Ever since Target Field opened, the Twins have tried to host a major concert. Last year, they struck out on bringing in Paul McCartney due to conflicts. But now, a year later, the Twins succeeded! On a sunny, warm July 8 night, country music stars Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney played center field for more than four hours in Target Field’s first-ever concert. With Target Field taking a hiatus from baseball to transform into a concert venue, more than 41,000 fans came to have a rootin’ tootin’ good time at the Brothers Of The Sun tour.
The stage, with three video boards, spread the width of deep center field, with hundreds of chairs spread out across the outfield. A walkway that made a cross jetted out from the front of the main stage. The set-up crew covered everything but the infield with a rubber sheet to protect the grass; they decided to put a fence around the infield. Two large speaker towers were placed near 1st and 3rd base, porta-potties lined the right field wall, and several sets of spotlights were placed between the base paths and on both ends of the Terrace Level to light up the stage and concert-goers. Both dugouts were transformed into concession stands, where fans on the field could buy food and drinks (including beer!). Some things I noticed that were different at Target Field: the Budweiser sign and Minnie and Paul were brighter, the lights below the canopy were on, and there was a helicopter flying above the ballpark. I think Target Field is a great concert venue because the sound and the field layout were great.
After rising star Jake Owen and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals warmed up the crowd, Tim McGraw, wearing all white, took the center field stage. McGraw performed several popular songs, such as “Where The Green Grass Grows,” “Better Than I Used to Be,” “Just To See You Smile,” “Live Like You Were Dying,” and “I Like It I Love it.” In the middle of his set, as McGraw paid tribute to his father, Tug, a fan came on the stage wearing a Phillies jersey with McGraw’s name on the back (Tug played for Philadelphia from 1975-1984). McGraw, the singer, mentioned that this was a special moment to perform in a baseball stadium “like this.” He put on a good show, ending his set with his newest hit “Truck Yeah.” Personally I was disappointed that he didn’t perform his rendition of “When The Stars Go Blue” and thought McGraw’s voice sounded different live.
After a short break to change the look of the stage, Kenny Chesney made a grand entrance when he rose up from second base onto a circular stage. Once on the stage, Chesney performed his hit “Beer in Mexico.” After the conclusion of his first song, Chesney, wearing a non-sleeve shirt, sat on a seat and hovered over the fans to the main stage. Once on stage, Chesney performed his smash hits “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” and “Summertime.” Chesney was a pro at getting the crowd going, especially during his song “Come Over.” During one of Chesney’s songs, a series of pictures was displayed on the stage’s main video board of Minnesota sports teams and of certain Twin Cities locations. Chesney also sang a sports themed song titled “There Goes My Future.” I felt that Chesney performed better than McGraw on this night.
For the last twenty minutes of the show, McGraw teamed up with Chesney for four songs; one was “Feel Like a Rockstar,” the recent hit between the two. They also performed “Indian Outlaw.” The Twins and country fans will remember this day for years to come. Hopefully, Target Field will host many more concerts down the road.
Written by: Michael L. Sack