Review: The Brothers of the Sun Make History as they become Giants of NJ

Brothers of the Sun Tour
Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw
with Jake Owen and Grace Potter
Metlife Stadium, NJ – August 11, 2012

Last year Kenny Chesney came to Metlife Stadium with Zac Brown Band and made history as the biggest country music show of all time in the New York/New Jersey area.  This year, Chesney brought, long-time friend and megastar, Tim McGraw along with him and they upped the ante.  By the time the lights went out at the home of the Super Bowl Champions, Chesney & McGraw had finished a set for 56,285 fans, breaking that previous record (see

As I pulled into the Stadium parking lot I saw a crowd rushing towards the side where a shirtless Tim McGraw was standing outside his bus.  He was simply standing there posing with no shirt, a bandana and atheltic shorts.  Women were flocking to take pictures and to take a gander at the unbelievably fit singer.

 I did not get into the actual Stadium for Jake Owen or Grace Potter’s sets, but by the time I took my seat, a few minutes before McGraw took to the stage, the Stadium was already at full capacity.  New Jersey’s Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” began to play over the sound system as McGraw’s band took to the stage and the big screens followed the lead man’s walk up from backstage to the forefront.  He walked to the front of the catwalk, took the microphone and immediately launched into “Felt Good On My Lips”. 

McGraw’s style is very different from Chesney’s.  There is no running around or jumping up and down.  Instead, he strolls around the stage pointing to and slapping hands with fans.  He takes a lot of time standing with his arms out stretched.  But, the style works well for the man who has become a true sex symbol in music, movies, and fashion.  His set worked in many amazing classics, a few slower ballads, and a couple of new, un-released singles. 

A few people in the crowd brought along jerseys of his father, Tug McGraw, a former Phillies and Mets pitcher, in which Tim was happy to grab the jersey and hold it up to the crowd.  He even brought his mother out on stage during “Let It Go”.  The new song “Mexicoma” was a big miss as most of the crowd did not seem to be interested in it at all.  But when the opening notes of songs like “Where the Green Grass Grows”, “Last Dollar” or “Something Like That” were played, the entire Stadium seemed to jump out of their chairs and get right back into it. 

Overall, McGraw’s set did not flow as well as Chesney’s, but when his classic songs were played, the sound level from the crowd was no different.  He finished off the set with an emotional rendition of “Live Like You Were Dying” and came back out after a short encore to “Cowboy In Me” and “I Like It, I Love It”.  By this time, the sky had turned dark and the stadium had become illuminated with lights, screens, and energetic fans.  He finished the hour and half set with his newest single, “Truck Yeah”.  The lights went dark, the crowd was satisfied, yet the main event was yet to come. 

After about a half an hour, a ten minute video, showcasing Kenny Chesney’s many travels to beaches around the world, while the song “Welcome to the Fishbowl” was played over the speakers.  It culminated with a video of Chesney standing atop the empty Stadium with two football helmets in hand.  He stated he was happy to be in the home of the “New York Jets and the Super Bowl Champion New York Football Giants”.  The crowd roared and Chesney emerged from a hole in the middle of the Stadium. 

From there, Chesney did not slow down for the rest of the night.  He was off and running with “Beer In Mexico” then got onto a swing to fly over the crowd to the main stage as he sang “Keg in the Closet”.  The swing has become synonomous with Chesney Stadium shows as are songs about the summer.  When he touched down to the main stage he did not disapoint as he ripped into “Summertime”.  The perfect start to a perfect set. 

Chesney played all of his hits and his entire hour and a half solo set was nothing short of a sing-a-long.  He played up to Giants and Jets fans alike.  He sang of old memories with “I Go Back” and “Anything But Mine”.  And he told stories of forbidden love on tunes such as “Come Over” and Somewhere With You”.

A true highlight was when he brought out Grace Potter for their duet to “You and Tequila”.  This song is easily one of my favorite country songs and I have seen him perform it live many times.  However, this was the first time I saw him do it live with Grace.  Their voices go together with such ease as the song combines love, alcohol, and the summer – three things that are clear influences in Chesney’s music. 

Chesney, as usual, worked up quite the sweat.  He ran from side to side and gave his all into the performance.  It is not suprising that he can fill up Stadiums across America.  His songs equal his performance and the crowd really responds to what he does on stage.  He is a true superstar in every sense of the word.

His final song of his set was “Boys of Fall”.  I was bit disappointed that Eli Manning nor none of the home team’s players emerged on stage for this song.  But I quickly moved past that when Tim McGraw emerged from the center stage during the first song of the encore, and the two Brothers of the Sun sang “Feel Like A Rockstar” from dueling stages, ala Jay-Z and Kanye West on their Watch The Throne Tour.

The encore was the real highlight of the night as the two megastars traded verses on “Indian Outlaw” and “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”.  The two used every inch of the stage, with Tim’s swagger and Kenny’s energy in full force.  They were full of smiles and truly seemed to enjoy sharing the spotlight.  The night was finished with “Running on Empty”, as Jake Owen and Grace Potter emerged on stage as well.  They took a solid ten minutes to sign autographs for the crowd and give out a New York Giants helmet to a young girl. 

The record breaking concert was everything the fans had hoped for and more.  That beautiful August night was country music at its finest with two of its stars shining bright in the biggest stage of all.  One can only hope that Kenny Chesney keeps his Stadium tours alive so that more and more fans can witness this summertime staple. 


