Chesney starts 'No Shoes Nation' tour in Tampa

March 14, 2013 

Kenny Chesney has been churning out a steady stream of country hits since the late '90s, and he's still one of the most popular live acts in country music.

Actually, not just country. Chesney's high-energy concerts are some of the biggest and most exciting shows in music, period. He drew about 50,000 people to Raymond James Stadium less than a year ago, and there's no reason to expect anything but a packed stadium again this year when his "No Shoes Nation" tour kicks off on Saturday.

This will be the third straight year Chesney has started his summer tour at Ray Jay, so it's becoming a tradition.

Besides Chesney's own fiery performances, his summer tours are known for big-name opening acts who put on great sets of their own. It was Tim McGraw last year and the Zac Brown Band in 2011. This year it's Eric Church, who's one of the hottest acts in country (his album "Chief" snagged album of the year honors at last year's CMA awards) the Eli Young Band (best known for "Crazy Girl" and "Even if It Breaks Your Heart") and up-and-comer Kacey Musgraves ("Merry Go Round").

Things get going early, at 5 p.m. and fans start showing up long before that for tailgate parties. So Chesney's performance is the highlight, but it's only part of a very full Saturday.

Details: 5 p.m. March 16, Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa. Tickets: $40.95-$279.25. Information: www.raymondjamesstadium.com or 813-350-6500.

-- Marty Clear

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