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Kenny Chesney’s HERE AND NOW Boston Night 1. Surprise Single “Beer With My Friends” Gets Live Debut

Never mind the four rain delays as No Shoes Nation sheltered in their cars, waiting out the thunderstorms that pushed the start by almost two hours. But a little lightning isn’t going to stop the songwriter/superstar from East Tennessee, as Kenny Chesney had been anticipating his return to the place where No Shoes Nation was born from the moment he walked off that stage in 2018.

Clad in a red Patriots/No Shoes Nation t-shirt, the 8-time Entertainer of the Year walked onstage to cheers so loud they almost drowned out the band. En route to the stage, he’d passed a sign that read, “Kenny – It’s been 1,462 days since you last played Gillette Stadium – the longest we’ve all been apart since you first came to Foxboro in 2005.

“So much has changed but our love and connection to one another has never been stronger. Music is the most powerful thing we have. Your music and the bond you’ve created here can never be broken.

“Everyone’s missed you, but no one more than us. Welcome back home. Love, Your Gillette Stadium Family.”

That fervor defined both Chesney and his band’s performance and the crowd response to a show that wrapped up at 11:43 pm. With surprises – Harmoni Kelley’s rousing cover of AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” – and special favorites – “Boston” from Be As You Are (Songs from an Old Blue Chair), there was an extra special drop: Old Dominion joining the man the Wall Street Journal called “The King of the Road” for the rousing, life-embracing surprise single “Beer With My Friends.”

“When I knew I wanted to do this song, I knew I wanted to do it with Old Dominion,” Chesney said. “The kind of summer this has been, the music, the moments, every member of No Shoes Nation, I wanted something that captured that heart and spirit – and I wanted to pull someone in who’d understand. We’ve all been inside this song on good days and bad days, and whichever you’re having, I want people to reach for this song.

“To capture all of it, the only choice was Old Dominion, who started out on these stadium shows doing 15 minutes. Once I knew that, the race was on so we could actually get to sing this together before the tour was over. I wanted it to be something to leave No Shoes Nation with to remember what a crazy, magic year this has been.”

“Kenny called and asked if we might be into it,” says Old Dominion lead singer Matthew Ramsey. “And when we heard the song, of course we would! We write our stuff, but this song nails everything that makes being out on the road with Kenny so great: the fun, the friendship, the getting out there. There’s nothing like being on the road with him.”

“Beer With My Friends” caps a summer tour that’s seen several new Chesney records, old favorites, new stadiums, special guests and a return to live music that’s powerfully renewed the players and the fans. Presented by Blue Chair Bay Rum and fueled by MARATHON, Chesney and crew have rocked the Here And Now 2022 Tour and are down to one night to go.

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