Toby Keith's Last Concert Before His Death Is Even More Tear-Jerking Now

Toby Keith played an unexpected string of shows just weeks before his death. The country singer, who died on February 5 from stomach cancer, played his last show on December 14, 2023 at Dolby Live at Park MGM in Las Vegas. This was after a long layoff from performing due to his cancer diagnosis in 2022, but Keith was in good form as he performed fan favorites such as "Red Solo Cup," "Beer for My Horses," and "Should've Been a Cowboy."

Initially, Keith had planned two shows, but he wound up performing three. "3 sold out shows in Vegas was a damn good way to end the year," he wrote in an Instagram post on December 28, 2023. After the singer's death was announced, fans viewed that post in a different light. "Man ... he just went out like a pro until the very end," one follower wrote.

One song that particularly struck a chord with fans who attended the show was Keith's hit "Don't Let the Old Man In." On January 12, Keith's Instagram was updated with a snap from the Vegas show. "This is your weekend reminder to not let that old man in," the caption read. "I cried when he started singing this; the first thought I had, he was telling us good-bye," a fan who attended the show wrote in the comments. The phrase which the song was based on came from a conversation with a famous actor, and had a special meaning for Keith.

Toby Keith took the phrase from Clint Eastwood

In October 2023, Toby Keith announced that he would be performing in Las Vegas. After a long layoff, the "As Good As I Once Was" singer planned a few rehearsal shows in Nashville. "First time in my whole life I've been off over two years. I've never been off a year in my life," he said in a video announcing the Las Vegas shows. The country singer had grown restless from not hitting the stage. "I was going to sit around here and do nothing like I have been, or get up and go outside and don't let the old man in," Keith said in his video to fans.

The song "Don't Let the Old Man In" was famously featured on the soundtrack for Clint Eastwood's 2018 movie "The Mule." It was Eastwood who came up with the phrase, as Keith recalled a conversation he had with the actor-director at a charity golf event. Keith had asked Eastwood how he remained so prolific at an old age. "He said, 'I just get up every morning and go out. And I don't let the old man in,'" Keith told Billboard in December 2018. "And I thought, I'm writing that." While discussing the craft that went into the song, Keith said he became obsessed with it. "When I finally sang the line, I thought, it's got to be dark, it's got to be a ballad and it's got to be simple," he told the publication.