Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Uncasville, CT With six months off – four of those in serious production and rehearsals, Kenny Chesney blazed into the first two sold out nights at the Mohegan Sun's arena – keeping the crowd on their feet for well over 100 minutes of music.
"Man, it felt great to be back on stage – and what a great audience to kick this tour off with," said Chesney. "I always say whatever we give them, the audience gives it back harder…. And they did last night. They made me glad to be getting back on the road, singing for the fans again because there is nothing in the world like the people who love our music."
The high energy show, which takes Chesney's signature laidback, goodtime attitude, and high tech video to new levels, pulling a couple Kenny classics out of the closet, adding a couple songs from his million-selling Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates that have not been singles yet and playing a total of 2 ballads songs, Chesney hit songs from every phase of his career. With a looseness that made the night even more feel-good, he forgot a verse to his 6 week 1 "Never Wanted Nothing More" and laughed, "Hey, it's the first night… We'll just sing it twice."
"Truly being in the moment means you respond to what's happening around you," admits the man who has played to over a million fans each of the past 6 summers. "The fans are so much a part of what we do out there – and there were moments when those folks in the top tier all the way at the back, you could feel them and their energy. They let you know they were in the house."
As he has over the past two tours, Chesney marked the performance by signing a guitar during the encore, then finding a young fan to present the instrument to. "To me, it is so much about how we share music… the fans and I… and I secretly hope that one day, one or two of these kids are gonna grow up and have record deals. That this moment might spark that in them."
Chesney also shared his stage with a bride-to-be in her veil, a young boy of 5 or 6 who worked the T so well that Chesney proclaimed him "a natural" and a variety of crew members, who played acoustic guitar, steel drum and harmonica at various points in the evening. A lot of laughter, even more singing along – for huge portions of both the 6 week feel-good 1 "Summertime" and the 3 week 1 "Anything But Mine" – and a band that was at height of their powers, let Chesney swing for the bleachers with everything he had.
"Everybody knows I'm most alive when I'm on that stage," says the man whose tour is presented by Corona Extra. "People don't realize how much works goes into getting where we are tonight…. But that's not what's important. To me, it's getting out there and giving the people a show that's even better than the year before. If we can give them that, and based on how they responded, then I did what I set out to do… There is nothing in the world like rocking an audience, and last night, they rocked us back."
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