Chesney Rocks…Sugarland Walks!

Last night, Kenny Chesney once again demonstrated why he is the greatest entertainer in country music today. Unfortunately, he needed this performance to help appease a very upset crowd at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Chesney returned to the Bay Area last night with his Sun City Carnival Tour which included supporting acts Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert. I would say Sugarland, but, well…they ONCE AGAIN had to cancel a Bay Area show. To quote a gentleman sitting behind me last night, “maybe they should skip the Bay Area every time, and let the real talent shine.” I won’t go that far, as they are a great band, but why us again?

The crowd was greeted with signs saying that singer Jennifer Nettles has lost her voice in the recording studio. (Thank you to Are You Breathing for the photo…I forgot to take one!)

No Sugarland at AT&T Park

No Sugarland at AT&T Park

Huh? Weren’t they playing with Keith Urban just the night before? I don’t get it. For those of you going to the Staples Center tonight, I heard that Lady Antebellum will be replacing Sugarland as well. I was told by others in attendance that Sugarland did a sound check prior to the show and decided that they should not perform due to the strain on Nettles vocal chords. So, why did the signs state that she lost her voice in the recording studio? Just a question. I’m told she was great last night!

Back to the concert. I have to say one thing about AT&T Park: this is NOT a great place to see a concert. The venue is great for baseball and even for the Emerald Bowl in college football. The park has a great selection of food and good people working both the concessions and guest relations, but the acoustics for a concert are lousy. The entire night, it was difficult to hear what the performers were saying and there was a constant echo during the entire show.

Lady Antebellum took the stage first at about 5:50 p.m. (about 20 minutes late) with a fun set that included all of their hits including: I Run To You, Lookin’ For a Good Time and Love Don’t Live Here Anymore. I really enjoyed a new song they played. I think it’s called I Need You Now. It’s slow but I absolutely love the lyrics! Watch for it to be their next radio hit!

They also paired some classic rock songs which was an excellent addition to the set, especially a rendition of AC-DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long. The band currently has the number one song on the Billboard charts and after seeing them perform live for the first time, I see a bright future ahead for them. They have a great stage presence and don’t look like newcomers. They look more like polished professionals! I’ll tell you one thing, by next year, they’ll be headlining shows like this. They have the talent and passion to be HUGE in this business. I predict great things (and numerous CMA/Grammy awards this year). Mark my word. They may have stolen the show!

Next up was Miranda Lambert. A former Nashville Star contestant, Lambert did her best to entertain the crowd, who at times seem disinterested in her set because of a few fights in the crowd (two in our section, section 104) as well as the cold wind that whipped up throughout the event. Say what you will, I thought that her band was entertaining and people may not have enjoyed as much as they should have due to the acoustics at AT&T Park. Loved the band members mohawk by the way!

Her set included: Kerosene, Me and Charlie Talking, Famous in a Small Town and concluded with Gunpowder and Lead. Probably the highlight of her set was the intimate More Like Her which was soft, sincere and very emotionally driven. I feel that Lambert is a good performer and has a lot of talent, but just isn’t quite ready for the stadium shows just yet (just give her a little more time…there is a lot of talent in Lambert and her band!). I really wish Blake Shelton was accompanying her for this show. I think together, they could have rocked the park!

Following Lambert was ANOTHER long, break in between sets, courtesy of Sugarland. I’ll bring this up again, I, as well as many in attendance were VERY upset with another Sugarland cancellation. Like many others, I spent a lot of hard earned money during tough economic times to take my wife to this show. We both love Kenny Chesney, but she came for Sugarland. To not see them perform was a complete downer for the entire evening. I have the latest Sugarland CD, unopened, which I may return to the store today. Sugarland, you broke my wife’s heart last night, for the second time. Once at Shoreline and now once at AT&T Park.

Thank god for Kenny! Chesney’s 90 minute set nearly saved the entire evening for us. Chesney brings such passion to his music, and his concerts, which has brought the reputation as the best performer in country music today. Yes, Carrie Underwood may be the reigning Entertainer of the Year, but I have seen both, and unless I get a date with Carrie afterwards, Chesney is by far the better live performer.

