Surprise-Filled Kick-Off For The 'Brothers of the Sun' Tour, With Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, in Tampa, FL
Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entrainment Columnist
|Kenny Chesney on stage In Tampa|
With spirits high and the amps cranked up, a packed stadium of fans witnessed the momentous kick-off to the 'Brothers of the Sun' Tour, with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, Saturday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. With a monstrous stage production, scorching takes on hits new and old, and an encore by Chesney and McGraw featuring classics from both superstars, the Tampa kick-off proved why the 'Brothers of the Sun' Tour has been dubbed "the 'Watch The Throne'...of country music concerts" (Chicago Tribune).
Rising from an elevator midfield and floating to the stage on a swing, Chesney began his set with a trio of smash hits that mirrored the crowd's celebratory mood - "Beer in Mexico," "Keg in the Closet," and "Summertime." He continued with the live return of "What I Need To Do" and "On The Coast of Somewhere Beautiful" which did not appear on any setlists in 2011, and a stirring rendition of his latest single "Come Over," from his upcoming album 'Welcome To The Fishbowl' (June 19).
"I have to tell you what a fitting place Tampa is for us to start the Brothers of the Sun Tour!" Chesney said. "...here, it's always summertime."
Chesney rises from mid-field in RJ Stadium, Tampa Photo by Jill Trunnell
The nearly seven-hour show began with sets from rising stars Jake Owen and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. Potter was welcomed to the stage during Chesney's set to perform an emotional version of their GRAMMY-nominated platinum duet "You & Tequila," followed by a birthday celebration for Nocturnals drummer Matt Burr. Sports fans in the crowd received a special surprise as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' new star tight end Dallas Clark joined Chesney onstage during the set-closing "The Boys of Fall." The party was up and running backstage, too, with sports-world superstars Jon Gruden, Steve Spurrier, Dallas Clark, and Kirk Herbstreit enjoying the perfect Florida sun.
Excitement for the all-day party, that "some are calling...country music’s biggest tour ever" (AP), reached a fever pitch as McGraw joined Chesney onstage for an electrifying 30-minute encore that kicked off with their duet "Feel Like a Rock Star." The set continued with "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," McGraw's "Indian Outlaw" and "Refried Dreams," and a cover of Jackson Browne's "Running On Empty," with Grace Potter and Jake Owen, that sent the crowd home feeling anything but.
The 'Brothers of the Sun' Tour, with Chesney and McGraw visits the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA tonight. Next weekend, the "heartland rocking madness (Dallas Morning News)" will descend upon Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, TX and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO.
Rych McCain Media/Syndication tm
(You DID Hear it From Me!)