Kenny Chesney Rocks 46,273 at AT&T Stadium

It was obvious by the third song of Kenny Chesney’s set Saturday night, the four-tiered crowd at Dallas/Fort Worth’s AT&T Stadium was ready for the biggest night of the summer. By the time the 8-time Entertainer of the Year swept into the bridge of last year’s No. 1 “Til It’s Gone,” the packed house sang: “One life, one chance/ One ticket to the big dance/ You and me still holding on/ Right down to the last song…” back even harder than the man The Dallas Morning News deemed, “Two parts Mick Jagger, one part Bruce Springsteen and one part Billy Graham.”

Marking his fifth consecutive tour in The House That Jerry Jones Built, Chesney was affable, sweaty and unstoppable as he led the crowd through an almost two-hour set that included a spontaneous take on George Strait’s “The Fireman” that encompassed Texas two-stepping with Miranda Lambert, Old Dominion’s Brad Tursi and Matthew Ramsey on the three-week No. 1 “Save It For A Rainy Day” they penned for Chesney, and Jake Owen –barefoot —  romping onstage for “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.”

“Some nights just have their own energy, and their own momentum,” Chesney marveled. “There’s something about playing AT&T Stadium that just brings out the best in everybody! The crowd is always so great; you wanna do things a little different, bring up your friends and share the moment with them.”

The evening’s emotional high-water mark might have been an audible one. With hard country icon Randy Travis sitting on the side of the stage, Chesney called for “Diggin’ Up Bones” – and had the deep-voiced baritone come out onstage to thunderous applause as his band descended into the country icon’s breakthrough hit.

“Randy Travis paved the way and brought back country music,” Chesney said after. “Like George Jones, he is an original – and the real deal. It was great having him in the house, and it was great bringing him out for all the fans to see the man who brought so many young people to country music back in the ‘80s.”

And in the 21st Century, Chesney has emerged as the man who spans generations and brings people together – being the only country act on Billboard’s Top 10 Tour Acts of the Last 25 Years. In Dallas, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his entire family were on hand for the show that sold well over 46,000 tickets, as well as Cowboys players Jason Witten, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Dan Bailey.

By the time the final notes of “Don’t Happen Twice” faded, the man who has 14 major stadium stops this summer was wrung out. Hardly resting to catch a breath, Chesney pummeled through 18 songs, including the thought-provoking “Noise,” which had all of AT&T Stadium pumping their fists in time. The anthem decries sonic overload, information addiction and the sad reality “we didn’t turn it on, but we can’t turn it off…”

“When the crowd’s with you, there’s nothing you can’t do,” Chesney opined of the Dallas stop of his 2016 Spread the Love Tour. “Texas crowds bring it with their own special energy. They work hard, they love hard – and when they come to a show, they come with everything they’ve got. Tonight was one of those nights where everyone was feeling it, the band, the crew, the crowd, Miranda, Jake, everyone. Here’s to a great night in a great town.”