Kenny Chesney did a full run-through of his show for the upcoming Goin' Coastal tour http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/touring/kenny-chesney-announces-new-tour-dates-1004138998.story in front of a small group of journalists, label execs, and industry VIPs at a cavernous rehearsal studio just outside of Nashville yesterday. The tour begins March 17 at Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Chesney quickly jumps into stadium waters two nights later at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
As of yesterday Goin' Coastal has sold 625,000 tickets, with 28 shows not yet on sale yet, according to TMG/AEG Live president Louis Messina.
After taking most of 2010 off from live performances, Chesney will return to the road in a big way in 2011, with a full slate of arena, amphitheater and stadium shows. As yesterday's two-hour run-through demonstrated, the show will be full-on Chesney, featuring his trademark blend of mega-tour production and a hit-laden set list that includes plenty of material from his 2010 album "Hemingway's Whiskey" http://www.billboard.com/news/kenny-chesney-the-billboard-cover-story-1004110498.story#/news/kenny-chesney-the-billboard-cover-story-1004110498.story intermingled with guaranteed crowd pleasers.
Back are tour promoter TMG-AEG Live, tour sponsor Corona, and the "vibe room" pre-show chill area. Without giving away too many details, the production includes a wealth of dazzling video elements and opportunities for Chesney to interact closely with the audience. But rather than relying on high-tech bells and whistles, the show focuses more on Chesney's catalog of hits, album cuts and new material, using the artful, well-conceived video to augment the songs rather than distract from them. The set leans appropriately toward rousing uptempos, balanced with the occasional ballad.
Dressed in loose-fitting jeans, a T-shirt and ball cap, Chesney was every bit the band leader as he directed his seven-piece unit through the spirited rehearsal, offering instructions and suggestions along the way regarding the sound mix, video and musical interludes. While Goin' Coastal is clearly ready for the massive crowds it will play to, Chesney was still in fine-tuning mode yesterday, hands-on with virtually all aspects of the show. While a relaxed Chesney hung out and chatted with those in attendance prior to the rehearsal, once it started the group ran through the entire set.
Chesney's Sun City Carnival tour of 2009 marked the seventh consecutive year that the artist had moved more than 1 million tickets, according to Billboard Boxscore. Chesney is the biggest ticket seller in country music and among the elite touring artists in the world. Since 2002, Chesney has grossed close to $500 million and sold nearly 10 million tickets, according to Boxscore. And Chesney's drawing power shows no sign of waning after a year off, as more than 500,000 tickets have already been sold for Goin' Coastal, with several dates yet to go on sale and others months away. In addition to the arenas, amphitheaters and stadiums on the route, Chesney will play the Stage Coach Festival in Indio, Calif., April 30, and the Bayou Country Superfest in Baton Rouge, La., May 29. The last tour on the books is a double at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., Aug. 27-28. Billy Currington and Uncle Kracker will support on all dates, and Zac Brown Band will be included on the stadium shows.