Kenny Chesney

  1. Welcome to the Fishbowl (Intro & Video)
  2. Beer in Mexico
  3. Keg in the Closet
  4. Summertime
  5. Reality
  6. No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem
  7. How Forever Feels
  8. I Go Back
  9. Come Over
  10. Anything But Mine
  11. Back Where I Come From
  12. Livin’ In Fast Forward
  13. Young
  14. Somewhere With You
  15. Never Wanted Nothing More
  16. You and Tequila (with Grace Potter)
  17. Out Last Night
  18. When The Sun Goes Down
  19. Don’t Happen Twice
  20. Boys of Fall
  21. Feel Like A Rockstar (ENCORE – with Tim McGraw)
  22. She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy (ENCORE – with Tim McGraw)
  23. Indian Outlaw (ENCORE – with Tim McGraw)
  24. Running on Empty (ENCORE – with Tim McGraw and Jake Owen and Grace Potter)

Tim McGraw

  1. Felt Good On My Lips
  2. For A Little While
  3. Down on the Farm
  4. Real Good Man
  5. Last Dollar
  6. Unbroken
  7. Everywhere
  8. Where the Green Grass Grows
  9. Mexicoma
  10. All I Want is a Life
  11. Just to See You Smile
  12. Better Than I Used to Be
  13. Let It Go
  14. How Bad Do You Want It
  15. Back When
  16. Something Like That
  17. Southern Voice
  18. Live Like You Were Dying
  19. Cowboy In Me (Encore)
  20. I Like It, I Love It (Encore)
  21. Truck Yeah (Encore)
Where The Green Grass Grows
I Go Back
You And Tequila
You and Tequila (Crowd Singing)

Kip Moore at the Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Kip Moore
Bowery Ballroom, NYC
w/ Chase Rice
August 3, 2012

Kip Moore brought his band up from Nashville to the busy streets of New York City as they took to the stage at the Bowery Ballroom on Friday night.  Moore, who is arguably country music’s newest rising star, released his album, “Up All Night” on April 24, 2012.  Before the show began I was able to catch up with Kip and he told me he was “going to rock it tonight”.  Let’s just say, he lived up to those words. 

Chase Rice, a relatively new name on the country circuit kicked off the show with a few acoustic tunes.  Rice is a former runner up on CBS’ “Survivor” during the season set in Nicaragua.  He has a very nice touch in his songwriting and connected with the crowd, despite sitting on a stool the entire time and not having a back-up band.  Songs such as “Only A Country Girl” and “Dirt Road Communion” seemed to resonate with fans and many even knew the words.  He told me after the show that he plans on setting out on Tour in the Fall with Kellie Pickler, among other names.  I look forward to hearing more from him the future

When it was time for Kip Moore to the hit the stage, the Friday Night New York City crowd was amped and ready.  Moore and his band came out swinging with “Crazy One More Time” and his newest single, which is currently #35 and climbing on the Billboard Country Singles Chart, “Beer Money”.  The crowd seemingly knew every word and Moore was full of smiles and energy as he and his talented band pounded out the two album favorites.  He stated to the crowd “man, I can drink with the best of them, but NYC you kicked my ass.  I came crawling back at 4 am last night”. 

Throughout his set, Moore thew in humorous statements in between his songs.  Moore has been dubbed the “Hill-billy Springsteen” for his songwriting style as well as his gravely voice.  This was extremely apparent on a song called “New York City, which he played acoustically.  He apparently had written that day in his hotel room when a “certain feeling overcame him”.  But this intimate song really showcased how much talent he has. 

Amongst numerous party songs that had the crowd enticed throughout, he mixed in a few love and breakup songs.  He talked about the three stages after a break-up before singing about the stages in “Fly Again” and he had all love birds hugging and kissing during the amazing song “Hey Pretty Girl”.  He stated he wrote that song when one of his guitarists told him that his wife was having a baby and they needed to really make it happen at that point.  His statement “we are all designed to find someone who you can go through life with” really resonates during that song.  I personally think that “Hey Pretty Girl” should be his next single. 

Moore was full of anecdotes and commentary on his songs and he told a true story of telling off a record company who wanted to change who he was during “Reckless”.  But the highlight of the night came when he spoke about his old pick-up truck.  He told the crowd his first  truck had 400,000 miles on it with no air conditioner and the windows wouldn’t go down.  But one day his father let him take his truck and … “Something Bout A Truck” was born.  The crowd sang most of the first verse and Moore was happy to let them do it.  A full on sing-a-long ensued and Moore was most active and energetic as he absolutely fed on that energy (see video below).

Moore finished off the flawless set with a cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Falling”.  I was hoping for a Springsteen cover, but no one seemed to mind.  I have been extremely impressed with his first album and was hoping his live performance would live up to my expectations.  That night, he did that and more.  He truly showed me he has the “it” factor that many new artists lack.  I expect we will hear a lot more from Kip Moore in the future. 


  1. Crazy One More Time
  2. Beer Money
  3. Mary Was the Marrying Kind
  4. Reckless
  5. Good Time Girl
  6. New York City
  7. Fly Again
  8. Motorcycle
  9. Baby Break My Heart
  10. Gunna Be a Big One
  11. Tell Me Where the Party At
  12. Hey Pretty Girl
  13. Something Bout A Truck
  14. Free Falling (Encore: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Cover)