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Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Nation = New Boston Record

Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Nation = New Boston Record

Two Nights, 121,624 People & A Whole Lot of Music
Foxboro, MA: Taking 2017 off from his
relentless summer touring schedule, Kenny Chesney knew he couldn’t skip
Boston. Having become a tradition at Gillette Stadium, the home of the
new England Patriots, the 8-time Entertainer of the Year agreed to play
two summer-ending stadium shows in the place where No Shoes Nation was
named. And what shows they were!

Adding seats four separate times, Chesney took the stage to 121,624
people over two nights with distinctly different set lists. Taking the
stage on Friday to “Beer In Mexico,” Chesney clearly responded to the
record-breaking crowd with a seven song streak that didn’t break its
stride.

“I had waited all summer to get to these shows,” Chesney said Friday.
“It takes a lot of focus to make records, but it’s the No Shoes Nation
that feeds me. When we started listening to the tapes for the live
record, it really struck me how much this music means – and how much the
people who come out to these shows feed my soul. There are no words for
it… beyond, just, ‘wow.’”

Wearing a New England Patriots tank top, the crowd spent almost a minute
chanting “Kenny! Kenny” following “American Kids.” Stunned by the
response, the man The Los Angeles Times called “The People’s
Superstar” led the crowd through an impromptu chorus before returning to
the show. Whether an early classic like “Don’t Happen Twice” or “How
Forever Feels,” album cut “Guitars, Tiki Bars & A Whole Lot of
Love,” the stadium-lighting “Anything But Mine” or the brand new “All
The Pretty Girls,” Chesney connected and took the crowd higher.

The Boston Globe wrote, “on Friday he was particularly
animated, whether boisterous or humbled. He raced around the stage to
get a better look at those attendees who crowded into the
general-admission ‘sandbar’ up-close; he gazed at the adulatory
audience, who were more than ready to finish his verses and give him
long ovations,” while The Providence Journal opined, “Chesney proved the ultimate showman and storyteller.”  Foxboro Patch headlined their coverage, “Kenny Chesney And Co. Put Substance Over Style.”

“Obviously, we’re not in stadium mode,” Chesney explained, “so we made
the decision to really lean into the music, really put the focus there.
We’d not gotten to play these songs – and these two shows were our tour
end without the tour!”

On the second night, Chesney brought out his good friend Uncle Kracker
for a four-song mini-set that included “When The Sun Goes Down,” “Follow
Me,” “Midnight Rider/Cowboy” and “Drift Away.” He also introduced his
mother to the crowd to resounding cheers. The emotional high point by
far was when Chesney – before playing local favorite “Boston” – reminded
the fans of the year prior’s cancer patient who’d not wanted to take
her ball cap off, but ended up rubbing bare heads with the
songwriter/superstar.

Kelly Swanson emerged from the sandbar and thanked the No Shoes Nation
for the strength and inspiration to carry her through her battle with
cancer. She was reunited with Taylor Phelan, the young girl who ran
onstage to give Swanson the football helmet Chesney had given her.

This year’s shows – his 16th and 17th – bring No
Shoes Nation’s ticket total to 968,612 since 2005. With her heart on his
sleeve and his songs on the lips of New England, Chesney has made New
England a second home.

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