Twenty thousand of Tim Mcgraw’s ‘closest friends’ as he likes to call them, flooded the Shoreline Amphitheater for what’s becoming an annual summertime engagement. This year’s Emotional Traffic Tour also featured performances from Luke Bryan and The Band Perry.
Usually the scores of country fans find alcoholic beverages in the parking lot much more entertaining than an opening act. In The Band Perry’s case, the audience’s attitude was much different. The amphitheater was almost at capacity when Kimberly Perry emerged and laid down roots front and center.
The three family members are quickly finding a home in these larger venues. Forget the honky-tonks, these three are going to be head lining soon. The chords of “If I Die Young,” were struck too soon, signaling the end of a set which had showcased much more than their singles that are currently in rotation on country radio.
Luke Bryan has worked a few rooms in his life. Well, actually thousands. Bars, parking lots, baseball stadiums, you name it. Bryan has probably been there and sang on a stage. That practice, if you will, is finally paying off. With a solid catalog of recognizable songs to lean on, Bryan’s set moved quickly and kept the audience on their feet.
His personality took over many times throughout his 40 minute performance and kept it from lagging. Between his impression of Elvis, covers of a few rap songs, and solid musicians behind him, Bryan can no longer be on the “artists to watch” list. He’s carved out his own place among the heavy hitters of country music.
Tim Mcgraw began his two hour performance getting up close and personal with thousands of fans in the cheap seats. To the surprise of a few women that had brought their binoculars to get a better view of the superstar, their seats became the most coveted in the venue. A small platform in the center of the arena was the spot to be, as Mcgraw waded his way through adoring fans and didn’t waste much time once he made it safely to his destination. Three hit songs were quickly sung, Mcgraw screaming randomly throughout them, and it became apparent that the fans weren’t the only ones having a great time. Once returned to his rightful place on the big stage the showman began an epic performance.
A few Redbulls later Mcgraw was back to his antics running the length of the venue, being mobbed by fans. He did fit some singing in during his two plus hours on stage. A solid performance of “Red Ragtop,” and, as a surprise to many fans, he reached way back and launched into a great rendition of “Indian Outlaw.” Although Mcgraw can be a tad overwhelming, there’s no denying his talent. His jeans don’t need to be ripped that much, they certainly don’t need to be that tight, his belt buckle looked like a table that could seat the Duggars, and his pearly whites shown like the sun. But his songs are classics, he was drown out by the audience in most cases. And he has become a figure that is larger than life, even evoking a few tears from a young fan as he grabbed her outstretched hand.
The encore featured “Live Like You Were Dying,” which got the audience revved up. There’s nothing like a country concert in June. And Mcgraw has put on one of the best for years and will, no doubt, continue to do so.