He entered the stadium in style, from a flying chair which floated above the crowd during his opening song Live Those Songs. His set list was, as always, top notch including: Summertime,  Beer in Mexico,  Keg in the Closet, Out Last Night,  Big Star, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems , I Go Back / Anything But Mine,  Down the Road, Never Wanted Nothing More, Back Where I Come From, Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, When the Sun Goes Down, Don’t Happen Twice, She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy and Don’t Blink (encore). For the most part, the set was party anthem after party anthem, with just a sprinkling of a few ballads intertwined nicely.

What I love about Chesney is that he loves what he does, and it shows in his concerts. Chesney knows how to work a crowd and the crowd always knows how to respond. I was slightly disappointed that Chesney did not interact with the fans as much as he typically does. The songs were great but they were one after another with hardly any segue in between.

An especially loud cheer came up during “Back Where I Come From” when the video monitors flashed photos of the San Francisco Bay Area and of local San Francisco teams the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. He did this last year as well but it’s always a nice touch :)

The show was good, but not great. I can not compare this year to last year’s concert which included supporting acts Luke Bryan, Gary Allan, LeAnn Rhimes and Brooks and Dunn. Last year’s show also included special guests Steve Miller and Sammy Hagar. Last years show was one of the best concerts I have ever been to in all of my 31 years, so I knew going into this years that it would be hard to live up to.

I love Kenny Chesney, but I wish that something could have been done to compensate concert goers for the lack of Sugarland (again). Yes, the opening acts did longer sets, but (and I mean no disrespect in this statement) I didn’t pay my money to see extra Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert. I would have loved to have seen some of the band from the Beach Ball Free for All, including Trailer Choir and Love and Theft, make an appearance on stage. A short, 3-5 song set by Trailer Choir would have done it for me! The concert organizers had these bands at their disposal. Why wouldn’t you find a way to get them on stage to at least help fill the time caused by the loss of Sugarland?

Overall, a good show, but not worth the price of admission this year. Chesney is amazing, and I know that I’ll probably be back next year, but if the economy continues to remain as it is, I’ll be much more inclined to miss the stadium shows, and concentrate on my favorite intimate gatherings at the Rodeo Club. Looking forward to the next one, KRTY!

If you went to the show, I want to hear your thoughts as well. What did you think? Worth the price you paid? Were you disappointed by a lack of Sugarland?

Be sure to check out the San Jose Mercury News for their review of the show.

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24 Comments on “Chesney Rocks…Sugarland Walks!”

  1. gregb Says:

    Excellent review of the show….my exact sentiments.
    Kenny Chesney was good as usual, but it was a short
    set compared to last year…no surprise guests…..
    Miranda Lambert did her best to entertain but has limited talent…not stadium-ready….Lady Antebellum
    definitely upward-bound….good performance…but NO SUGARLAND….they keep cancelling shows in Northern California….I love their music but disgusted about them not showing up….Maybe shouldn’t schedule so many shows in a row?? The whole crowd was “down” because of NO SUGARLAND…Overall, unlike last year with a lot of acts…this year was NOT WORTH THE MONEY. I will NOT go again unless there are more worthwhile people on the bill. A lot of overdrinking because of an hour between sets….Kenny should pay for people’s DUI’s. Is he becoming a “country Jimmy Buffett drunkfest entertainer”?


  2. […] on Just About Anything… « Legendary News Anchor Walter Cronkite Dies Chesney Rocks San Francisco…Sugarland Walks! […]

  3. Kris Says:

    I agree with your assessment. Kenny alone was worth the price, but having Sugarland cancel AGAIN is unacceptable. I hope Kenny never tours with them again. Last year’s show had more magic with better opening acts and the guest appearances. I love the set Kenny played. It was my husband’s first Kenny show and he was impressed.


  4. We linked to your post here.

    http://www.countrymusicislove.com/2009/07/sugarland-a-no-show-in-san-fran.html

    Thanks for sharing. It really sucks when fans have to miss out. It’s not the first time they’ve done it and it won’t be the last.

