Review: Kenny Chesney Keeps the Good Times Rolling at 2016 Taste of Country Music Festival
Chesney routinely plays the largest venues in the country, and his show is perfectly geared toward the tens of thousands of fans who packed into the natural amphitheater at Hunter Mountain for two hours of classic and new hits.
There's a good reason Chesney has become one of the most perennially successful live performers not only in country music, but across all genres. His fans know they can always rely on him to deliver the goods, and that's exactly what he did at ToC Fest on Saturday night (June 11), giving the fans a one-of-a-kind party they will never forget to close out the festival's second day.
Chesney and his band hit the stage after dark fell at Hunter Mountain, and they launched into a high-energy party straight away with "Beer In Mexico." They kept the energy cranked all the way up throughout almost the entire evening, hitting the crowd with "Reality," "Summertime" and more before slowing the pace for "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems."
He played "Somewhere With You" before addressing the fans, telling the enormous crowd at Hunter Mountain, "I sincerely believe that music and songs are the most powerful things in our lives."
That's perhaps the secret to Chesney's magnetic live appeal. It's not just that his shows are a good time; it's that he so sincerely appears to want to show people not just a good time, but a better way of life that includes living to the fullest. Many of his songs address those themes again and again, and his shows are not just fun, they're uplifting in a way that can't be explained, only experienced.
The sheer entertainment value of a Chesney concert is comparable to any other show in any other genre. His show at ToC Fest was superb from both a musical and technical standpoint, with particular props to his guitarists, who headed up an exceptionally tight band that supports his music perfectly. There's also a multi-media element that makes every moment engaging and entertaining, even during instrumental breaks that might otherwise lose people.
The fans loved the show, and they returned the energy of the show back to the stage. Chesney commented on the enthusiasm of the crowd, saying, " [Friday night headliner] Kid Rock texted me and told me what kind of a crowd I'd be running into, and he was right."
Seeing Chesney live brings home just how many hit songs he's had. He offered the crowd hits from all different eras, from songs like "I Go Back" to hits like "Living In Fast Forward," "How Forever Feels," "You and Tequila" and more.
He also included recent hits like "American Kids," "Save It For a Rainy Day" (with Old Dominion) and his current single, "Noise." That song is from a new album, Some Town Somewhere, that Chesney will release on July 8. Chesney left the stage after hitting the crowd with "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," then returned for an encore of "Don't Happen Twice," leaving the crowd at Hunter Mountain drained and satisfied as they drifted off into the night.
Jake Owen is set to headline the third and final night of the 2016 Taste of Country Music Festival on Sunday night (June 12).
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