Kenny Chesney Closes Down the Carnival
Kenny Chesney folded up the tents on his Sun City Carnival this weekend, with more than 45,000 fans on hand in Indianapolis to bid goodbye -- temporarily -- to the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, who recently announced he's taking a break from full-scale touring to focus on other projects -- and to catch his breath.
"It's hard to believe we're putting this thing up on blocks," Kenny said after the sold-out show at Lucas Oil Stadium. "The response from the fans, out in the crowd and the Internet, it makes me feel like people understand ... and that they know we're not gone for good, it's just a breather. I've never been an all-or-nothing kind of guy. This doesn't mean there will be no shows or no music. It means I'm not going to be staging a major tour -- I'm not going to take two weeks off and be meeting with people to build a stage, to start thinking about how we can do the lights different, and what the video's gonna be."
While Kenny has kept a hand in every aspect of his live stage show, he's been supported on the tour by some of country music's brightest rising stars. And those stars came out in full glow on closing night to show their appreciation.
Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles took the stage to join in on 'When the Sun Goes Down,' while Miranda Lambert offered assistance on 'She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy.' The Zac Brown Band gave the crowd a taste of Alabama's 'Dixieland Delight' and the Steve Miller Band's '70s rock classic, 'The Joker.' Also giving Kenny props were the Wailers' Drummie Zeb (on the Bob Marley gem, 'Three Little Birds') and No Shoes Radio's Mark Tamburino, who gave the crowd a little 'Girl Gone Wild.'
And before he called it a night, Kenny left the crowd with an acoustic, emotion-packed rendition of 'Better as a Memory.'
As Kenny's duet with Dave Matthews, 'I'm Alive,' continues to climb the charts, the four-time CMA Entertainer of the Year is planning a late spring release for a new album. He's also been announced one of the Hard Rock Café's International Ambassadors of Rock next year.
"There are all kinds of things to explore within the music," says Kenny. "I can't wait to take the time to see where some of this will take me, and where I might turn up. Because, you know, I now have the time to maybe get into some interesting places. We'll just have to figure it out."
Kenny will also figure out, on Nov. 11, if he's destined to surpass Garth Brooks for most CMA Entertainer of the Year trophies.