To work as hard as Kenny Chesney has, and then get to the point in your career where you can easily fill stadiums, has to be the absolute end game.
Or is it?
After Chesney’s summer Trip Around The Sun Tour makes a few scheduled stadium stops in Florida, Wisconsin and Minnesota, he’s going to bring it back to smaller — but still capable of holding 20,000 fans — amphitheaters that he loves.
“It’s like being with your friends somewhere back home, singing songs and hanging out and having the best party of the year. For us, it feels like the people are so right there,” Chesney said in a press release, “and the songs are driving the night.”
All those stadiums and amphitheaters are a long way from the first gigs Chesney played after getting some guitar lessons at East Tennessee State University. There are reports that while he was in the ETSU Bluegrass Band, he played around town at Chucky Trading Company, Quarterback’s, Down Home and Offshore Café.
He even sold first cassette Good Old Boy at Heart after those shows (See his liner notes here.). In a local newspaper story, ETSU’s bluegrass department chairman Dan Boner said that Chesney discovered the musical community on campus. “There are some old, old videos of him playing that will probably never be seen by the public. But I’ve heard him say his goal in music was to create a show he would’ve wanted to go to,” Boner had said. “Seems like he succeeded.”
Now that Chesney is a little older and wiser, he knows that making his fans feel like they’re even closer to him is just what they’re looking for. “It’s an experience we know No Shoes Nation loves and misses when we don’t do it, so this year, we’re going to make sure there are plenty of opportunities to see us under the pavilion or out on the lawn,” he said.
And luckily for Chesney, the different vibes at different amphitheaters will keep things interesting. “Darling’s Waterfront in Bangor, Maine is one thing; Mountain View, California’s Shoreline Amphitheater is something else altogether, just like the folks in Toronto at the Molson or Austin’s Austin360 Amphitheaters,” he explained.
Old Dominion will be opening for Chesney on the amphitheater dates.
Here is a complete list of shows for Chesney’s Trip Around The Sun Tour:
March 16-17: Las Vegas, Nevada
April 21: Tampa, Florida
April 28: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
May 5: Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 10: Virginia Beach, Virginia
May 11: Charlotte, North Carolina
May 12: Raleigh, North Carolina
May 16: Del Valle, Texas
May 17: The Woodlands, Texas
May 19: Arlington, Texas
May 24: West Palm Beach, Florida
May 26: Atlanta, Georgia
May 31: Noblesville, Indiana
June 2: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
June 6: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
June 7: Syracuse, New York
June 9: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
June 15: Bristow, Virginia
June 16: Columbus, Ohio
June 20: Mountain View, California
June 21: Chula Vista, California
June 23: Phoenix, Arizona
June 28: West Valley City, Utah
June 30: Denver, Colorado
July 3: Stateline, Nevada
July 5: Nampa, Idaho
July 7: Seattle, Washington
July 12: Rogers, Arkansas
July 14: Kansas City, Missouri
July 19: Southaven, Mississippi
July 21: St. Louis, Missouri
July 26: Cincinnati, Ohio
July 28: Chicago, Illinois
Aug. 2: Toronto, Ontario
Aug. 4: Detroit, Michigan
Aug. 11: Nashville, Tennessee
Aug. 16: Bangor, Maine
Aug. 18: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Aug. 22: Columbia, Maryland
Aug. 24-25: Foxborough, Massachusetts