The Tight Pants Brigade Invades Target Field

9 Jul

In other words, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney invade Target Field for the first concert ever at the beautiful, brand new ballpark. As an avid baseball fan, any chance to enter the gates at Target Field is a treat – however, I was NOT prepared for the spectacle that we were about to see.

Having the privilege to attend several shows over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to see artists play at a small venue like the Varsity Theater or Fine Line Café, to a packed house arena like the Xcel Energy Center, to a wide open field full of cowboy hat wearin,’ country music lovin’ group of people like the Soo Pass Ranch for WEFest. Target Field – by far – is the best venue sound-wise that I have ever heard music played at. The sound was impeccable!

Jake Owen started the show and proudly was able to claim that he was the ‘first ever to perform’ at Target Field. He opened with (my current favorite) song “The One That Got Away” and kept the party rockin’ for nearly all 45+ minutes he was on stage; the only time Jake slowed the pace down was for “Alone with You” midway through his set. I really liked the way he threw in the old-time, upbeat cover songs of Lynard Skynard and Alabama to appeal to all ages of the crowd – and all ‘genres’ within country music itself. He was the epitome of what an opening act is supposed to do for a concert – especially a concert that lasts for the better half of a day.

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals were second on the lineup card to go to bat for the Brothers of the Sun tour. While I enjoyed Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter’s duet, “You and Tequila,” (which, I’m sure I am not alone when I say I was disappointed that they didn’t perform that at the show on Sunday – I was convinced that is why Grace Potter & the Nocturnals were on the bill!), I have to admit we skipped out on their entire performance to get food. A girl has gotta eat – especially when a concert is 6 ½ hours long! We glanced at the several big screen TV’s littered throughout Target Field’s concourses for a glimpse of what was going on, but other than seeing her bang on the drums, we missed the entire performance keeping cool in the shade and filling our bellies with scrumptious ballpark food.

Tim McGraw is notoriously known for a slower-paced show with the several ballads he performs – and that was the expectation I had going into this show. Don’t get me wrong, he has some great upbeat songs, but some of his biggest hits are ballads. When he strutted his stuff on stage in his all-white getup, I settled in for what I thought would be a “typical” Tim McGraw show. Man, was I wrong! I was thoroughly impressed with Tim McGraw’s performance and how he pulled out all the stops to get the crowd energized – and KEEP them energized. He started with “Felt Good on My Lips” right into “Down on the Farm,” followed by what seemed to be every fast song he’s ever sang, with only a sprinkle of some of his best slower songs, including “Better Than I Used to Be” and “The Cowboy in Me.” His set would have been perfect if he would have performed either “My Little Girl” or “My Best Friend.”

“Beer in Mexico” will always have a special place in my heart – and I’ll always think of Pat whenever I hear it (cue the “awes”) – but it was the second to best perfect song Kenny Chesney could have started with for his segment of the show. I would have recommended starting with “Live a Little,” for not only the nearly 50-second ramp, but it’s a perfect get-you-going type of song – and I’m still a little bitter he didn’t play it. While Kenny usually doesn’t disappoint for his shows, I must admit I was semi-disappointed with the long slow set he had in the middle of his performance. For a summer show that had momentum building from the opening act, the slow set of songs put a damper on the otherwise lively concert. His song selection for the slow set was great, but the energy he exuded at the beginning quickly faded after the third slow song in a row. Aside from not performing “Live a Little” and the prolonged slow set, Kenny outdid himself with excitement for playing at Target Field.

The ‘encore’ for the Brothers of the Sun Tour combined the vocals of the tight pants brigade (the way I fondly refer to Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney) – just a short and sweet four song set, singing the ever popular “Feel Like a Rockstar,” along with combining on vocals for each of their respective hits from the past.

While the show itself had a few low balls, the first concert ever at that beautiful baseball stadium was a homerun. I give the Brothers of the Sun Tour stop at Target Field an A+.

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