Tim and Faith Meet Tony Bennett in New York
Note to ticket holders of the Faith Hill-Tim McGraw Soul 2 Soul II tour: get there on time and don't leave early! Friday night's sold-old show at New York City's Madison Square Garden both kicked off and ended with electric duets from country's first couple -- receiving the loudest cheers when onstage together.
After their opening duet -- 'Like We Never Loved At All' -- Tim vanished back under the stage, leaving Faith to dazzle fans with an hour-long set of new and old favorites, including 'This Kiss,' 'Cry,' 'Breathe' and 'The Lucky One,' during which she proved she's not just a gorgeous singer with powerful pipes -- she can play guitar too. Clad in simple grey slacks and a black sleeveless top -- and sporting waist-length hair extensions -- Faith looked ever the combination of glamour girl and soccer mom.
The end of Faith's set did not mean time for a bathroom break, as Tim quickly joined his wife onstage for their signature duet 'Let's Make Love' and the Bruce Robison-penned 'Angry All The Time.' In fact, there were no breaks in the almost three-hour long concert, as Faith's band and Tim's Dancehall Doctors almost magically switched places between sets.
Though Faith can no doubtedly out-sing her husband, Tim proved the fan favorite as the crowd took the level up a notch for his solo turn. Fans -- mainly camera-toting women -- rushed the stage during his set, which included the old favorites 'Where the Green Grass Grows' and 'Something Like That,' plus the brand-new 'I've Got Friends That Do.' Tim also premiered the first song he's ever recorded that he wrote himself -- 'My Little Girl,' during which the big-screens showed scenes from his upcoming movie 'Flicka.'
In the middle of his set, Tim surprised the crowd with his latest duet partner -- legendary crooner Tony Bennett -- who rose up from under the stage to a standing ovation. Looking his usual dapper self in a dark-blue suit, Bennett joined Tim for the Hank Williams classic 'Cold Cold Heart.' (The two have recorded the song for Bennett's upcoming duets project.) And as Bennett left the stage, a visibly moved Tim told the crowd, "That just might be the highlight of my career right there."
Tim was perhaps so moved that he forgot the words to his next song! As the Dancehall Doctors started to play 'Just to See You Smile,' his voice was not heard during the first verse, causing many to think perhaps his microphone wasn't working. But Tim -- smiling and laughing through the flub -- had simply messed up.
With the elaborate in-the-round set, country's first couple worked all 360 degrees of the stage, giving high-fives to fans as they sang. One young girl held up a sign reading, "May I please sing with you?" Both Faith and Tim honored that request, as Faith extended the mike to her for Janis Joplin's 'Piece of My Heart,' and Tim let her chime in on 'I Like It, I Love It.'
After Tim's set, Faith reappeared -- this time wearing a floral halter dress -- to join her husband for their duet 'It's Your Love' and to get the fans up on their feet for the high-energy rendition of Bob Marley's 'No Woman No Cry.' And when the audience demanded an encore, the couple reappeared on center stage, singing the beautiful ballad 'I Need You' to each other on an old-fashioned microphone and ending the show with a passionate kiss.