I never thought I would see Kenny Chesney at a venue smaller then MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, until the country superstar traveled a little further south to the historic Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Thanks to SiriusXM, and Chesney’s new station, No Shoes Radio, I was lucky enough to be one of just a few hundred inside, watching a once in a lifetime intimate performance by the largest touring country artist himself, Kenny Chesney.
Growing up only thirty minutes down the road, I am very familiar with the significance behind The Stone Pony, and the town in which it lives. This was one event I was not going to miss.
Kenny Chesney burst on to the stage with the same energy fans wait to see at his arena shows every summer. “Beer In Mexico”, kicked things off, followed by an always fan favorite “I Go Back”, and a recent hit, “Till It’s Gone”. A thank you to the crowd and SiriusXM, a brief introduction to his new station, No Shoes Radio, and he then gave us the song that started it all, “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem”.
The night continued on with favorites such as, “Young”, “Livin’ in Fast Forward”, his current single “Noise”, and last year’s smash release, “American Kids”, which was an anthem amongst the crowd as we joined voices and came together over a line that we can all relate to,
“A little messed up but we’re all alright. Hey!”
And we sang it with a smile and a cheer.
As many do while playing in Asbury Park, Chesney paid his respects to Bruce Springsteen with “One Step Up”, a song that he cut on his No Shoes No Shirt No Problems record back in 2002. We put our cell phones away and just listened. It was a refreshing sight to scan the crowd and see all eyes on Chesney, and not through a screen. Everyone was present in the moment, soaking in every word sung.
After witnessing Chesney in a small setting, it is even more clear how much his music and career means to him. My favorite moments were the ones with his band, and being close enough to see their interaction. He gave almost all of them a moment in the spotlight, highlighting the enormous talent that joins him at every show.
After a personalized thank you to the them and the crew, we witnessed even more of that talent, when an epic jam session broke loose that included harmonica battles and guitar solos. He closed the show with “Don’t Happen Twice”, and the band continued on with a long instrumental as Chesney worked his way from one side of the stage to the other signing anything and everything for his fans.
I learned a lot, or more so confirmed many of my own thoughts about the singer at The Stone Pony that night. Whether playing to thousands, or only a few hundred, Kenny Chesney is an immense talent whose energy is contagious, a genuinely grateful person for everyone he has crossed paths with, and one of the most passionate artists out there.
Tune in to No Shoes Radio, Channel 62 on SiriusXM, a station dedicated to the songs that hold an important spot in Kenny Chesney’s life, as well as exclusive stories, and on the road content throughout his entire Spread the Love Tour this summer.
Photo Credit: Mike Coppola