Kenny Chesney kicked off his No Shoes Nation Tour 2013 some five months ago in Florida, but the contemporary country singer had been thinking about this town since March.
Playing one of the tour's last two shows Friday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, Chesney said after his headlining experience at Gillette last year, he named his New England fans a “No Shoes Nation,” leading to the name of the 2013 tour.
The weather was perfect for the huge crowd and there were few disappointments. (The amount of fans vomiting in the stadium could have been one of those few disappointments). Chesney played a great variety of songs ranging from his first releases to hits from his newest, "Life on a Rock."
Prior to Chesney, Eric Church played for a good hour. His set opened with billows of smoke, blood-red lights and air sirens — not your typical Nashville how-do-ya-do. Church came out with his trademark trucker cap pulled down low, his dark sunglasses hiding his eyes. Shadow-boxing and screaming, he launched into the song "Creepin'" with a snarl. The song's sound effects ranged from stones in a Jack Daniels bottle to scraping a can. Church wrapped up his set with his hit, "Springsteen" and then proceeded to play "Born To Run" by that titular artist.
When Chesney entered the stage, he didn't do it in his usual zip-line fashion, he simply walked out and got down to business with "Rock Star." He wore his trademark cowboy hat and jeans and a tank top that said, “Spread the Love: A Fund for Boston” (the fund that Chesney started himself in the wake of the Marathon bombings). Chesney stopped to remember the victims of the Marathon Bombings at one point and reportedly made a private stop at Boston Medical Center on Thursday where he met with some of the amputees. Many were backstage in VIP seats too. Chesney even switched from his usual cowboy hat to a Boston Strong Baseball cap before singing the song "Boston."
The 45-year-old kept the crowd on their feet for more than two hours, singing all of his greatest hits; "Summertime," "I Go Back" and "You and Tequila," to name a few.
As is the tradition with Chesney's big summer tours, he performed a duet with one of the openers. Church and Chesney turned in a memorable version of "When I See This Bar."
Chesney wrapped up the show saying, “People ask me about this thing that you and I have. This special bond that you and I have. You and I have commonalities. We have church, school, friends and sports.”
As he went into "The Boys of Fall," the video for the song played in the background, setting the scene for the perfect finale as he lifted a little girl up on stage and gave her an official New England Patriots helmet.
The New England stop was the last of the tour, after which it's said Chesney plans to go on a two-year sabbatical to work on a new album. As he went into the encore of "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," it was clear that these fans would think anything that Chesney had was sexy. And Summer 2015 can't come soon enough. Check out the provided photo below of how many people were at the stadium.