Riders In The Sky bring laughs and music to Cerritos

Riders in the Sky “America’s Favorite Cowboys,” came tumbling into the Cerritos Performing Arts Center brought upon laughs and a refreshing performance equipped with live instruments on Friday Feb. 1

The Grammy-Award winning group had a very simple set to play off of, with just two cacti in back of them and some stuffed road-kill animals in the front, it still gave off the western cowboy vibe.

To not have an extravagant set really made the show better, it made it possible to just focus on the band, and the live instruments.

As the audience was ushered in, some were seen wearing cowboy boots, and others a hat, but some were eager and ready with a full-on cowboy look it really drew you into the whole western theme of the show.

For those who haven’t heard western music too much before, it can be a little nerve-racking sitting there not knowing what to expect, but when the band members came out with smiles on their faces that feeling went away quickly.

Lead singer and guitarist Douglas B. Green aka Ranger Doug, has said that he and his band have come back to one of it favorite places to play, and you could really feel a connection between band and audience.

Although the audience was made up of an older generation, there were a few people from a younger generation in attendance and both were being kept in mind as the band played and told some jokes.

Once jokes were told there was no worry that this would even be a boring show, it was kept light and entertaining throughout the whole night.

The band members switched from playing off of each other for laughs, to playing off of the different generations in the crowd. Some jokes were geared toward the older generation, while others were geared toward the younger and some for all.

The band even had jokes set up to reflect the time in which they were at the Grammys, where in 2001 and 2003 they won for “Best Musical Album for Children.”

It was nice to see them take a break and have a funny exchange with one another, it really added to an intimate setting, as a member of the audience you felt connected to the show instead of just watching it.

They also talked about being in a back room at the award show and meeting different celebrities.

One celebrity being the source of a joke was rapper Eminem, with singer and bassist Fred LaBour aka Too Slim, making a joke of them both having “slim” in their stage names.

LaBour went on do a little rapping and it was very funny to see a western man do something a little out of the ordinary.

Other band members, singer and fiddler Paul Chrisman aka Woody Paul and accordion Joey Miskulin, aka Joey “The Cowpolka King” took turns making laughs at the other’s expense during songs and it added to the overall light mood of the show.

The band never skipped a beat between playing classic western songs and having a comic element to the show, there was definitely a light mood kept throughout the show.

Before intermission, a projector screen was brought down to be shown behind the band.

The band members announced that the screen was there so they could show Pixar’s short film “For the birds,” for which the band did the music for.

While the short played on the screen, the band played live the music that went along with it.

It was a nice touch for the show and it wasn’t only appreciated by the younger kids, with the entire crowd clapping loudly afterward.

The songs that played in between the jokes were nice and the audience members sometimes sang along and tapped their feet to the music, and at the end stood and clapped and yelled encore.

Seconds later the band appeared on stage to do one final song of the night which was much appreciated, after the whole night it was nice to be left with one last good western song.

The jokes didn’t have to work hard to keep the crowd in laughter, the band members were so refreshing and calm, it was easy to just sit and watch.

It didn’t matter what happened next, you could just tell that whatever it was, you were going to enjoy it.

Whether it was the funny exchanges between band members, or the refreshing sound of live instruments on stage, this show was definitely entertaining to watch.