Chesney rocks his fans like, well, a hurricane
Kenny Chesney sure knows how to “Live a Little.”
Suspended on a cable over the crowd at Gillette Stadium last night, the country superstar offered up a last gasp of summertime hedonism, ‘Goin’ Coastal’ before Hurricane Irene slammed the area.
The impending arrival of the storm churning up the East Coast bumped Sunday’s concert up to last night.
But the diminutive, well-muscled singer — sporting a white cowboy hat, a black wife-beater and blue jeans — unleashed a wave of big country that rocked the arena ahead of the storm.
Nothing Merle Haggard fans would recognize, but something fans of arena rock would and do. Chesney’s encore of Steve Miller’s “The Joker” was more than apropos.
“One thing I know from playing this town is the mentality of this crowd goes hand-in-hand with this song,” Chesney said, launching into “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem.”
Yes, Chesney is the Jimmy Buffett of his domain. Toss in a lot of Bon Jovi major chords, too.
Chesney got sensitive at times — “There Goes My Life” stood out — but he was pretty relentless in his drive down the middle of the party-hearty road.
Near the end, he played the treacly, would-be inspirational football ballad, “The Boys of Fall.”
The Zac Brown Band joined for encores, including a couple of Alabama songs and a long, rip-snorting version of Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” the night’s best number.
Brown’s band opened with an 80-minute set. They swim in the country-rock/jam band world — and also take occasional dips in Buffett’s waters.
Earlier, Brown dedicated “Highway 20” to a local soldier just killed overseas.
The soldier was supposed to be home for Brown’s concert.