The show business adage says the show must go on, but Mother Nature doesn’t always agree. That was the case Saturday (May 2) at Pizza Hut Stadium in Dallas where a severe storm forced Kenny Chesney to cancel his performance. The same storm was responsible for the collapse of the Dallas Cowboys training facility that injured 12 people.
Chesney had actually performed for 50 minutes before the show was canceled because of excess water threatening the stability of the stage. He returns to Dallas on May 17 to perform another show for his fans.
After returning to Nashville from Texas, Chesney talked to CMT Insider host Katie Cook how the decision was finally made to cancel the show.
Cook: Had you been monitoring the weather all day?
Chesney: All day. Well, we monitored it for the whole weekend, really.
Was there ever a point where you thought you couldn’t start the show?
I’m constantly in touch with my production manager, Ed, on the radio asking, “How’s it lookin’? How’s it look?” because I want it to be as good of an experience for everybody. But it didn’t really start storming until 40 minutes into our show. And it was the same storm that knocked down the Dallas Cowboys training facility.
You’ve played in the rain before.
Played in the rain, but never anything like that. I admit it was a lot of fun. … Once we got out there, it was a lot of fun. It’s really amazing, once everybody knows that this is the way it is going to be, they kind of resign to the fact [and decide to] have a great time. … The energy was unbelievable in that stadium there in Dallas. … There was just such a connection. It just made me feel unbelievable that my fan base there — and everybody in that stadium — would sit through a rainstorm like that to hear a piece of music. It just goes to show you how really passionate, how loyal fans are.
So it wasn’t like a lot of people running out?
No, no. … Once I went out there with them, it was a very … you know … religious experience. The connection was unbelievable. But it got to a point where it could have been really, really bad on a lot of people. Because, first of all, it was lightning so bad and raining that it was incredibly risky for my crew guys, for everybody involved on stage. We lost so much equipment that night. It was a really expensive show for us.
When was that moment you knew I really got to call it quits?
When I saw lightning literally almost hit the stadium — you can see it on the video footage — there was a moment there when … you can only see a small portion of the crowd around me, and then all the sudden you see the whole stadium, and I thought it might be time to go. So that’s why we decided to come back and set all our stuff up again. Hopefully, it will all work out this time.