center Arena Omaha 1,706 / 3,885 (44%) $123,069[33]
DTE Energy Music Theatre Clarkston 10,586 / 15,274 (69%) $145,329[32]
Count de Hoernle Amphitheater Boca Raton 2,056 / 3,408 (60%) $102,117[34]
Ruth Eckerd Hall Clearwater 1,776 / 2,025 (88%) $223,845[32]
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena Jacksonville 2,481 / 5,841 (42%) $149,325[32]
Chastain Park Amphitheater Atlanta 4,241 / 6,700 (63%) $267,545[35]
Palace Theatre Louisville 1,873 / 2,587 (72%) $162,020[36]
RBC Center Raleigh 2,663 / 4,989 (53%) $154,270[36]
Constant Convocation Center Norfolk 2,100 / 5,973 (35%) $103,738[35]
Reading Eagle Theater Reading 2,144 / 4,915 (44%) $116,179[36]
TOTAL 113,143 / 154,116 (73%) $9,232,843

Broadcasts and recordings[edit]

The concerts at The O2 Arena in London were filmed for a concert special and DVD release. The concert special, "Dolly: Live in London O2 Arena", aired on PBS in conduction with their summer pledge drive.[37] The concert was later released as a CD/DVD package titled, "Dolly: Live from London". Parton released the live version of "Here You Come Again" to promote the package.[38]

In 2011, the concert was reissued exclusively to Cracker Barrel stores as An Evening With Dolly Parton. The DVD remains unchanged and contains all of the material from the original release. The CD removes most of the songs from the Backwoods Barbie album with the exception of "Only Dreamin'", but adds two bonus unreleased live tracks, "Shattered Image" and "My Tennessee Mountain Home." In stark contrast to the original release, which charted as an album on the Billboard 200 at #195 and sold poorly, An Evening With Dolly Parton reached #2 on the Billboard Music Video Charts and eventually sold well enough to receive a Gold Music Video certification from the RIAA for shipments of over 50,000 copies.

Critical reception[edit]

Overall, the majority of feedback from music critics was favorable for the tour. Ben Ratliff (The New York Times) describes Parton's performance at the Radio City Music Hall as nothing short of uplifting. He further comments, Between the songs and her nonstop patter — she is an assassin of dead air — the show was a seminar on the peril of accepting received wisdom, whether the subject was drag queens, the rural poor, working stiffs, politicians, Pentecostalists, young media stars or bosomy women. She granted pretty much everybody a complex interior life, and the power of independent thought.[39] For the same concert, Mandi Bierly (Entertainment Weekly) felt the highlight of the show was Parton's banter. She elaborates, "I never leave a rhinestone unturned", she said, heading to her studded white piano. And, as the headline states, she's got the best stage banter in the business. She's sufficiently quippy, but also shares her life story. After the jump, some of her greatest hits.[40]

During the European leg, the reviews commended Parton's stage personality and interaction with the audience. Edwin McFee (The Belfast Telegraph) thought Parton's concert at the Odyssey Arena proved her star power. He pens, She sings, she dances, she plays no less than six musical instruments and she also tells us stories of her childhood as if we were the first ones to hear them, though Dolly fanatics have probably heard them a million times before. At times it was actually quite surreal listening to evergreen anthems such as Jolene performed with as much passion as if they were recorded only yesterday, and in many ways her show was a masterclass in traditional old school musical theatre.[41] David Sinclair (The Times) found the concert at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre to be "all about the music". He writes, But, in the end, it all came back to the songs. Here she insisted was where the essence of her personality could always be found. 'I might look artificial/ But where it counts I'm real,' she sang in the title track of Backwoods Barbie. And in a funny way, she is.[42]

Madeleine Brindley (Western Mail) believes Parton's concert at the Cardiff International Arena proved her to be the first lady of country and western the world over. Brindley explains, As last night amply demonstrated Dolly has lost none of her songwriting, or story-telling talents, as almost every number was prefaced by a short story, which gave us the tiniest of glimpses into the thought process which drives this diminutive star.[43] David Smyth (Evening Standard) gave the concert at The O2 Arena four out of five stars. Smyth stated, Tracks representing the jolly country pop of her latest album, the knowingly titled Backwoods Barbie, fitted in well, especially the man-baiting 'Shinola'. It was only when she stopped the gabbing and rolled out hits in quick succession that the crowd rose to its feet and remained there. 'Here You Come Again', 'Islands In The Stream', '9 To 5' and the biggest of the big ballads, 'I Will Always Love You', confirmed that while she weaves a good yarn, it's when Dolly Parton sings that she's really on song.[44]

Returning to the United States, the praise for the tour continued. Annie Zaleski (Riverfront Times) writes the performance at the Fabulous Fox Theatre was charming, meeting all expectations. She continues, Also fantastic was the ease with which she transitioned from such seemingly different instruments—all of which were white and covered in rhinestones. For "Thank God I’m a Country Girl", she flew through fiddle, banjo, and harmonica, all feverishly supplied by her "useful and ornamental" hick Chippendale (Steve Summers) who dosey-doed in shirtless abandon in overalls nearby.[45] Evan Rytlewski (Shepherd Express) wrote of Parton's stage persona at her concert at the Riverside Theater, "Parton's hokey facade is a remnant of the old Las Vegas/Grand Ole Opry era of entertainment, and it still dominates her concerts. She spent nearly as much of her performance Monday night sharing stories and cracking jokes as she did singing, proving herself quite the comedian. At 62, she's part-grandmother (she riffed on her poor eyesight and mortality), part-cougar (she ogled a dancing beefcake), and her sharp quips had the audience roaring with laughter."[46]


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External links[edit]