Kenny Chesney

In the new "Newsweek" they’ve got "181 Things You Need To Know Now". It’s set up in the manner of a quiz. Like this: "True or False: U.S.’s Broadband Penetration Is Lower Than Even Estonia".

If you guessed false, you obviously haven’t been tracking this story. Turns out the U.S. is 24TH when it comes to broadband penetration. Behind not only Iceland and Finland, but Estonia.

Why does it matter?

Because broadband penetration directly connects to GDP, there’s an economic correlation.

Now for the biggie…

True or False: "High School Musical" had the largest one gig gross on the "Billboard" chart, bigger than Kenny Chesney.

Or, let’s recast it… True or False: KROQ’s Weenie Roast grossed more than Kenny Chesney.

One more time… True or False: Tool outgrossed Kenny Chesney.

If you said TRUE to ANY of the preceding three questions, you don’t know SHIT about the touring business. Kenny Chesney had not only the largest GROSS for a single show, $4,462,709, but the largest ATTENDANCE! 54,372. Yup, Kenny Chesney sold out Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. In other words, Kenny Chesney did a STADIUM SHOW!

Days on the Green? Gigs at Anaheim Stadium? Those are passe. You can collect every band know to man, call it a festival, and sell 50,000 tickets for a two or three day extravaganza. But a one day affair, with a slate of bands?

Yes, Kenny Chesney wasn’t the only act on the bill. You also had Brooks & Dunn, Sugarland, Sara Evans and Pat Green. But don’t cry foul, because with only Sugarland and Pat Green in tow, Kenny Chesney went CLEAN in Tampa, Columbus, New Orleans and West Palm Beach. In arenas holding 14-20,000. The vaunted Tool? Only HALF their shows sold out.

Nelly Furtado, with her big hit records? She couldn’t even SELL OUT in Atlanta, she only did 2,382 at the 4,670 seat Fox.

Looks like more people would rather sway and remember the good times than leave their mind at home and dance.

You’ve been feeling sorry for Kenny Chesney. Wasn’t he the little guy in the cowboy hat taken for a ride by that movie star? Well, Kenny Chesney will still be selling boatloads of tickets when Renee Zellweger can’t even get a role in an indie film.

There’s something happening here, and it ain’t exactly clear.

Used to be the music on Top Forty radio was the biggest. Now Top Forty radio is a SIDESHOW! A niche. Top Forty? Call it the SIDE TWENTY!

And rock… Alternative is a dying format. Active Rock? Do you really want to bang your head that hard?

Rock is dead, RIGHT?

No, it’s just been reinvented as country.

What motivated all those people to go to Heinz Field? It wasn’t a track. Otherwise, all those acts on the Top Forty stations would fill arenas. It’s a STATE OF MIND! A frustration with life, but a belief in the good times. A belief in the ringleader, Kenny Chesney.

We used to believe in our musical acts. Before they became fodder for TMZ. Before they were so busy whoring themselves out to TV shows and corporations that whatever they stood for was obscured.

We played their records. We went to the show and SANG ALONG!

You can’t sing along to what’s on the Top Forty now. You can shake your booty at most. Would you want to have a CONVERSATION with Justin Timberlake? Maybe fuck him, but what would this uneducated twit whose only goal in life was to make it have to SAY?

Kenny Chesney’s got some miles on him, he’s over thirty, and he’s a college graduate. You feel like he’s a friend of yours. You WANT him to be a friend of yours. And believe me, in this overexposed Internet world we live in the star is no longer living in a rarified air, rather right next door to his audience.

I’d heard that Kenny Chesney was the new Jimmy Buffett. Listening to him now, I get it. Kenny’s chronicling life. Not only his, but yours. You’ve got a life, don’t you? Or are you an automaton, like Paris Hilton, with only two expressions, an empty smile and a cry? Life is three-dimensional. There are three dimensions in the country world. If you’re not paying attention, if you’re too hip to pay attention, then you’re missing out on the MAINSTREAM!

Yup, country is mainstream. More than rap. It’s what not only kids, but ADULTS are listening to. Kenny Chesney doesn’t need media saturation to sell only a couple of hundred thousand copies of his record. His fans KNOW about the release. It’s not about REACHING them, they’re PULLING THE INFORMATION!

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.