  5. michael Says:

    ditto all around. i came up with the idea of me and my three siblings getting together for this concert months ago. we live close but don’t see each other very often. i am a HUGE sugarland fan and for me they were top of the bill. had i been alone when i arrived at ATT i would have taken the refund (paid $100 for a $30 seat @gotickets.com. ripoff!) and gone home. i like kenny and he put on a great show…but he wasn’t who i came to see. i thought lady a was good…and will surely get better. miranda lambert was a complete waste of my time. my sibs had a great time, as they are all big chesney fans. for that i am grateful. i am now putting seeing sugarland live back on my bucket list…but i’m not breaking my back to make it happen.

  6. kreuzer33 Says:

    I think A LOT of people were disappointed yesterday. My wife had gone to the restroom when I found out. I dreaded her coming back because I didn’t want to tell her. She came to see them and really only came with me because of them. I think that something should have been said during the event, and not left to unknowing fans, to read the “signs” posted outside. I found out during Miranda Lambert’s set so that didn’t help.

    Kenny, as always, was a great performer and I really enjoyed Lady Antebellum. Miranda Lambert was good but needed better acoustics, which AT&T Park does not have.

  7. Jenna Says:

    I am not surprised to hear there were as many people disappointed as I was when I realized that Sugarland was not performing. It actually brought me to tears and no disrespect to Kenny but if I had realized that I could have refunded my ticket that I saved up for I would have. Sitting in our seats waiting almost an hour in between sets put me in the worst mood, yea they had a cancellation, but come on get it together people

  8. Bruce & Peg Says:

    You are spot on in your review of the show.I to got ripped off paid $235.00 bucks for my wife and this was via StubHub. My wife was heartbroken to her in the car going there,that Sugarland had cancelled. Hey we were half way to the venue when we heard it on the Wolf(95.7).

    After about an hour in traffic not once more did they mention the cancellation of Sugarland at all. Bad timing by the radio station.To us, there were very few signs telling of the cancelling of the best act probably in country music today.We told others either at the show entrance or walking from the 20.00 parking garage. Overall it was fun, but we still are hung over about the absent Sugarland. I may never go to another country music show again, nor will the wife. Nice honest review.

  9. Wendy Says:

    You’re are welcome for the pic. At first I thought your pic was so much better than mine, then I read the credit, and laughed out loud. We exchanged our tix, which gives us back most, but not all, of our money. Then we took a cab to the Orpheum and caught an 8pm show of Wicked, for the second time. It was even better the second time. And from reading your blog the best decision we could have made.

  10. jstocking21 Says:

    I was talking to Stephen from Love & Theft when we found out about Sugarland. They said they were maybe going to do an acoustic set. Sad to see they didn’t fill the spot. That would have been AWESOME!

  11. Sharon Says:

    The AT&T concert in our opinion was a major let down. I like Kenny Chesney and thought his set was good. My husband, a Sugarland fan came only because he thought they were playing, only to them a no show. We won’t be attending any further concerts there as we drove over 3 hours to be disappointed. I wouldn’t give you a plug nickel for a ticket to a Sugarland concert again, they are apparently pretty unreliable performers. Also the fact that they weren’t playing last night wasn’t real well known, it spread mainly by word of mouth. Had we known we’d have cashed in and left too. This in addition to the vomit in the seats that we were to sit in and couldn’t get cleaned up, led to an exasperating experience. As for Sugarland NO CLASS! And minus some pretty faithful fans. Especially since they had played in Fresno 3 hours away the night before. Who’s kidding who with the voice excuse??

  12. Lorelai Says:

    I agree with the majority of this. I was heartbroken that Sugarland cancelled, I’ve been waiting years to see them until I was old enough to drive on my own and was in the absolute worst mood for most of the night. Luckily, Kenny turned the night around and I ended up having a pretty good time aside from Sugarland’s cancellation. But I still love Sugarland and their music and will try and catch them next time they come to the Bay Area.

  13. Ryan Says:

    I agree with most of you. No Sugarland was a huge dissapointment!! This was my 4th Kenny concert and i was excited to see him, but my wife and I were most excited to see Sugarland for the first time. You think that they would have filled the spot with one of the Beach Ball Free For All bands but did not. We paid $225 a ticket for sand bar seats, and even with the cancelation Kenny made it worth every penny… Thanks Kenny you did it again!!! As far as where this concert ranked out of the 4 times ive seen him, this took 4th. Not because of him, just cause of everyone else….

