HERE AND NOW 2022 Plays Charlotte
Kenny Chesney Joined by Carly Pearce, the Panthers
Giant Margarita, plus a New Shot Ski for Harmoni Kelly’s Birthday
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- With Country Aircheck writing of the kick-off at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, “Chesney delivered an experience that made up for the years-long wait,” the bar was set as the second weekend of Kenny Chesney’s Here And Now Tour 2022 rolled into the Bank of America Stadium. After headlining an intimate acoustic show for the opening night of the 10th Annual Mack, Jack & McConaughey Gala in Austin, Texas, the man the Wall Street Journal dubbed “The King of the Road” was ready to rock.
Hitting the stage in a washed-out Love for Love City tank, jeans and cowboy boots, Chesney was soaked with sweat by “‘Til It’s Gone,” his third song. Energy was high, the weather perfect and by the album favorite “We Do,” the fans -- 41,342 strong -- screaming the lyrics so loudly, they could be heard onstage.
“Hearing those voices, nothing sounds sweeter – and last week was a blur of excitement,” said the East Tennessee songwriter/superstar after the show. “To really be in the moment and take in those fans, to just listen to them singing... It made me realize even more how much I’ve missed the heart and the energy of No Shoes Nation.”
With bassist Harmoni Kelley having a birthday, several “road family” traditions also returned. After presenting her with a massive 96-ounce margarita as Charlotte, NC sang “Happy Birthday,” a brand new No Shoes Nation shot ski emerged from the wings, so Chesney, Kelley and band mates could toast the Austin-based musician’s birthday.
The 27-song set included a 5-song downhill slalom that kicked off with “All The Pretty Girls,” ran through “Young,” “Living In Fast Forward,” “Noise” and climaxed with “American Kids.” Towards set’s end, Chesney brought 13 Carolina Panthers and head coach Matt Rhule onstage for “Boys of Fall,” with running back Christian McCaffrey joining Chesney on the T to present a Panthers helmet to a local boy to the crowd’s delight.
Carly Pearce emerged barefoot and in cut-offs from the wings to deliver a yearning “You And Tequila” for the first time on Here And Now 2022. The 2021 Country Music Association and 2022 Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year infused the GRAMMY-nominated Grace Potter duet with an ethereal shimmer.
“It’s starting to feel like how we do it,” Chesney raved. “The traditions, the anticipation, the crowd being part of things like singing ‘Happy Birthday.’ No Shoes Radio was broadcasting from the parking lot, and you could feel the energy all day long. One of the things I love about No Shoes Nation is how much a part of this they are. Whether drowning us out on ‘American Kids,’ cheering as Harmoni tries to chug that margarita or all the love they throw our way, it’s what I sing in ‘We Do’ – ‘You came to see us, but we came to see you, too...’”
With Jimmy Buffett and Journey both in town, it was a musical night in Charlotte, NC. But the music and the momentum is not slowing down. Playing his first amphitheater show at Noblesville, Indiana’s Ruoff Music Center on May 5 with Pearce, he brings his full-tilt Pearce-Old Dominion-Dan +Shay line-up to St. Louis’ Busch Stadium May 7.
Here And Now 2022 is presented by Blue Chair Bay Rum® and fueled by MARATHON. Get ready for a long hot summer – and a whole lot of music.