Show Reviews


Thursday April 25, 2024

@ Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN

(Review Written By: Jeffrey Kurtis)

Country music is always in constant motion, evolving through outside influences, stretching its restrictive borders to their furthest edge, and developing hot shot new acts who eventually fall in line as the biggest names on the landscape; replacing the mainstays with generation next in many cases as each innovation moves the dial that much further into the natural evolution of the genre.

However, there’s that rare artist who can consistently steer the course within their signature flare and transform their overall aura into something that distinctively still fits alongside whatever the current model may be.

Tim McGraw!

Since notching his first #1 in 1994, “Don’t Take the Girl,” the country music icon has been very deliberate about continually crafting his sound so that it always maintains a stark freshness, while also delivering the highest quality songs to balance his back catalog hits with stellar new numbers that transform your very thought life and move you into your next chapter with optimistic perspective.

On the back of securing his whooping 46th #1 song, “Standing Room Only,” McGraw has once again been creating a deafening amount of buzz with his new music and his headlining tour, trekking across the states as he crisscrosses a dynamic within his set that strikes all the right chords with the audience from first note to last.

He rolled the “most talked about tour” into Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena this past week, playing in front of a sold-out house, all who were amped from the moment that the vast plaza outside the arena flooded in concertgoers adorning t-shirts that pledged their long-time allegiance to Tim McGraw as was evident by the many different past tours that each represented.

Washed in an incredible display of hit song after hit song, the stage visuals provided a fully immersive experience that allowed the backing video wall to pop precise lyrical interludes, while the blue hue of lights that oftentimes bathed McGraw throughout the night helped to perfectly set the feel of the softer paced, introspective numbers.

"Our job is to let you let go, turn loose, have fun, and leave the outside world behind,” exclaimed McGraw just before wrapping the first quarter of his set with “Over and Over,” setting the tone of the overall vibe and the heightened energy level that encompassed the entire night.

As the lights dimmed the arena to darkness, a quiet hush murmured over the crowd as they eagerly anticipated the superstar’s arrival, exploding with each flash of the lightshow that scattered across the arena and erupting when silhouetted shadowed images of Tim McGraw popped the massive screens aligning the backdrop of the stage.

Center stage bellowed in smoke amongst a drip of guitars into the opening of “Truck Yeah,” allowing McGraw to seemingly appear out of nowhere to an ovation that reverberated so loudly that it momentarily overpowered the music as he basked in the appreciation with a smile on his face before commencing a full on party that saw everyone, from the floor seats to the last row of the 300 level, leaping to their feet, popping their hips in perfect rhythm, and belting out every word with vigorous enthusiasm.

This type of opening song excitement that naturally always arrives at the onset of any show of this magnitude not only set the aura of this particular night, but it presented an atmosphere that continually held strong for the next hour and forty-two minutes.  

The biggest up-tempo hits induced the response that you’d expect them to receive as everyone danced and screamed along with their favorites, “Southern Voice,” “Just to See You Smile,” “Shotgun Rider,” “Where the Green Grass Grows,” “Red Rag Top,” “Felt Good on My Lips,” and “Real Good Man.”

I had a barbecue stain on my white t-shirt…” lyrically flashed the screens during the chorus of “Something Like That,” further enhancing the karaoke moment that had already been in full swing from the minute that the opening notes struck as drinks instantly littered the air amongst a sea of raised arms that swayed the melody while the aisles filled with an all-out country dance party.

Accented in an appearance by the silvery glow of the NHL’s Stanley Cup, “I Like It, I Love It” paid homage to the beloved, hometown Nashville Predators, who would be playing their first home playoff game in this very building the next night, while “Highway Don’t Care” got “interesting” as McGraw said it would when images of Taylor Swift singing her parts of the song flashed on the screen amid an insane ovation.

“Pull ‘em in close boys!” he instructed before transforming the arena into a high school slow dance during “Watch the Wind Blow By”; similar to what he did just one song earlier when he played his current single “One Bad Habit,” a song which he dedicated to his wife as images of their love story travelled the screens amongst a bevy of swooning.

As he set the mood of the encore with clips from the uber-popular 1883, “The Cowboy in Me” then stamped an exclamation point on who he is at his core while providing an autobiographical story that resonated with many across the crowd who closed their eyes and flowed the lyrics with conviction as they showered the superstar in harmony.

With his biggest hits easily pulling the crowd into the palm of his hand, at the core of the night was a stunning showcase of the true power of a song whenever he’d slow the set into those lyrical masterpieces that are intended to strike heartstrings and gear thought-provoking, long-lasting impacts. 

In a balance that saw many singing along with every word in juxtaposition to the several who just soaked them in silently, each dynamic clearly affected by these moments, songs like “Standing Room Only,”  “Humble and Kind,” and “Live Like You Were Dying” became the strongest fixtures of the night, keeping everyone retrospectively talking amongst their friend circles long after the show had ended as they were snaking their way back to their cars.

With a 30+ year career well on display, the veteran performer showed us exactly how it’s supposed to be done! Knowing the specific ways to ignite the crowd but also finding the perfect moments to quietly pause and soak in their appreciation, there was a humbleness that exuded through McGraw’s honest smile that endearingly transformed gratefulness as he ran through the staples that line everyone’s playlists to provide a nearly two-hour escape to the memory laden, backdrop moments that have shaped our lives.


1) Truck Yeah

2) Southern Voice

3) All I Want Is a Life

4) Tiny Dancer

5) Just to See You Smile

6) Over and Over

7) Shotgun Rider

8) One Bad Habit

9) Watch the Wind Blow By

10) Something Like That

11) Where the Green Grass Grows

12) Standing Room Only

13) Red Rag Top

14) Highway Don't Care

15) I Like It, I Love It

16) Felt Good on My Lips

17) Real Good Man

18) The Cowboy in Me

19) Humble and Kind

20) Live Like You Were Dying



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