Kenny Chesney took a huge bite out of the Big Apple last weekend. He kicked off his visit to New York City with a performance on Good Morning America’s “Summer Concert Series” in Central Park on Friday morning. On Saturday night, his No Shoes Nation Tour played for a sold-out crowd of 52,461 fans at MetLife Stadium. He also managed to squeeze in a photo session with iconic rock photographer Danny Clinch.
“There is so much history here, in terms of the music,” Kenny said. “This is my third time playing the Meadowlands, and every time I hit that stage, I think of all the people who’ve played there – and I listen to that crowd all day, getting fired up and you have no idea the way those fans inspire us! You just wanna get out there – and give them everything you’ve got. To me, that’s what it’s all about.”
Kenny played an almost two-hour set at MetLife Stadium that included fan favorites, songs from his latest album, Life On A Rock, and an intimate acoustic performance of “You & Tequila.” Eric Church, who performed earlier, returned to the stage for a heartfelt rendition of “When I See This Bar.”
The fans were also heavily involved in the night’s performance. Kenny gave a youngster in the crowd a signed guitar and also paid tribute to the two NFL teams that play at MetLife Stadium by awarding both a Giants helmet and a Jets helmet to two more fans. A female fan even climbed onstage towards the end of the set and danced with Kenny for almost an entire song.
“The fans are unbelievable,” Kenny said. “They come early, they rock hard and they throw down a gauntlet. You need to measure up, and it’s awesome when you hurl everything at them, and you feel even more energy coming back at you.”
In addition to performing a four-song set on Good Morning America, the show featured Kenny’s Spread the Love Fund, established to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. With fans raising heart-shaped signs throughout the crowd and many wearing the Spread the Love t-shirt designed by Kenny, it was the greatest visibility the organization has received to date.
“What people don’t realize is that just because the tragedy isn’t in the news, it’s not over for the people who lost limbs – or their families,” Kenny said. “They need physical therapy, more equipment as time goes on, new limbs and continued care, and that won’t change because other bad things happen. I want to try, and appreciate Good Morning America for their help, to not let these people be forgotten: not in terms of the help they might need, or the love and support.”
Kenny’s No Shoes Nation Tour heads to Detroit’s Ford Field this weekend and will wrap with two nights at Foxboro, Massachusetts’ Gillette Stadium August 23-24.