This past weekend, fans from New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut packed up their buses, trucks, and coolers to head to MetLife Stadium. Each year, Kenny Chesney brings his star-studded line up to the home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets and year after year “Kenny Day” turns out to undoubtedly be one of the best concerts of the summer. This year was no different. New York Country Swag gathered 130 friends and followers on two buses and made it to the parking lots early. We played cornhole, drank beers and lived the brand’s lifestyle for the entire afternoon, all while listening to our favorite country songs.
When it came time to head into the stadium, fans flocked to the security lines to catch Brandon Lay, the opening act on the tour. Lay entertained by playing his latest singles “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers” and “Yada, Yada Yada”. Just as Lay’s set was coming to a close, dark clouds rolled in and MetLife took the necessary precautions to protect all of the concertgoers by postponing the show until the severe weather had passed. The heavy rain and thunder did not dampen the spirits of the crowd who huddled together in the concourse. After about 45 minutes, the thunderstorm was over and fans headed back to their places in the crowd, patiently waiting for Old Dominion to take the stage.
For a brief moment, as the band took the stage playing their biggest hits, the clouds gave way to an incredible sunset. Kicking off their set with their second no. 1 single, “Song for Another Time”, then keeping it old school with “Wrong Turns” they relished in the fact that the entire stadium was now filled to catch their set. “Since the last time we were here, our lives have changed dramatically,” lead singer Matt Ramsey stated referring to releasing their sophomore album and adding even more number one songs to their repertoire since opening for Kenny Chesney on his 2016 Spread the Love Tour. The rain didn’t hold off long, but the band didn’t miss a beat, appropriately singing “New York at Night” which features Brad Tursi on vocals and their current single “Hotel Key”. They closed their set with one of the nights first sing-a-longs to “Snapback”.
Next to the stage was an artist who is sure to be a future Entertainer-of-the-Year, Thomas Rhett. Although the now superstar has headlined his own tour for the past few years, it has never made its way up to the NY/NJ area, making it the first time in a while that Rhett has performed a full show in the New York area. Rhett’s absolute electric personality and onstage presence was felt buzzing throughout the entire stadium as he played his smash hits from all three of his studio albums including “It Goes Like This”, “Craving You” and “Vacation”.
“Thank you for being kind people, I just look at your faces and you all seem like kind people out here tonight, thank you so much,” Rhett said during “Die a Happy Man” “I’m not going to get sappy, but this is my last show on the Kenny Chesney tour and I feel like I’ve learned more in 17 shows, than I’ve learned in my whole eight years of touring, I just want to say thank you so much to Kenny Chesney wherever he is standing right now.” His genuine gratitude towards the fans and the mega country star that brought him along for this run on the Trip Around the Sun Tour was apparent and the audience ate it up. Asking the 50,000 plus fans to sing the chorus back to him was a highlight of the night, as he closed out the song by singing “…if this the last show that I ever get to play in my whole life I swear then I could die a happy man.” Check out our exclusive video of the emotional moment here.
Over an hour later than expected due to the storm, the man of the night took the stage dressed in his signature jeans, boots and cowboy hat. In total, 58,642 fans were on their feet, breaking his own MetLife stadium record and beating out giant acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Taylor Swift if you add up the concert attendances in the same number of appearances. His set was filled with the usual Chesney hits from his giant career including “Beer in Mexico”, “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem” and “American Kids”. Throughout the night, the entire stadium was lit up, allowing Chesney to see the at-capacity crowd singing and dancing along. Drenched in sweat, the singer ran up and down the catwalk giving all he had for the fans who had withstood rain and thunderstorms to see him perform.
“Coming back year after year I’ve learned a lot about this audience,” he stated in between songs. “Everybody here has a lot in common, we work hard, we play hard, we learn hard and we really love music.” Not only is he one of the industry’s best entertainers, but he always brings the most amazing country acts on tour with him and makes sure they get the recognition that they deserve. Old Dominion joined him on stage once again to perform “Save it For a Rainy Day” which Brad Tursi and Matthew Ramsey co-wrote, Thomas Rhett took the stage for “When the Sun Goes Down” and surprise guest David Lee Murphy showed up to sing their current single “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” as well as “Dust on the Bottle”. Closing out the night with Brandon Lay, Chesney sang one of the very first songs he ever released “She Thinks My Tractors Sexy”.
It was certainly a night to remember for all who attended, further proving that waiting all summer long for Kenny Chesney to come to town is worth it every single year.
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