June 15, 2018
By: Steve Degler
When it comes to music, I am a classic rock fan at heart. But I'm flexible. I'll listen to Run DMC, blink-182 and even a little bit of country. My older daughter, Sarah, is a big fan of country music, especially Kenny Chesney. We saw him two summers ago in Philly and the two of us made a return visit to Lincoln Financial Field Saturday night to catch his "Trip Around the Sun Tour." Funny side note, that's the name of the tour but the song isn't part of the setlist.
Old Dominion and Thomas Rhett got the huge crowd geared up. Rhett wore a throwback Randall Cunningham jersey for his set and let a fan lead the crowd in an Eagles chant. There were numerous references to the Super Bowl champs which brought huge cheers every time.
At one point, there were several loud roars from the crowd. DeSalesbaseball coach and my Reading Fightin Phils partner Tim Neiman was sitting right where all the action was. I had an idea what it was all about and after a quick text exchange, Tim said Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie and quarterback Carson Wentz were there. And then there were more cheers from other parts of the stadium. The Birds were in the house. Didn't think too much of it at the time.
Kenny took the stage at nine and the place was just electric, a fact he kept mentioning. And he was the biggest reason why. He just never stops. Constant energy from one side of the stage to the other. He played all of his big hits and we all sang along. When he got to "Don't Happen Twice," we knew the show was just about over. He told the fans that it was usually the last song but "not tonight."
Then Kenny called an audible. His song "Boys of Fall" is about high school football. He mentioned how they hadn't played it on this tour yet because he wanted to save it for Philadelphia. The home of the current Super Bowl champs. He thanked the team for donating $25,000 that day for Chesney's Love for Love City charity which is trying to speed up recovery and rebuilding in the Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma last year.
Luckily I had a good scout with me. Sarah had also seen Chesney at a country music festival in Columbus, OH. She said when he sang "Boys of Fall," Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer came on stage. I knew what was coming next but not the magnitude. As the song ended, several Eagles and Lurie took the stage with the owner carrying the Lombardi Trophy. The Linc went absolutely bonkers. So did I. What a cool moment. Doug Pederson, Wentz, Zach Ertz and the rest of the players received a thunderous ovation. Chesney respectfully held the trophy for just a few seconds and gave it right back. What a cap to an outstanding show.
I told Sarah before the show that this was probably the last time I would go see Kenny Chesney. I may have to call an audible too.
(PHOTO COURTESY OF: Cindy Webster / @CindyWeb94)