Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tim McGraw and his Broken Foot, Raleigh, July 8th, 2011

I wasn't planning on attending the Tim McGraw concert but we have a 21 year old Israeli camp counselor staying with us for a few weeks. I asked her if she had any interest in going for the cultural experience, assuming she had no idea who Tim McGraw is. "Tim McGraw? He's married to Faith, yes? I watch E. Can I wear a cowboy hat?" It's a small world, y'all.

The Band Perry opened. They did a very short set and sang 2-3 songs in addition to the three songs we know from the radio. Luke Bryan got a bigger reaction from the crowd of mostly women. As one would expect from Luke Bryan, he put on an energetic and sexy show. Bryan radiates mischief, which is why it was easy to believe Tim McGraw when he blamed his broken foot on Bryan.

The following is public service message to all country music stars. If you have a broken foot and it hurts, sit down. You do not need to move around the stage with a broken foot. We do not care if you chose to do your whole performance from a hospital bed in traction, as long as you want to perform.

Tim McGraw announced that this performance was being broadcast live on Sirius XM radio. He then proceeded to overdo it and walked right off the stage after 15 minute 30-45 minutes (thank you anonymous commenter for correcting me), leaving his band to awkwardly finish the song. After a momentary pause his keyboard player of 18 years, Jeff McMahon came on and explained that Tim needed to catch his breath. McMahon sang two of his own songs for us. Even though one of my friends called this keyboard player "the sacrificial lamb" he held his own and the crowd gave him plenty of love. I really enjoyed his song Angela's Wings, which I found on YouTube for you (click) . McMahon said that this was a first for him (performing solo on the fly for 15,000 people who were there to see McGraw) so if anything good comes of McGraw's broken foot, I hope it comes to McMahon. His performance was, as they would say on Seinfeld, a feat of strength.

The Band Perry then joined McMahon on the stage and performed two more songs including a medley of American favorites like "American Pie" and "Jack and Diane". They are just cute as three little buttons, but by now we were ready for McGraw to come back on and people were starting to wonder if he was done for the night.  McGraw did reappear after a 20-30 minute break. He reopened with "I Miss Back When" and was joined by Luke Byran, who dressed up the line "back when a screw was a screw" with some very naughty hip thrusts. For the most part, McGraw refused to sit on the stool they had put on the stage for him. He sounded fine as he limped around, waving his cane in the air and letting the first row sign his blue cast as he passed. I do think the entire crowd would have breathed a sigh of relief if he has just sat his tush down.

He closed with "Live Like You Were Dying", "Indian Outlaw" and "I Like It, I Love It". For all of McGraw's difficulties in the end it was a great show. Once he came back on, McGraw put his all into giving the audience what they came for. I suppose that's the stuff that makes him a country superstar.

I wonder if Sirius XM broadcast the entire thing. Does anybody know?