Chesney Plays for 40,000 Fans on Gulf Coast

posted August 17th, 2014 at 8:37 am

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by Josh Martn

More than 40,000 fans packed the beach behind the Flora-Bama on Saturday evening to see Kenny Chesney’s only show of 2014.

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photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

The Tennessean reviewed the show:

Performing for about 2½ hours, Chesney was as sweaty as his fans within just a couple of songs, giving his all through an eclectic set packed with new songs, old favorites and more.

The leader of the “No Shoes Nation” seemed humbled by his devoted audience, repeatedly showing his love for the tens of thousands in the crowd, as well as the 300 or so boats that anchored just offshore to watch the show, turning the Gulf of Mexico into a makeshift marina.

“I’m so proud to be here,” Chesney enthused from the stage. “Thanks everybody, I love you for this.”

Chesney said the concert was his first with his band in nearly a year, but there was no sign of rust in a performance that, from the stage, Chesney said felt “incredible.”

In addition to songs including “American Kids” from his forthcoming “The Big Revival” album and longtime favorites like “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” Chesney welcomed fellow country singer-songwriter David Lee Murphy to the stage to perform a pair of his hits, “Dust on the Bottle” and “Party Crowd.”

And while closing with a signature Chesney favorite, “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” he brought a young girl to the stage and presented her with an autographed acoustic guitar, then proceeded to sign autographs for about 10 minutes while the band played an extended version of the song.

Speaking after the show, Chesney said he really felt an outpouring of love from the audience.

“I knew I wanted to play somewhere,” he said via an email forwarded by his publicist. “I just missed it, and the fans so. Having spent a couple great afternoons at the Flora-Bama, I knew it was everything I love: the ocean, great people, good times, awesome music and plenty of time to spend just enjoying the moment.

“When I hit that stage, and heard the people singing every word of ‘Flora-Bama,’ which we just released last week, back to me, I knew we’d come to the right place. Like me, everyone in the ‘No Shoes Nation’ loves the same things I do, so what better place to kick-off ‘The Big Revival’? They were loud, they were proud — and they rocked me!

“I can’t wait to get back out there next year, and I think those fans were so incredible, this will hold me over until I do.”

Chesney’s publicist, Ebie McFarland with Essential Broadcast Media LLC, said 40,000 was a “conservative estimate” on attendance based on more than 32,000 wristbands distributed plus the fans without wristbands on boats, in the water, stacked up in area condominium balconies and parking garages, and the more than 3,000 fans inside the Flora-Bama itself during the concert.



Tagged in Show Reviews, Special Appearances

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