San Diego: Leann Down and Kenny to Go!

Kenny Chesney
Coors Amphitheater – Chula Vista, CA
5/29/08

It was a another beautiful evening in Southern California and the crew stepped out for a night with Kenny Chesney and Leann Rimes. As we walked through security there were signs plastered all over stating “Leanne Rimes will not be performing due to illness.” There were fans that squawked and there were fans that were there just for Chesney. It was quite hilarious to hear the Leanne Rimes fans just complain about her not being there, some really put up a fuss. It’s even better watching them put up a fuss with the people who have absolutely no control over the situation.

We walked in as “The Next Big Star” aka the opener aka Robert Corona was midway through his set. I have to be honest I wasn’t really paying attention to him, I was making new friends around me at this point because me seat was upgraded. As Mr. Corona finished his set he announced that Kenny Chesney was up next. It was odd to hear that because it was only 8:30pm. I knew we were all in for a very special treat. Rumors were running around that Uncle Kracker would play a set to fill in for Leanne. I would rather have Sammy Hagar fill in but that wasn’t up to me.

Kenny came on stage and rocked the outdoor amphitheater down! The crowd screamed and was on their feet. There were man of us around that saw the reason why he was named “Entertainer of the Year” I believe this is his 4th time in a row.

The stage was set with a large video screen in back that played music videos and the occasional shot of Kenny, the top of the stage had widescreen screens, and the sides of the stage held the jumbo trons. Even if you were in the lawn I can image you didn’t miss a visual beat of the show. The light show was pretty cool, no Pink Floyd, but still was used to make a full on “Rock and Roll meets Country” spectacular.

The show was nothing less than spectacular really. Kenny went on around 9pm and didn’t leave the stage until almost 11pm. That man knows how to work a crowd. He played all his hits and it felt like most his catalog last night. He reached into the Chesney vault to play songs off his 1999 release Everywhere We Go. It was very entertaining to see Kenny and his keyboard player try and remember songs from the vault. They only managed to get to the chorus of a couple songs and then had to stop because Kenny was laughing to hard because he couldn’t remember lyrics and the keyboard player was having a hard time keeping up the temp. The crowd saved them by singing the lyrics to the songs. Here in Southern California I knew we were experiencing something very special.

Last time I saw Kenny was back in the day when he toured with Tim Mcgraw and hit up Milwaukee’s Summerfest. I can’t even remember the year. I don’t remember as many people on stage as I saw last night. Kenny basically has a string section, horn section, and of course the guitars, bass, and keyboard. I was completely impressed by all the talent on stage. My hat goes off to everyone on that stage because I believe they helped Kenny be the Entertainer of the Year.

Uncle Kracker did come out to join Kenny for “When the Sun Goes Down” and then they ripped into Uncle Kracker’s hit “Follow Me.” Contrary to the rumor Uncle Kracker only performed a couple songs with Kenny and not a full set. During “Back Where I came From” Kenny pulled out the Padres Star Pitcher out on stage to start singing with him. Apparently he had the night off. the crows went wild and ten images of San Diego appeared on the giant screen in the background.

The last song of the night was “She Thinks my Tractor’s Sexy” which everyone was singing and dancing along to. He then signed autographs and signed a guitar and handed to a member of the audience. That was great to see the appreciation for the fans. He was very grateful that we packed the house for him and decided not to riot because of Leanne Rimes absence.

I can’t remember the setlist nor do I think my phone could hold all the names of the songs he played. I am not joking this man played almost every hit he’s had except for “Young” and played songs they haven’t played this year or in years. Last night’s show was the best I have seen in thus far this summer.

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