43,314 Sell-Out, Debuts New Song w Eric Church, Sings for George Strait
Milwaukee: The Miller Stadium show anticipation - for artist and fans -- was palpable, as the No Shoes Nation Tour drew 43,314 strong to the stadium, which has not hosted a concert since 2010. As The Milwaukee Journal Sun noted in early in its review: "this felt like the kind of event people have been dying to enjoy for months."
That newness inspired Chesney to debut a song from his recent Billboard #1 all-genre Top 200 Albums debut Life On A Rock: the potent "When I See This Bar." He invited tour-mate Eric Church to share the reflective slice of who we were long before we realized how special the moments we're just living really are.
"'When I See This Bar' is the kind of song you have to have lived," Chesney confesses. "Most people do, they just never step back and realize what all those lost nights, afternoon beers and friendships really mean. They make you who are, get you through tough things and get you laughing... Obviously, 'When I See This Bar' is important to me; I know Eric's been there, too, and knows that power of place, so it was great to get him up there."
Still in the moment, Chesney also had the capacity crowd sing "Happy Birthday" to his good friend George Strait, who was turning 60. Promising the crowd he would email it to King George, the enthusiasm was palpable.
"That's one of the things about this life - and the people of the No Shoes Nation," Chesney enthused. "There are so many crazy, nonlinear things you can do... if you can dream them. The fans feed me to dream outside the lines - like singing 'Happy Birthday' to George - and that's one of the best parts of making a life making music."
And bringing people together in the name of those songs. The Journal Sentinel went on to note, "Busting out to the swagger of "Feel Like a Rock Star," he spent the subsequent two hours proving he was one, running all around the stage, the sweat stain spreading wider and wider on his shirt... it was clear to the revelers this was no mere concert."
"We've played so many places," Chesney says, "there's a special thrill when you get to go somewhere new, or different. It's why we're mixing it up this year: arenas, amphitheatres, a few Keg shows in clubs, the Tortuga Festival on the beach. But Milwaukee - like Dallas last weekend - had a very special magic to it. Those fans! That stadium! Funny how places that couldn't be more different both have so much heart."
Getting ready to shoot a profile with CBS News' "Sunday Morning," the 8-time Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year is in full touring gear. But that doesn't mean his reflective album is getting lost in the shuffle. As the Church debut proves, the singer/songwriter/supernova's LOAR is - as Billboard wrote - "surely the most personal work he's ever done," while The Washington Post added, "It's a bold move, considering that a new crop of country rockers are selling millions of albums modeled on Chesney's pounding arena rock sound. But, Chesney follows his muse and offers an album that exposes his weathered soul... as appealing as it is surprising."