Kenny Chesney At Gillette Stadium
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By Erin Lefebvre
As has become tradition, Kenny Chesney closed out his annual summer trek at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Aug. 24 to a packed crowd of more than 50,000 fans. The final stop on Chesney's No Shoes Nation tour was his last before he begins a touring hiatus to focus on new music through 2014, but it was clear that being away from the stage was the last thing on the country star's mind this night.
Chesney greeted the massive crowd with a rockin' rendition of his hit duet with Tim McGraw "Feel Like A Rock Star" as he covered nearly every inch of the elaborate stage while running, jumping and kneeling down to shake hands with fans. Chesney's energy supply seemed never-ending as he kept up with every ounce of spirit that the crowd was feeding him.
Chesney sang an array of hits from his extensive catalog, including "Big Star," "Don't Happen Twice," "How Forever Feels," "I Go Back," and "Young" while mixing in plenty of newer hits as well. From his most recent album, the No. 1 Life On A Rock, Chesney treated fans to "Pirate Flag," "When I See This Bar" and, for the first time in front of a live audience, "Happy On The Hey Now (A Song For Kristi)," an emotional tribute to a late friend.
Always thankful and happy to share the spotlight, Chesney took time to bring out all of his opening acts for a few duets. Nashville-based singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves joined for "Come Over"; the Eli Young Band chimed in on the Eagles' "Take It Easy"; and North Carolina's Eric Church added a raw sound to Chesney's latest single, "When I See This Bar."
An exceptionally emotional and proud moment came when Chesney sang "Boston," a song he told the crowd he wrote for them. "Boston" was never released as a radio single but that didn't stop this Boston-area crowd from knowing the song word-for-word, and singing it with passion. Overtaken with emotion, Chesney told the crowd that for as long as he's been touring, it was the loudest he's ever heard a crowd and he hoped the ringing in his ears would last for months.
Nearing the end of his set, as a tribute to his "friend down in Texas," Chesney sang a cover of Texas native George Strait's "The Fireman." Though not a usual staple in Chesney's set, the song was met with major enthusiasm from the crowd. From there Chesney wrapped the show his usual way, by singing "Boys Of Fall" followed by an encore of his signature hit "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy."
While fans will certainly miss the entertainer in 2014, Chesney made certain to give the Foxborough crowd everything he had to hold them over for an extra summer.
"Feel Like A Rock Star"
"Living In Fast Forward"
"How Forever Feels"
"Happy On The Hey Now (A Song For Kristi)"
"Beer In Mexico"
"When The Sun Goes Down"
"I Go Back"
"Never Wanted Nothing More"
"No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems"
"Out Last Night"
"Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven"
"Don't Happen Twice"
"Somewhere With You"
"You And Tequila"
"Blister In The Sun" (with Mark Tamburino)
"Come Over" (with Kacey Musgraves)
"Take It Easy" (with Eli Young Band) (Eagles cover)
"When I See This Bar" (with Eric Church)
"The Fireman" (George Straight cover)
"Boys Of Fall"
"She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy"
(Erin Lefebvre serves as the GRAMMY.com Community Blogger for the Country Field. Lefebvre co-founded CountryMusicIsLove.com in July 2008 to give fans a place to stay connected to country music and the artists they love. When she's not listening to or writing about music, Lefebvre can usually be found at the ballpark with her two kids.)