Kenny Chesney at Summerfest 09

Summerfest is one of Milwaukee’s best places to go to a concert. There are bands at any given time of the 11-day festival. Besides the cost to get in, most of the concerts are free. However, the Marcus Amphitheater is where the big shows play.

Sun City Carnival Tour. Kenny Chesney. Country. $90.00

Summerfest is one of Milwaukee’s best places to go to a concert. There are bands at any given time of the 11-day festival. Besides the cost to get in, most of the concerts are free. However, the Marcus Amphitheater is where the big shows play.

Kenny Chesney is a popular country singer who just happened to be on that big stage. The last time he showed up to Summerfest was about three years ago. But on Friday, July 3 he came to sing in his Sun City Carnival Tour.

As a lover of country music and Kenny’s biggest fan, of course I was there. This concert was my sixth Kenny concert, but to say it nicely, he only slightly amazed me this time around.

He usually comes out onto the stage and plays hit after hit. He’ll throw in a new song, but it’s not new if you’re a true fan. Then, he’ll toss in something extra, like the songs he only plays at concerts and that aren’t on his records. But this time he did something a little different.

Let’s start with the good stuff first. The beginning of the concert was amazing. I heard all the old stuff and some new stuff. The theme was simply oldie but goodie! His songs take me back to the past and life experiences. He plays songs about him. Just like an ordinary country singer, the songs are life songs. That’s what I love about country music and to speak for the crowd I think that’s what country lovers’ love about the music too.

The stagecraft was beautiful. Kenny up there dancing around while pictures lit the stage up in the background. His voice is extremely charming. It’s the true sound of country. Of course his guitar and the band’s background added a little something extra to his songs. But, even without the music of the band, his voice would float into the air just the same. He’s talented, that’s for sure.

He played hits like “Big Star” and “Young.” The newer songs are still classics, especially “Summertime.” His songs are always the same and I don’t mean boring. I mean they always feel good when they’re heard.

It’s no secret that Kenny is popular and so the audience was massive filling up the whole theater. Dancing around with their hands in the air, it seemed like people were really pleased. He played between twenty-five to thirty songs. But, towards the end of the concert, Kenny did something I never thought he would do.

It was really surreal to me, but he started playing cover songs. At first it was okay because I thought maybe he’d play one or two, then get back to his stuff. No, that was not the case. About the last seven songs of his concert were cover songs. I was so confused. “Sweet Home Alabama” and “What I got” are good songs, but I came to hear Kenny’s songs. He has so many hits that he could go for hours just on his stuff. Why did he have to bring cover songs into it?

Here’s another note about Summerfest. So, on Tuesday I saw Phil Vassar. He’s another country artist. Summerfest always finds time for some of the best country singers. But, Phil did the same thing. I was quite astonished when Kenny did it too. I’ve been to plenty of Phil’s concerts and he always plays some cover songs. When Kenny did it I just assumed that must be the theme this year.

At any rate, I wasn’t pleased with the whole cover song idea. That is not what country artists, especially Kenny, do. Kenny still was very charming for the most part, especially when he was playing his own songs. He said he’ll be back next year and that means so will I. Next summer, hopefully I’ll hear more Kenny than cover.
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