Kenny knew he wanted to have a song that captured the intensity of his road family, live show and the irrepressible No Shoes Nation when he started putting together Here And Now. He didn’t know where or how, just that after over a decade of hardcore tailgates and parking lot parties, he wanted to acknowledge the powerful way he sees the million-plus people from his stadium tours living life.
“I always talk about how I can hear them from the bus,” says Kenny, “and that fun just gets backstage, floats through the air. You get caught up in it. And I hear the stories, about Lot 12, the people who come together from all over, the cookouts, the tiki bars, the people raising money for charity... They take all that energy, then they go out into the world and live their lives the same way. Knowing that, you really do want to ask, ‘Who lives like we do?’ Because the answer is simple: ‘We Do.’”
With the first half of Chesney’s 2020 tour postponed, the fans refused to give up on a day they’d been looking forward to for over a year. With a hashtag #VirtualTailgateParty, the fans got together across social media, No Shoes Radio platforms – and a few “socially distancing” people actually in AT&T Stadium’s Lot 12 where they would’ve been throwing down before 2020’s first show.
Built around his road family’s rallying cry: “Who gets to live like we do? WE DO,” it is two minutes and 28 seconds of absolute swoop and build. The verses lean very specifically to the convergence of Kenny and the 50-to-60,000 who come out to his stadium shows, as well as amphitheater concerts, but once again Chesney has found a chorus that speaks to the essence of life lived in the moment and for all its worth.
In a burst of pure unbridled euphoria, Kenny drops into a chorus of, “We laugh and we love and we can’t get enough/ As loud as we’re living, man, we still turn it up/ We’re amplified, come alive, side by side/ No matter where it goes you know we’re here for the ride...” “This is a song that wouldn’t exist without all those people on my road family, the folks at all the stadiums nationwide, the radio people who start blasting our music when we’re coming to town,” Chesney admits. “But even more importantly, without No Shoes Nation. So, when we were talking about the grat tracks, I knew two things: 1) I wanted this song to be out right before the record, so the energy they give me is lifting all of us up, 2) I wanted to find a way to let No Shoes Nation hear it first! Kind of like a note to your best friend about a big thing that happened – only in this case, the big thing is them!”
For members of No Shoes Nation, a link to the stream will arrive on Thursday, April 23. For everyone else, “We Do” is available everywhere on Friday, April 24. Joining “Knowing You” and “Guys Named Captain,” as well as the power-punch “Here And Now,” Here And Now appears to be as immediate and as varied a record as The Big Revival, Cosmic Hallelujah or even When the Sun Goes Down.