Chesney Announces Nashville Stadium Show

July 8 Concert Features Bentley, Wilson, Big & Rich and Little Big Town

Kenny Chesney will perform a July 8 show in Nashville at the Coliseum, home of the Tennessee Titans. The stadium concert will also feature Dierks Bentley, Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich and Little Big Town.

Chesney made the official announcement Thursday (March 16) during a press conference at the Coliseum. Although specific dates have not been announced, Chesney confirmed he’ll be performing stadium concerts at other NFL stadiums, including Qwest Field in Seattle, Ford Field in Detroit and the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

“We’re playing some soccer stadiums that are a touch smaller than these football stadiums,” Chesney said. With seating capacities around 27,000 each, he said those shows will be staged in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio. Chesney previously announced a July 16 concert at the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., with Wilson, Bentley, Big & Rich and Carrie Underwood.

Chesney admitted he has wanted to headline a show at Nashville’s Coliseum since last performing there in 2000 as one of the opening acts on the George Strait Music Festival.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Chesney said. “That’s the main thing we’ve been doing in the last several years: having a lot of fun out here on the road. … I really think the fans, when they come out to see us play, have a lot of fun, and they see that we’re having a lot of fun.”

Having headlined several stadium concerts, Chesney said his biggest thrill comes from watching the crowd while he’s onstage.

“You can’t imagine the view,” he said. “It’s unbelievable to know that there’s that many people that passionate about the kind of music we make and about country music. I’m honored to be a part of that. … It just shows that they live their life with these songs, and they want to experience it live. That’s what makes me feel good.”

Although Chesney was born and raised in Luttrell, Tenn., he noted that Nashville has been his hometown for 14 years.

“It’s just an honor to play in my hometown … and be a part of the history of this stadium in a small way, other than sports,” he said. “I love sports. I try to look at preparing for what I do as an athlete. A lot of artists like me want to be pro athletes, and a lot of my pro athlete friends would really love to be singers, so it’s great that I’m going to be able to play at this stadium in a different capacity. I quit growing when I was a freshman in high school, so I really couldn’t play football. So it’s great to be a part of the history of this stadium with music.”

Concert tickets — priced at $39.50, $59.50 and $79.50 — go on sale April 1 at Ticketmaster.

Chesney acknowledged that playing in front of 50,000 at a stadium is a far cry from his first gigs as a solo performer at a restaurant.

“I remember sitting on a stool with a tip jar in front of me, watching people eat a lot of Mexican food,” he said. “They weren’t there to see me. I was just the background music. They didn’t care, so I kept turning it up, just a little bit, until it got just a little bit too loud, and the manager would come and say, ‘You’ve got to turn your music down.’ I’d say, ‘They’re not listening to it.’ Luckily, we’ve got a pretty big sound system that’s going to be in this stadium, and they’re going to listen to it.”

Calvin Gilbert has served as CMT.com’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.