LAS VEGAS — Tim McGraw and Faith Hill vow to share a special “moment in time” with fans when they debut a series of Soul2Soul concerts at the Venetian in Las Vegas later this year. When talking to reporters following Tuesday’s (Aug. 7) announcement, however, the couple remained tight-lipped regarding specifics of the show.
One detail they did reveal was that they plan to perform together each night from the time the curtain goes up until the house lights come on.
“In the Soul2Soul tours we have done in the past, it has been two songs together,” McGraw explained. “Then Faith would do her show, then two songs together, and then I would do my show.”
The Vegas concerts will be significantly different from the productions of their arena tours.
“The focus of this has been a chance to be onstage the entire time together in an intimate setting and make it about us,” he said. “We will do all of our duets and throw in some surprises. All of our songs are ballads, so we are going to do some cool things that are up-tempo, as well. There are so many great duets that would be fun to do.”
In addition to planning the set list, the couple revealed they have been completely involved with the design of the staging and production for the show.
“I’m probably too involved because I’m a design nut,” Hill admitted. “Tim’s a big-picture guy, for sure. He’s always been the one who’s drawn up the stage when we’ve had our tours in the past. He’s drawn them up on a napkin or a Post-It note, and we’ve gone from there.”
McGraw also hinted they planned to dabble in uncharted territory and present some “cutting edge” production, but he didn’t want to divulge too much. His reasons?
“The problem with someone asking, ’What are you going to do,’ is … let’s see if it works first before we say it just in case we don’t use it,” he explained. “But there are some things we’d like to try that a lot of people haven’t seen before that we certainly haven’t used before. So we want to make sure it all works like it’s supposed to.”
While the shows at the Venetian will be quite different from Garth Brooks’ scaled-down one-man act at the nearby Wynn, the two acts do share one common denominator. Neither would have even considered their respective offers had it not been for a willingness on the part of the casinos to work around the performers’ family obligations.
“The main thing that came into play was, ’Would it be fun,’ and ’How would it work with our kids’ schedules,'” McGraw said.
“I know that it’s hard to believe,” Hill added. “But, literally, the Venetian got our girls’ school schedules and built this show around them. It is 10 weekends between December and April, and it is really just a Saturday and Sunday. They [the couple’s daughters] will probably come with us most of the time.”
Like Brooks, they will travel back and forth between home and Vegas for the duration of their tenure at the venue.
With all the talk about giving the fans an experience they’d never forget, McGraw and Hill had their own personal reasons why it should be an enjoyable experience for them, as well. For Hill, the time onstage with her husband serves as a reminder not to take herself too seriously.
“You’re standing there looking at the man that leaves his clothes on the floor and singing a love song. It’s like this is awesome to be in this moment right now. I just feel so blessed to be able to share this experience.”
“It’s a pretty fortunate thing to be able to do together,” he added. “The hardest part for me — and the most fun part — is going out and singing with her and trying to keep up because it’s a challenge.”
The Venetian shows mark the first time they’ve played such a small venue — 1,815 seats — together. It’s a much different setting than the stadiums McGraw has been playing with Kenny Chesney this summer during their Brothers of the Sun tour, but he says he’s up for the challenge.
“It makes me nervous to be that intimate,” he said. “There’s still an energy that you feed off from the crowd. It changes a little bit, but there’s still something that happens there, and you look for those moments and thrive on them.”
As for whether the couple would consider a longer term residency similar to Celine Dion’s tenure at Caesar’s Palace, Hill predicted, “Probably not.”
“Well, you don’t want to say never,” McGraw chimed in. “But right now, I can say I don’t think I would ever want to do that. But you never know.”
Tickets to their Vegas performances go on sale Monday (Aug. 13) to the general public. Ticket prices range from $95.50 to $295.50, with a limited number of VIP packages offered for $1,000 each. Tickets are available at the Venetian’s website.
Cory Linton is associate producer/technical director of CMT Radio Live With Cody Alan.