After over 1,000 days apart, Kenny Chesney and his dedicated fan base, No Shoes Nation, reunited at the kickoff to his long-awaited Here And Now Tour on Saturday, April 23 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. It’s safe to say it’s a reunion that Chesney and the 58,369 fans who packed inside the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will never forget.
Taking the stage promptly at 9 pm, Chesney opened his two-plus hour set with “Beer In Mexico.” Fans greeted the superstar with roaring applause and by the look on Chesney’s face, he missed No Shoes Nation just as much as they missed him. Taking a moment to soak up the energy and love he was feeling from the crowd, Chesney placed his hand over his heart and took a deep breath at the first sight of the packed stadium.
“Good to see you again,” he shared with a smile before launching into the carefree hit.
Never missing a beat, Chesney went on to perform summer anthems like “Reality,” “Til It’s Gone” and “Here And Now,” reminding fans to live in the moment and that’s exactly what they did as they sang along to every single word.
From the floor to the rafters, fans were seen on their feet throughout his electrifying, career-spanning set that included songs like “Summertime,” “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” and “We Do,” the unofficial anthem of No Shoes Nation.
It was as if a greatest hits album came to life on stage as Chesney continued to power through the songs that have become the soundtrack to the lives of his fans. Only slowing it down for a moving performance of “Knowing You” and the beloved “Anything But Mine,” Chesney and his band rocked hard and fast all night long.
The tour production was truly next-level. Giant screens combined with 126 LED light fixtures brought the songs to life and set the mood for each moment of the set, allowing fans to enjoy a fully immersive experience. Sound can sometimes be an issue at stadium shows, but that was not the case here. Chesney and his crew are pros and it shows.
Always allowing the moment to dictate the music, Chesney added the football anthem “Boys Of Fall” to the set list to show his gratitude to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for welcoming him into the stadium and to the players attending the show.
He returned to the stage for a high-octane encore, closing the show with “Don’t Happen Twice” and “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.”
The connection Chesney has with his fans is truly unmatched. There’s a special kind of love that they share and until you witness it yourself, it’s difficult to understand.
There’s no one who puts on a show like Kenny Chesney and while he’s an eight-time Entertainer of the Year on paper, he truly is the Entertainer of a Lifetime. Fans are in for one hell of a summer as the Here And Now Tour is destined to be the hottest ticket of the year.