“We ride and never worry about the fall. I guess that’s just the cowboy in us all.”
Cowboy In Me – Tim McGraw
I’ve been a Tim McGraw fan since I first heard “Don’t Take the Girl” in 1994 and last nights concert in Raleigh, North Carolina solidified my admiration and respect for him as a performer. 15,000 fans including myself witnessed the cowboy in Tim McGraw as he powered through his concert on July 8th, 2011 with a freshly broken leg apparently from Luke Bryan (McGraw jokingly put the blame on Bryan during the show).
The Band Perry opened the show with a short set of songs that included their most famous “If I Die Young“. They did a pretty good job and engaged those in the crowd that weren’t already drunk. Next up was Luke Bryan who sang a longer, more energetic and frisky set which included his most famous songs “Rain Is A Good Thing” and “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)“. He is definitely a character and had no trouble grabbing the attention of the females in the crowd that night. Bryan’s teeth are blindly white though – props to his dentist!
Finally, after setting up the stage Tim McGraw made his appearance in the middle of the crowd to one of my favorite songs called “Somethin’ Like That“! It was pretty evident about 3 songs in that his voice was a bit hoarse and once he made it to the main stage it was clear (I had lawn seats) that he had a cast on his right leg and was using a cane. The worst part though was watching him hobbling around like Grandpa McGraw when it was obvious he was in a lot of pain.
About 6 songs into his set he began singing his song “Unbroken” and was in a lot of pain as he was struggling to sing the lyrics. During the first verse he abruptly stopped singing said “…I’ll be back” and began to hobble off stage. Ironic that he had to leave the stage on a song called “Unbroken” because of his broken foot. The Dancehall Doctors continued to play the song without anyone singing until about a minute in when one of the back up singers
Luke Bryan awkwardly took over the song. After the song ended the lights went dark and the curtain closed. Shortly after Jeff McHahon (keyboard player) came on stage and sang a few of his songs. He handled the crowd well and in return the crowd seemed to enjoy his unplanned performance. He said Tim would be back out but just needed to “catch his breath and regroup.” The Band Perry came out on stage and sang a new song they would be releasing on the radio soon along with a medley of American classics like “American Pie” and “Jack and Diane”. The crowd enjoyed the impromptu performance but was ready for Tim to get back on stage.
About 20-30 minutes later Tim came back out to 15,000 cheering fans who chimed in singing every word to “Back When“. Luke Bryan joined him on stage for this song and helped get the crowd even more pumped up. The rest of the concert was great. Though he struggled at points with vocals I thought he did a fantastic job performing for his fans through the pain of a broken foot. The night ended with performances of “Live Like You Were Dying”, “Indian Outlaw” and “I like it, I love it”. Even with all the mishaps it only made his status as a country superstar that much more prominent. It can’t be easy to perform on a broken foot.
However, I’m not going to lie… I wish he had decided to use the stools they put out for him. I’m sure I’m not the only one that wished he would’ve sat down! Every step he took looked increasingly painful but the tail end of the show was phenomenal as he put 110% into his performance.
Check out this footage of one of his encore songs “Live Like You Were Dyin'”:
For those that were also there .. what did you think of the show?