Concert Reviews

Tim McGraw at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 8/8/14

Tim McGraw With Kip Moore and Cassadee Pope Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas Friday, August 8, 2014

On Friday night at Gexa Energy Pavilion, Tim McGraw made his grand "Sundown Heaven Town Tour" entrance by simply walking out on the stage. There were no gimmicks, no over-the-top stage antics. It was just McGraw, dressed in a sleeveless AC/DC tank top that showed off his "Faith" tattoo on his right arm.

And that was pretty much the gist of the night. There was no slapping or scolding or beer sippin' from the country singer -- possibly because he had to have a potentially awkward conversation just one day before with a woman he had slapped during a concert in Atlanta a couple weeks prior.

See also: Tim McGraw's Craziest Fan Interactions We Need To Talk About Tim McGraw Slapping A Fan In Atlanta Tim McGraw - Gexa Energy Pavilion - June 21, 2013

McGraw never went off script during Friday night's show, but that's because he didn't need to. When you've been making country music for roughly 25 years, fans will show up in the midst of a controversy just to hear some of their favorite decade-old and newer hits sung live.

The country music veteran opened the show with "This is Going to Be One of Those Nights," and followed it up with songs like, "I Like It, I Love It," where McGraw let the audience sing the entire first chorus.

The first few songs of the set felt a bit like they were lagging, though. By the fifth song, "Red Rag Top," some audience members were already sitting down -- something you don't typically see until halfway through the set when the artists begin to sing their slower songs.

But McGraw is 47 years old and seems to have a solid fan base. The guy next to me told me this was his sixth McGraw concert and was reciting every word to every song that night. You wouldn't see McGraw running up and down the stage or dancing more than a few hip swings. Instead, he stood with a mic in his hand and a cowboy hat on his head and sang the songs the people wanted to hear.

About halfway through his set, his wife, Faith Hill, walked onstage to help him sing "Meanwhile Back At Mama's."

It felt a bit odd because while the couple share more than five songs, they only sang that one. In fact, Hill was only on stage for about two to three minutes -- just long enough to sing her part of McGraw's second single from his latest album, Sundown Heaven Town.

Meanwhile McGraw's opening acts, season three winner of The Voice Cassadee Pope and Kip Moore, helped him out during the songs, "Down on The Farm" and "Felt Good on My Lips" respectively, but there was no help during "Highway Don't Care," a song McGraw shares with country artists Keith Urban and Taylor Swift. Swift's voice played when it was her turn, opting out of a backup singer, opening act or hologram to do it. McGraw's guitar player took a shot at and delivered during Urban's advanced guitar solo.

McGraw closed the night with "Live Like You Were Dying," in which he held his mic out for the audience to sing the entire chorus without any help. As that last song played out, McGraw was friendly with the crowd, signing posters and hats and shaking some hands before he simply waved goodbye and walked off stage.

Setlist: "One Of Those Nights" "Real Good Man" "I Like It, I Love It" "Southern Voice" "Red Rag Top" "Mexicoma" "Down On The Farm" -cassadee pope "Southern Girl" "Just To See You Smile" "Better Than I Used To Be" "Lookin' For That Girl" "Please Remember Me" "Back When" "Meanwhile Back At Mama's" "You Are So Beautiful" "Overrated" "Highway Don't Care" "Where The Green Grass Grows" "Two Lanes of Freedom" "Indian Outlaw" "The Cowboy In Me" "Truck Yeah" "Something Like That" "Felt Good On My Lips" "Live Like You Were Dying"

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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner