Posted on 28 April 2009 by Bill West
Posted on 20 April 2009 by Bill West
Uncasville, CT: He’s taken an elevator. He’s run through the crowd. He’s taken a magic carpet. He’s walked through a reveal. So when the man who’s sold a million tickets each of the past seven summers wanted to do something different – it took almost two years to create the technology and safety test what he was thinking.
But Friday night at the Mohegan Sun, Kenny Chesney emerged from under a camera stand at the back of the arena floor, stepped over a bar that was rising – and began swinging towards the stage. Only this swing – that more resembled a trapeze it’s so small – doesn’t just run to the stage on a track; it is wired to go right and left as well as side-to-side, allowing the high-energy showman to literally fly to any section of the floor he wishes.
On the ride to the stage in Uncasville – where the he played to two beyond capacity crowds who snapped up the tickets in less than 12 minutes – Chesney rode low over the fans heads, high-fiving and waving, as he moved to the right, then to the left. His rig also allows him to turn in mid-air, so while starting facing the stage, by the time he lands, he has been spun around to be facing the audience.
“I knew this was something we could do,” Chesney says with a laugh, “it was just a matter of figuring out how to make it safe enough – because there’s not a whole lot holding me up there. And, obviously because we’re not on a track, but cables, there needed to be different kinds of systems in place to make it work… but the tech people we work with figured it out.
“And what’s so cool about this entrance — beyond the way it feels when I’m up there flying, which is a rush – is if I want to take somebody a beer in the back of section 6 or whatever, I could. We’re still really learning what all the swing is capable of doing (and how to do it), but just being able to literally cover the entire floor last night was insane. It’s even more of a rush for me than running through the crowds to get to the stage.”
Further adding excitement to this year’s entrance is the surprise selection of songs. Not his obvious and expected “Beer In Mexico” or “Live Those Songs Again,” but the traditionally-set-ending “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” which sets fans on notice that this is going to be one heckuva ride. Many of the hi songs from the show will make-up his Greaest Hits II collection which will be available on May 19 and features his new single “Out Last Night.”
“This year, I wanted people rocking from a whole different place from the moment we hit the stage,” Chesney allows. “What better way to say, we’re gonna hit you harder than ever than to open with the song we’ve bringing the show to its peak with for the last several years? Cause if we’re starting there, then you know, we’re starting pretty high and climbing from there.”
“And I gotta tell you: those fans… those fans were so loud, so live, so ready… I knew we missed the crowds and being on the road, but they made us never wanna go home! That kind of energy, to create it, to feel it, to be part of it… that, to me, is what you go to concerts for!”
Chesney’s Greatest Hits Vol 2 is out May 19th
‘Be As You Are’
‘I’m Alive’ (featuring Dave Matthews)
‘Out Last Night’
‘Down The Road’
‘When The Sun Goes Down’
‘Living In Fast Forward’
‘Beer In Mexico’
‘There Goes My Life’
‘Anything But Mine’
‘I Go Back’
‘Never Wanted Nothin’ More’
‘No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems’
‘The Good Stuff’
Posted on 06 April 2009 by Bill West
Many fans will be talking about Jabba The Dress (Underwood’s wardrobe) but there was a lot to talk about at the CM Awards last night. Jamie Foxx said it right… change was happening.
Vegas was pop-pin last night as the hillbillies of Nashville classed up the joint with some incredible wardrobe and dazzling music. There was also a good ratio of big Hollywood stars there (Nicole Kidman is now a mainstay and Matthew Mcconaughey has the funniest moment of the night with his white boot Strait intro).
The big change came with who won the big awards. There was new blood for sure. Young blood too with Taylor surprising many with a well deserved album honor and Carrie Underwood becoming the first female to win Entertainer since the Dixie Chicks. There was also a little change with an opening star medley paced with Brooks and Dunn’s Play Something Country that was kinda clunky but at least it was something new.
Other highlights included Trace Atkin’s tear jerking Vets salute, Flatts stripped down “Here Comes Goodbye” (Levox’s vocals have otherwise been horrible on live TV) and Carrie’s mega dress and perfect performance of “I Told You So”. Did anyone else expect Randy Travis to pop out from under the dress and finish the duet?
The partial list of winners is as follows:
Entertainer of the Year: Carrie Underwood
Album of the Year: Fearless, Taylor Swift
Top Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley
Top Female Vocalist: Carrie Underwood
Top Vocal Group:Rascal Flatts
Top Vocal Duo:Sugarland
Top New Male Vocalist: Jake Owen
Top New Female Vocalist:Julianne Hough
Top New Vocal Duo or Group:Zac Brown Band
Single Record of the Year: “You’re Gonna Miss This”, Trace Adkins
Song of the Year: “In Color”, Jamey Johnson
Video of the Year: “Waitin’ on a Woman”, Brad Paisley
Vocal Event of the Year: “Start a Band”, Brad Paisley with Keith Urban
Posted on 02 April 2009 by Bill West
I think that’s the cryptic lettering on Keith Urban’s knuckles in the liner notes in Defying Gravity his new CD just released this week. Let us know if you know what that means…
Easier to decipher is his liner note love letter to his bride:
“NICOLE MARY, YOU ARE TRULY A GIFT FOM THE HEAVENS… YOU GIVE ME A LOVE I’VE NEVER KNOWN BUT ALWAYS DREAMED OF… YOU GAVE ME A LIFE AND THEN MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO THEN GIVE LIFE TO OUR BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY ROSE ND I LOVE YOU DEEPER AND MORE PROFUNDLY EVERY DAY.”
There is in fact a lot of ooeey gooeeey love on Defying Gravity but it just the thing to make his female fans swoon just a bit more. Missing is a bit of guitar masculinity and almost any resemblance to country style music.
Urban has never been the traditional type but -in the past- always seemed to make an effort to add in some plucky guitar and banjo fun to get us not to think twice about it. It’s always been quality over trying to sound country. On the latest effort there’s barely a hint of banjo on a few tracks and there is an overall pop/ac feel. Has he abandoned trying to stay in the “country music club?” Time will tell… Either way he’s alway’s quick to praise the genre.
Urban still has a stronghold on country radio and it’s fans as he proved with the initial chart topping single Sweet Thing. Plus kudos for writing eight of the eleven tunes here. No doubt there is lots of quality on “Gravity” including happy tunes like “Why It Feels So Long” and “Kiss a Girl.” We love the idea of a Radney Foster remake (I’m In) but please lose the cheese drum track next time around.
Now can you tell us what “NSIUCNODLAEY LLIOFVEE” means…