Entertainment

Kenny Chesney is a touring machine, and he's coming to Raleigh

Kenny Chesney performs  at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards April 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. He will bring his Trip Around the Sun tour with Old Dominion to Raleigh May 12.
Kenny Chesney performs at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards April 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. He will bring his Trip Around the Sun tour with Old Dominion to Raleigh May 12. Invision/AP

Kenny Chesney does it his way — and it works. The country star tours every summer and packs sheds and stadiums.

Chesney, who turned 50 in March, has released 20 albums and has sold more than 30 million copies. Twenty-nine of his hits have reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country charts.

That means Chesney can’t play every No. 1 song during his concerts.

Some might say this is a nice problem to have.

So that's what we know. Before he performs May 12 at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, we take a look at some of the things you mind not not know about Chesney.

1. Chesney is a baseball fanatic

He once asked late baseball legend Roy Halladay to fire some pitches at him. It never happened. Halladay, who was a fan of Chesney, refused to step on the mound against his pal. When asked about Chesney’s request in 2013, Halladay laughed and said, “No way.”

And when Chesney performed in Tampa five years ago, the guest list was filled with prominent MLB players.

2. There's thought into what he wears.

Many recording artists wear black onstage, from the late Johnny Cash to Metallica to the Rolling Stones. But Chesney often sports white clothes. “I know why he does it,” Eric Church said during a 2017 interview. “If you wear black, you get scorched up there during outdoor shows during the summer. I learned it the hard way while opening for Kenny (in 2012). He knows what he’s doing.”

3. Being an opening act is a big deal.

Chesney interacts with his support acts. Some recording artists are within a fortress of solitude on the road. That’s not so for the big-hatted country sensation. “When I’ve opened for Kenny he’s been incredibly nice,” Miranda Lambert said during an interview last year. “Not everybody is like that in this business.” This tour will see Old Dominion, the recent winner of the Academy of Country Music's Vocal Group of the Year Award.

4. The island life

When Chesney isn't on the road, he's likely leading his "no shoes" lifestyle in St. John, in the Virgin Islands. One of the bars he frequents inspired his anthemic hit “Pirate Flag.” Chesney won’t reveal the bar since it’s his hang out but he will note that a bell is rung everyday at 3 p.m, which is cocktail time.

Philanthropy is close to Chesney’s heart, and when Hurricane Irma rocked the U.S. and British Virgin Islands in 2017, he set up a charitable fund to help out.

5. His interest in athletics goes beyond baseball.

Chesney produced and narrated the biographical film “The Color Orange.” The movie focuses on his childhood hero — University of Tennessee quarterback Condredge Holloway, who was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Just before Chesney kicked off his “No Shoes Nation” tour in 2013, he asked his close friend Jon Gruden to deliver a speech to his crew. The Oakland Raiders coach, who was an acclaimed color analyst with “Monday Night Football from 2009 through last season, agreed to deliver the inspirational message.

6. He's a tough guy

You'd have to be with his schedule. Chesney, who played high school football and baseball, was seriously injured during his “Poets and Pirates” tour a decade ago at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. His foot was crushed when his boot got caught between a hydraulic lift and the lip of the stage surface. Despite the serious pain, Chesney somehow toughed it out and finished the show. Not one date of the tour was cancelled or postponed.

Details

Who: Kenny Chesney with Old Dominion

When: 7:30 p.m., May 12

Where: Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, 3801 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh

Cost: $33.25, $68.25, $83.25, $107.75

Info: 919-831-6400 or LiveNation.com

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