Sports Luminaries Show Up & Join The Party
Dallas: With his Life On A Rock becoming his seventh all-genre Top 200 Albums #1 debut, Kenny Chesney hit Dallas wide open. With a crowd of 45,026 reaching to the rafters at Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Chesney played a two hour show that included old hits, recent hits and the Top 5 with a bullet "Pirate Flag."
"We started this tour two months ago in Tampa, Florida, and I've been waiting all that time to get here," Chesney told the assembled music fans who danced in the end zone, waved No Shoes Nation pirate flags in the second tier and sang every word to the songs they know by heart, as he pointed at the very highest point in the far section. "Last night, I sat right up there for nearly two hours, anticipating this moment. I think music is the most important force in life, and I'm glad to be sharing it with all of you."
Chesney also shared the night with some of football's most elite figures. Legendary Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was on hand with this family, as well as Cowboys All Pro Defensive End DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten, University of Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp, University of Arkansas Brett Bielema and New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton.
"I was joking it was almost like the ESPIES backstage," Chesney said with a laugh. "To have so many great athletes in one place, just hanging out and enjoying the night... It's not just cool, it reminds me of the level of work, heart and commitment that the men who play sports in this stadium bring. It kind of sets a whole other bar for me."
Kenny Greenberg strode down the T, taking a particularly burning solo on "Somewhere With You," while Wyatt Beard provided some shimmering piano on otherwise vocal only intimate take on "There Goes My Life" at Cowboys Stadium. As the band extended its vamp on "The Boys of Fall," Chesney singled out a boy who'd been near the front all evening - and presented him with an official Cowboys helmet. Later, he presented a young girl with a guitar, which he'd signed to mark the moment.
With well-received sets from native Texans Kacey Musgraves and the Eli Young Band, as well as Eric Church, it was indeed a night of what music can hold. For Chesney, whose 2013 No Shoes Nation Tour will hit 19 NFL Stadiums before it wraps August 23-24 at Foxboro, MA's Gillette Stadium, he's already put summer into overdrive in early May.
With major features in Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal and People, Chesney's most intimate record to date has garnered several strong reviews. The Boston Globe proclaimed, "Chesney returns to that reflective, often acoustic place for Life On A Rock, and again hits a high-water mark," Billboard offered, "Kenny Chesney's Life On A Rock is surely the most personal work he's ever done, and time will likely prove it to be among his best-loved by fans" and The Chicago Tribune opined, "the country superstar turns down the volume to offer a quieter and more contemplative meditation on sand and sea."