Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Chesney, Mcgraw Host Quite the Party

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Chesney, Mcgraw Host Quite the Party

Article excerpt

It was the hard-drinking summer party where the ladies could mix and match bikini tops and cowboy boots, the guys could take off their shirts and show off hard (and not so hard) bodies, and get ready to holler and fight.

With boat parties lining the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw rolled into Heinz Field Saturday with the Brothers of the Sun Tour, a one-two punch of country superstardom.

The last time they toured together, in 2001, Mr. McGraw was the headliner. This time it was flip-flopped, with Mr. McGraw hitting the stage with the sky still blue and the sun still beating down on the east wing.

Looking like a tanned, cowboy Mr. Clean -- all white, black leather Stetson -- he arrived with the recent single "Felt Good on My Lips" and breezed effortlessly through a set of songs that have kept country radio hopping the past decade and a half. There was country rock ("Unbroken"), Southern boogie ("Something Like That"), laid-back party tunes ("Mexicoma") and stately ballads, like newcomer "Better Than I Used to Be" and "Everywhere," which was interrupted by a rumble in my neighborhood of the field.

As a nod to the roots, there was a whiff of what you'd get in the old Nashville. "We're gonna get country on your [behind] here," he said leading his band into "Back When," and he did the same on "Down on the Farm." He revved the engine up at the end with the biggies, including the anthemic "Live Like You Were Dying" and the roadhouse stomp "I Like It, I Love It." By the time the Titans fan was done waving a Terrible Towel and closing with new single "Truck Yeah," which sounded like a commercial, it was hard to believe a headliner was coming.

Mr. Chesney made his usual dramatic entrance, popping up from the soundboard for "Beer in Mexico," and then flying on a wire to the stage for another drinkin' song, "Keg in the Closet." There, he had a band with a line of four guitarists that shook the place, sometimes louder than needed.

Mr. Chesney does a lot with what he has, which is why he's won CMA Entertainer of the Year four times. …

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