“Someday you’ll be looking back on your life/ At the memories, this is gonna be one of those nights”. Yep, Grammy Award-winning Tim McGraw sums it up pretty darn well. The “Shotgun Rider Tour” made a stop at Isleta Amphitheater (5601 University Blvd. SE) on Friday night with Chase Bryant, Billy Currington and Tim McGraw and it was definitely one of those nights.
The sold out venue was packed with all manner of people, from rhinestone-bedazzled country girls straight out of a Shepler’s catalogue to emo kids with weird hair--the buzzing crowd showed that country certainly ain’t just for farm hands and mountain folk anymore.
Chase Bryant was up first at 7pm, looking like he just came from a preppy frat party but getting the crowd going with his hit single “Take It On Back”. While still relatively new to the scene, the Nashville native is definitely one to watch and even made Rolling Stone Magazine's list of “10 Country Artists You Need to Know”. Either way it looked like he was having a blast as he got the crowd standing and cranked away on a mustard-yellow Gibson Les Paul.
As anyone who has ever been to a concert knows, the time between sets is usually pretty boring and is only good for making a run to the beer tent. However, the speakers and giant screens kept the crowd entertained with ridiculously goofy ED and anti-depressant ad spoofs with Tim McGraw concerts as the “cure”. I laughed, I cried, I sang.
As the temperature finally cooled down, the music got hotter with Billy Currington taking the stage and playing an energetic 13-song setlist that included hilarious “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer”, sexy “Must Be Doin’ Something Right” and a country version of “Uptown Funk” complete with coordinated moves from the band that had the crowd going wild. Repping his 6th album, Summer Forever, which was released last week, Currington more than fulfilled his duty in getting the crowd pumped.
Just as darkness fell over the sweating city, with a thundering intro and fans’ ear-piercing screams even louder than the speakers, McGraw blasted into his set with the 1999 classic “Something Like That.” “Truck Yeah” was up next amid the glow of thousands of smartphones being held up in the air. McGraw kept the energy high, bouncing between beloved older tunes like “Just to See You Smile” and newer favorites like “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools”. Wearing his trademark black hat and tight jeans, he lived up to his title as a Country Music Icon and Top Male performer.
The encore was so awesome even Mother Nature cried with McGraw’s first single from 1994, “Indian Outlaw”, bringing on a dash of rain and some serious rain dancing. What a show! But if you missed it, don’t worry--according to a recent interview, McGraw says he’ll be working ‘til he’s 100 to keep the ladies in his family happy so he’ll certainly make it back to Burque.