Kenny Chesney Says Farewell To Summer With Record-Breaking Boston Stadium Shows

Photos by Jill Trunnell

Kenny Chesney pulled off two more record-breaking shows in Boston last weekend, playing to a record 121,624 people over two nights at Gillette Stadium. The summer-ending stadium shows have become a tradition for Chesney, who took 2017 off from touring but still hit the city to play for his No Shoes legion of fans there.

“I had waited all summer to get to these shows,” said Chesney. “It takes a lot of focus to make records, but it’s the No Shoes Nation that feeds me. When we started listening to the tapes for the live record, it really struck me how much this music means – and how much the people who come out to these shows feed my soul. There are no words for it… beyond, just, ‘wow. Obviously, we’re not in stadium mode, so we made the decision to really lean into the music, really put the focus there. We’d not gotten to play these songs – and these two shows were our tour end without the tour!”

Saturday night’s show included a special guest: Chesney brought out his good friend Uncle Kracker for a four-song mini-set that included “When The Sun Goes Down,” “Follow Me,” “Midnight Rider/Cowboy” and “Drift Away.” He also introduced his mother to the crowd to resounding cheers during the show and reminded fans about Kelly Swanson, the fan/cancer patient from the previous year who’d not wanted to take her ball cap off, but ended up rubbing bare heads with Chesney. He brought her out onstage and she thanked the No Shoes Nation for the strength and inspiration to carry her through her battle with cancer.

The shows, the 16th and 17th appearances in Boston for Chesney, bring No Shoes Nation’s ticket total to 968,612 since 2005.

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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has over 20 years of music business experience and has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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