Sunday, August 16, 2015
– Kenny Chesney broke his own personal mark for a New Jersey concert on Saturday by drawing almost 60,000 to MetLife Stadium with a lot of help from a new found friend, who came onstage to sing.
Midway through the show, MetLife Stadium staffers tweeted, "Congrats @kennychesney - Highest selling country artist OF ALL TIME in NJ! Thanks Kenny & the 58,642 fans here 2nite!"
This was Chesney's fourth appearance at the stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. where the NFL Giants and Jets play, and was the third time he broke his own record. He has sold 223,582 over his four appearances.
"The thing about East Rutherford," Chesney said, "they're all heart - and they bring it. That passion, the way they really throw themselves at life, really dig in and live it full tilt... that's how they love music, too. I've never walked out of MetLife not rocked to my core, and they just throw you against the wall with how they come to the shows. I could feel tonight was even more intense, but I had no idea they'd crushed the record again."
During his current tour, Chesney set marks at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field, Green Bay's Lambeau Field, Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field, Minneapolis' Target Field and Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium.
Chesney enjoyed the help of a hard core fans in setting his record. Halfway through "I Go Back," Chesney leaned into the crowd to high-five a young woman with Downs Syndrome, who yelled to come up onstage with him. Reaching his hand out, he helped lift the brown-haired girl onto the stage and gave her a hug. The young woman, who was not identified in a press release from Chesney, said, "I just want to let you know... Kenny Chesney is my true love," to cheers. "He inspires me, and right now, I want to kiss him on the lips. Do you want to see it?"
Telling the crowd, "Okay, let me wipe the sweat off," he laughed and did as the young woman asked.
The fan was not done. Asking him for the mic again, she said: "His music got me through the toughest times. His music inspires me. The reason why I want to be on the stage was because my grandfather's dream was to see me up here, to sing with Kenny..." Pausing as the audience cheered, she looked at Chesney and then back at the crowd, "Do you want to see me sing more with Kenny Chesney? Because I've been doing it for 24 years."
Chesney, who'd already said, "it takes a lot to embarrass me" onstage, turned to the crowd, and announced, "This is the reason we write songs. Right there." As the stage dropped to darkness, he took her hand, went to the main mic and hugged the woman by his side as he sang "Wild Child."
"That young woman had so much heart, so much spirit," Chesney said of his surprise guest. "She was just fearless and true and wanted to tell people what was on her mind. Talk about inspiring all of us about how to live our lives?"