OFFSTAGE: Tim McGraw Goes With Caution and Confidence

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

You’d think Tim McGraw would be all confidence and no caution after all his years in the country music business. But when the San Francisco Chronicle asked if he ever worried about being able to fill up an arena , he said, “I think you go into these things with a certain bit of confidence and caution.”

Then when they asked him if he felt like he still had anything left to prove, he said he did: “Always. It’s odd. I feel like I’m only 30 percent in my career. I’m just getting to the point where I know what I’m doing. I still feel like I’m young and excited.”

It’s remarkable that McGraw still has such a genuine humble side. But even though he’s touring stadiums this summer, McGraw admits he doesn’t love going to stadium shows as a fan.

“I don’t have time and I don’t really enjoy it,” he says. “All I want to do is check out the lighting rig and ask the sound guy, ‘Why don’t you have the bass up a little higher?’”

But the first big show he remembers going to — just as a fan and not as an industry expert — was Ted Nugent’s Wango Tango show in Louisiana. Seeing Nugent in furry underwear that night might have scarred McGraw for life.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.