Sunday, June 23, 2013

Chesney / Church: How Forever Feels

Saved two months
Bought a little diamond
Tonight’s the night
Feels like perfect timing

“She said yes! She said yes!”

The boys of summer

After seven consecutive years playing Heinz Field, Kenny Chesney is right when he says that attending his shows has become a summer tradition. The 58,000 fans who sang along to every last word all appeared to have made that tradition theirs.

It’s just as well that they sang along, because it didn’t seem as though Chesney’s mic was working all that well — it picked up the upper register of the choruses well enough, but the verses suffered intermittent loss all night. The Inky Jukebox has attended three Chesney shows, and this time, the sound balance favored the guitars so much that every performer’s vocal suffered.

This technical difficulty didn’t stop the love, however. The last time The Inky Jukebox saw the Eli Young Band play, we had our hands on the stage. They have since had enough hits to bring the pre-show audience alive. 

Eric Church tore it up, delivering a blistering set that translated admirably to such a vast venue. He seemed genuinely taken aback by the roar of voices singing along.

Chesney did what he does best: drop a solid two-hour set crammed to the gills with hit after sing-a-long hit. Behind him, a supermoon rose from the Pittsburgh skyline in an arc to center stage, providing an enormous celestial spotlight.

These boots / Have counted off many a band...
Halfway through his set, a young man seated two rows down from The Inky Jukebox proposed to his pink-hatted girlfriend, and she said yes. Much high-fiving with everyone around him ensued, he wearing a giant smile and declaring how happy he is. The good spirits defined the crowd, many of whom had been partying for days in advance of the show, in boats parked 13-deep outside the stadium at the head of the Ohio.

Sitting outside in the heat at midnight, having stopped for a soft-serve on the way home, an old man saw The Inky Jukebox’s hat and asked if we’d been to the Kenny Chesney show. The Inky Jukebox said yes. “Lucky dogs,” he replied.

He was right.

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