  14. sk Says:

    Great review of the concert. Like alot of other people here, I’ve seen Kenny before, so Sugarland was the major draw for my girlfriend and I. She’s not really a country music fan, but I’ve been able to get her into a few songs. We walked by and someone handing out summertime fans told us the bad news. Didn’t know about the refunds until we were already in the stadium and someone told us while we were waiting for Kenny’s set. My girlfriend was devastaded. She got me the tickets because she knew that Sugarland was the next country performer I wanted to see. I felt so bad that she spent all that money on floor tickets, but we still made the most of it and had a great singing along with Kenny’s set. I’m not sure if Sugarland lost us as fans, but for some reason i’m not as anxious to see them live any more.

  15. sk Says:

    one other thing i noticed with sugarland. i was following them on twitter, and they’ve been updating their page regularly…like up to 10 times a day. day of the concert…nothing. Couldn’t they have updated and said that they were sorry they couldn’t make the concert? There has been no activity the last couple of days. i guess they don’t want to let fans in other states know about their canceled performances.

  16. Elise Says:

    I was disapointed by the no-show of Sugarland once again. I came to see Kenny but this happening twice in the bay is unaceptable. I won’t bother if they play around here again. Given the price of concert tickets and one of the main acts not showing makes you think twice about going. Kenny was great as usual…never a disapointment. Lady A was better than I thought they would be! Miranda Lambert was OK…but not at such long length to fill in that gap of Sugarland’s disapearing act.

  17. Erin Says:

    I love Kenny Chesney and was super excited about the whole concert because I am a huge fan of all the bands that were to perform there (with the exception of Miranda Lambert) but honestly after her performance I like her and have a lot more respect for her now!!

    As far as Sugarland…they were one of my main reasons for going this year,along with Kenny and Lady Antebellum, so when I found out right before the show that they were not appearing, my excitement level and energy level drained right out of me…needless to say, I was so disappointed!!!!

    I went from a 10 level of excitement down to about a 2 and maybe came back up to a 5 when Kenny came on! My entire evening was shot! Huge fan of Sugarland, but after hearing that this is a trend of canceling, I’m a little hesitant to buy tickets! I want to, but now I just don’t know! I hope they get these messages and redeem themselves in California because they apparently have a lot of disappointed fans out here!

    Sugarland, I’ll still buy your CD’s!!! And my love still remains!! Best of luck to you!!

  18. Sara Says:

    What a bummer!!!!!!

    We drove 4 hrs to see the show. It was my daughters first concert, her reward for a good year in school. She was so excited to see Sugarland and then they pull a no show.

    The sound system was terrible. For someone the caliber of Kenny there is no excuse.

    Left feeling like I let down my daughter and like I spent to much money on a concert that was not worth it.

  19. Dave Says:

    As designated spokesperson for a group of ten friends I attended the concert with:

    Our disappointment at Sugarland’s apparent “SNUB” of the Bay Area is almost beyond words – two years in a row?!?!? Come on now, the SF public is not stupid: (to paraphrase) “Something is rotten in Sugarland”. As much as we like Kenny, this year’s main event for us was to be Sugarland, as we’ve seen Kenny before, but not Sugarland, and they had become our favorite country act “de jour,” – NO LONGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry, Jennifer, if the “lost voice in studio” excuse is true, but all that sounds “fish rotten” to us all, if the original review is true about performing the previous night elsewhere. Therefore, collectively we’ve lost ALL RESPECT for Sugarland and will no longer be supporting their wealth or fame with either merchandise and/or ticket purchases. Your fan-base deserves better, and although 10 lost fans is minor in the overall scheme of things, it’s really our only way to express our disappointment and ANGER.

    Comments regarding what was an overall frustrating evening, acoustics are TERRIBLE at AT&T Park, the breaks were excrutiatingly long, and the warm-up performances were “not ready for prime time!!!”

  20. kreuzer33 Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Dave. I posted a video on another post which is a response from Sugarland to the canceled concerts.

  21. Linda25 Says:

    awesome site! Keep it up!

  22. Alaskan Says:

    So if you didn’t know about the refund are you SOL? Last year did not even come close to this year-this year really wasn’t all that impressive.


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