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Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw Kick Off Brothers of the Sun Tour

Kenny Chesney on the first night of his 2012 Brothers of the Sun Tour with Tim McGraw. Photo by Jill Trunnell, courtesy of Shore Fire Media.

Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw kicked off their Brothers of the Sun Tour Saturday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. With a huge stage production, a set list of new and old hits and an encore featuring both Kenny and Tim, the Tampa kick-off proved why the Brothers of the Sun Tour has been called “the ‘Watch The Throne’…of country music concerts” by the Chicago Tribute.

Kenny began his set by rising from an elevator midfield and floating to the stage on a swing singing “Beer In Mexico,” “Keg in the Closet” and “Summertime.” He also performed “What I Need To Do” and “On The Coast of Somewhere Beautiful,” two songs that were not on last year’s play list, as well as his new single, “Come Over.”

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“I have to tell you what a fitting place Tampa is for us to start the Brothers of the Sun Tour!” Kenny said. “Here, it’s always summertime.”

Tim took the stage with back-to-back hits, including “Felt Good On My Lips,” “Real Good Man,” “I Like It, I Love It” and “Live Like You Were Dying.” He also played a few new songs, “Mexicoma” and “Truck Yeah” which proved to be a show-stopper. Before the show, Tim met and spent time with the first recipients of his HomeFront program, which awards a mortgage free home to injured service members at each tour stop this summer.

The almost seven hour show kicked off with sets from Jake Owen and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. Kenny brought Grace back onstage for their hit “You & Tequila” and to celebrate the birthday of Nocturnals drummer Matt Burr. Always one for surprises, Kenny brought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers new tight end Dallas Clark onstage for “The Boys of Fall.” Sports stars Jon Gruden, Steve Spurrier, Dallas Clark and Kirk Herbstreit were all on hand backstage.

The all-day party ended with Tim and Kenny returning to the stage for a 30-minute encore that kicked off with their duet “Feel Like a Rock Star.” The set also included “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” “Indian Outlaw” and “Refried Dreams,” and wrapped with a cover of Jackson Browne’s “Running On Empty,” with Grace Potter and Jake Owen.

The Brothers of the Sun Tour also stopped in Atlanta during opening weekend. Next weekend, the tour will head to Cowboys Stadium in Dallas and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

Check out our “Concrete to Beach” sweepstakes for information on how you could win a trip to the final Brothers of the Sun tour stop in Foxboro, Massachusetts on August 25. The next day you’ll be whisked away on a private jet bound for a beach-side resort in Key West, Florida. Plus, we’re gonna throw in $5,000 cash! Concrete to Beach Sweepstakes >>

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