In Vegas, Country Music Makes Her Clothes Fall Off

Bareback Trades Line Dancing for Pole Dancing

LAS VEGAS — If you have tickets to Bareback, a nudie country music revue that just opened in Las Vegas, don’t get there early. They’ll put a camera on you.

There’s no good reason for it, but about 10 minutes before the bras are thrown over the shoulder, some guy stands up in the front of the room and pans the crowd with a video camera. Everybody’s blushing face is shown on a big screen on stage, and since it’s a small venue, you pretty much meet all of your neighbors.

Only one woman in the theater seemed excited by this prospect during a recent show, sprinting down the main aisle to flail her arms and smile a lot. Meanwhile, everybody else shifted uncomfortably in their seats, wishing that the show would just start already.

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is a case being careful what you wish for.

It’s not that Bareback — which is being staged at the Clint Holmes Theatre in Harrah’s — is terrible, because it isn’t. Actually, it’s kind of fun and sort of funny — and definitely something to tell your friends about when you get home from Vegas. There certainly are a lot of breasts and, yes, it’s totally gratuitous.

In the opening scene, four strapping guys known as the Wild Bunch swagger on stage, singing and dancing to Big & Rich’s “Comin’ to Your City.” (If you hate Big & Rich, avoid this show at all costs.) The hunky guys sing at the same time, but there is no harmony involved. Before long, a sassy woman arrives, doing her best to sing Gretchen Wilson’s “Here for the Party.” And by the next song, Big & Rich’s bouncy “Jalapeno,” the boobs are everywhere — on the stage, on the bar, to the right, to the left. Occasionally, they’re in the audience, too, trying to get volunteers to join the troupe on stage.

Generally speaking, that’s the plot of Bareback. Sorry to give it away.

Farther up the Vegas Strip, there’s a similar revue called Buck Wild, but they have two shows — clothed at 7 p.m. and getting-what-you-paid-for at 9 p.m. If Bareback offered a clothed show, it might be a hit at Dollywood, because the choreography is pretty good and the songs are mostly upbeat and familiar. There’s a little bit of wink-wink, nudge-nudge and some bumping and grinding, but mostly the breasts are the main reason to go check it out.

The singing isn’t much to speak of, especially the extremely irritating Shania Twain segment. Personally I didn’t appreciate one member of the Wild Bunch accusing the audience of wondering why he was singing country music in the first place. In truth, I don’t know if anybody particularly noticed him — or any of the guys — considering the scenery. Except maybe during the revue’s performance of Keith Anderson’s “XXL” when the biggest, hottest guy jumped on the bar and the equal opportunity laws briefly kicked in.

At the very least, you can be thankful that nobody pole-dances to “Georgia on My Mind.” But there has to be a better way to pass the time than some chump telling limp Lorena Bobbitt and Viagra jokes.

All in all, Bareback is a rough ride, but some people go for that sort of thing. The coed bull-riding during Garth Brooks’ “Rodeo” was pretty hot, and I didn’t realize you could twist like that while listening to Sugarland. But if this much jiggling makes you all a-twitter, this show might be more than you can, um, bear.

Craig Shelburne has been writing for since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.