A few minutes in Tucson with Toby Keith before he hits Country Thunder

2013-04-13T17:25:00Z 2013-04-13T20:46:46Z A few minutes in Tucson with Toby Keith before he hits Country ThunderCathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 13, 2013 5:25 pm  • 

Toby Keith made a pitstop in Tucson Saturday afternoon en route to Florence and his headlining gig at the 20th annual Country Thunder Festival.

Keith was the special guest at the official grand opening of Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at the Tucson Mall. The venue’s been open since late December.

Hundreds of fans, including some who said they were heading to the festival tonight, packed the stagefront area of the 19,000-square-foot Toby Keith’s waiting for the star to come out from the private meet-and-greets that started just after 2 p.m.

Keith met with media, VIPs and contest winners from Tucson’s two country radio stations — 99.5 KIIM FM and Wild Country 97.1 FM.

In a quick interview, we asked Keith what he would be drinking in his red Solo cup on stage at Country Thunder tonight.

“Depending on my mood, Wild Shot Mezcal or Jack Daniels,” he said. Wild Shot is Keith’s two-year-old private label that is served in all his namesake bars.

Keith said his mezcal is a lot like moonshine. At the bottom of each bottle is a worm. Keith admitted he’s seen his share of the bottom of bottle and has eaten a drunken worm or two.

“On the bus we have two bottles going at a time and I’ve seen the bottom of the bottle plenty of times,” he said.

Keith is set to go on stage at 9 p.m. today.

Country Thunder concludes Sunday with Lady Antebellum. Follow the live blog at live.azstarnet.com and join the conversation on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with #AZThunder.

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The Caliente and Features departments of the Star bring you the latest from the music, art, theater and dining world in Tucson.

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