There are few concerts moments that rival Tim McGraw singing “Live Like You Were Dying” live. However, that moment escalates in its ability to induce chills when five hundred dedicated McGraw fans sing that song at the top of their lungs. Add in the fact that this all happened on Veteran’s Day in a crowd that was interspersed with uniformed servicemen, FDNY and McGraw aficionados and the moment becomes downright astonishing.
So was the scene on Wednesday night at New York City’s Edison Ballroom where Tim McGraw held a private concert sponsored by Pandora Radio in support of his new LP, Damn Country Music. During his hour-long set, McGraw mixed in new tunes from his newest release, but never forgot the tracks that made him famous. It may have been dubbed an album release show, but it was also a celebration of a long and storied career.
Dressed in a black cowboy hat and matching button-down shirt, McGraw was all Nashville in New York City when he hit the stage to the raucous chords of “Truck Yeah.” However, from the moment he took the stage, it was apparent that he was as welcome in Manhattan as someone born and bred on the Upper East Side. McGraw fed off the energy, fists pumped triumphantly with each “Yeah” of the song.
He soon traversed through his songbook, hitting on classics like “Something Like That” and “Just to See You Smile” before giving the crowd a taste of his newer stuff, including “California” and the title track of his new album, “Damn Country Music.” While the newer songs silenced much of the singalong, the crowd attentively appreciated each and every lyric and chord that came from the stage.
McGraw reached back deep into his catalog for “Where the Green Grass Grows,” a song he joked he released in seventh grade. He also conceded that there were a lot of beautiful girls in New York before admitting he had a soft spot in his heart for one Mississippi girl, who unfortunately did not show up to perform. He then launched into “Southern Girl.”
Other fan favorites like “Shotgun Rider,” “Top of the World” and “Here Tonight” littered the set-list. Surprisingly “Diamond Rings and Old Bar Stools” and “Highway Don’t Care,” two of McGraw’s most recent hits, were MIA from the set-list.
The show wrapped with the jaw-dropping crowd anthem that was “Live Like You Were Dying.” Damn Country Music, indeed.
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