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 http://www.countrymusicislove.com/2012/08/kenny-chesney-tim-mcgraw-show-at-metlife-stadium-sets-all-time-record-for-nycnj-country-event.html).
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.
- Welcome to the Fishbowl (Intro & Video)
- Beer in Mexico
- Keg in the Closet
- No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem
- How Forever Feels
- I Go Back
- Come Over
- Anything But Mine
- Back Where I Come From
- Livin’ In Fast Forward
- Somewhere With You
- Never Wanted Nothing More
- You and Tequila (with Grace Potter)
- Out Last Night
- When The Sun Goes Down
- Don’t Happen Twice
- Boys of Fall
- Feel Like A Rockstar (ENCORE – with Tim McGraw)
- She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy (ENCORE – with Tim McGraw)
- Indian Outlaw (ENCORE – with Tim McGraw)
- Running on Empty (ENCORE – with Tim McGraw and Jake Owen and Grace Potter)
- Felt Good On My Lips
- For A Little While
- Down on the Farm
- Real Good Man
- Last Dollar
- Where the Green Grass Grows
- All I Want is a Life
- Just to See You Smile
- Better Than I Used to Be
- Let It Go
- How Bad Do You Want It
- Back When
- Something Like That
- Southern Voice
- Live Like You Were Dying
- Cowboy In Me (Encore)
- I Like It, I Love It (Encore)
- Truck Yeah (Encore)