Soul 2 Soul
Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
Venetian Theater, Las Vegas, NV
February 15 and 16, 2013
If you ever doubted the power that country couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill has, all thoughts would be erased if you spent any time at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Tim and Faith’s images are displayed on huge billboards, advertisements, and slot machines all over the hotel and casino. Even the elevators play a commercial with snippets of their songs continuously on repeat. All of the advertising for the “two icons, ten weekends” paid off as I was treated to two sold out shows at the intimate Venetian Theater. I saw the early show on Friday, February 15th (8:00 p.m.) and the late show on Saturday, February 16th (10:30 p.m.) as they performed two shows each night.
The Venetian Theater is covered with roman statutes, red and gold drapery, candles and chandeliers. The stage is quite small and was illuminated with blue lights and silver bars. The Waylon Jennings classic “Are you sure Hank Done It This Way” blasted over the speakers right before the lights went low and Tim and Faith’s silhouettes appeared on a large screen on stage and the two shared in singing “Like I Never Loved At All”. However, to everyone’s surprise, when the shade dropped, the two were not on stage, but walking in from the back of the theater down the aisles on both sides. Faith sang the appropriate “Hey Baby Let’s Go to Vegas” and both shook hands and took pictures with fans as they made their way down the aisle to the stage.
As they got on stage, Tim ripped into the megahit, “Something Like That” as Faith danced around her husband, full of smiles. It thrilled the crowd to see the two interact on stage with true affection. Thee setup of the show was class all the way. The backdrop for each of the songs were detailed with intricate moving shapes and an impressive light show. Tim and Faith combined their respective band members for a megaband that added an impressive backing of instruments and vocals.
Each night was essentially the same, despite some of the banter and their wardrobe. At one point, halfway through the show, the two sat at chairs and spoke directly to the crowd. The first night, the two were absolutely hysterical. They joked about orthodontists, twitter, the Grammy’s, and Duck Dynasty. Faith told the crowd how she wants to be like Beyonce to which Tim responded with “Oh, Beyonce and Jay-Z ain’t got nothing on us”.
They also spoke about their music influences. Faith said her first ever show was Elvis, when she was eight years old. To which Tim responded with “yeah, he was fat”. She also said she loved Tammy Wynettte, George Strait, Reba and Aretha Franklin.
Tim said he grew up on Merle Haggard and George Jones, but when he got older he got into Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, and Rush. However, he said the band that made him want to make his own music was the Eagles. Tim sang two Eagles songs after Faith sang a bit of Tammy Wynette. He playfully said, “that sounded good, what you got Faith?” She responded by singing a bombastic Aretha Franklin song and he said “oh well, this is where I get my ass kicked”.
The show’s setlist was set up similarly to Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne Tour (see http://millertimemusicspot.blogspot.com/2011/11/watch-throne-madison-square-garden.html) in that the couple performed songs separately mixed in with duets. The crowd responded with a plethera of cheers and screams during their most intimate songs. “Like I Never Loved at All” and “It’s Your Love” were performed with passion. They embraced each other with hugs and kisses after many of the songs and the audience could see the true admiration the two have for each other.
One glaring omission from the setlist was “Let’s Make Love”. Instead, they opted to sing “Like I Never Loved At All” twice. Despite that one exclusion, the rest of the choices were perfect. I had previously seen Tim live a half dozen or so times, but this was the first time I’d ever seen Faith. She really surpassed my expectations and his voice was impeccable and she moved around the stage with true grace and class. A stand-out moment was her performance of “Cry” which she appeared in front of green lights and a four illuminated circles that moved dramatically around the stage (see video below).
Tim performed an astounding version of “Live Like You Were Drying” that brought people to tears before the Encore. As the lights went dim, two chairs facing each other, with a single microphone rose from beneath the stage. Faith walked in from the left and Tim from the right and sat down grasping each other. They performed a beautiful rendition of “I Need You”, all while looking into each other’s eyes. At song’s end, they kissed, hugged, stood up and bowed. They the walked off the stage and up the aisle to the exit, hand-in-hand. You could not help getting goosebumps watching the two mega-stars perform to perfection, all the while showing style and elegance. But, most of all, they displayed true love for each other.
- Like I Never Loved At All (Snippet)
- Hey Baby Let’s Go To Vegas
- Something Like That
- This Kiss
- Real Good Man
- Let Me Let Go
- It’s Your Love
- Cowboy In Me
- One of Those Nights
- Like We Never Loved At All
- Time (Tammy Wynette Cover)
- Can’t Tell You Why (Eagles Cover)
- Life In The Fast Lane (Eagles Cover)
- Dr. Feelgood (Aretha Franklin Cover)
- American Heart
- Felt Good On My Lips
- Take Another Piece of My Heart
- Live Like I Was Dying
- I Need You (Encore)