Tim McGraw’s WE Fest-closing performance was good if you like Tim McGraw.
That may sound like a “Well, duh” statement, but the point is this: basically he delivers on the stage what he gives you on the radio. There wasn’t multi-media eye candy or wild on-stage theatrics that would make you say, “Even if you don’t like Tim McGraw, you’d love this concert.” The show was what McGraw is, and he was the man of the hour.
In one way of thinking, that’s sort of how it should be. The focus was on the artist and his music without a bunch of frills. My dad likes to say that a good steak doesn’t need anything on it. Maybe some would take the same approach to music.
The country superstar opened with “I Like It, I Love It” and went into “Indian Outlaw.” He also hit hits like “Down on the Farm” and “Baby, I’m a Real Good Man.” They also offered up a number of cuts from his new CD. In the interest of full disclosure, I missed part of the set while clearing up a detail on my Big and Rich review.
Much of McGraw’s talent rests in his presence. He’s not a fantastic vocalist. But he does have a healthy dose of “it.” He’s a fine-looking dude to be sure (hey, he married Faith Hill), but he also exudes a confidence and coolness in addition to that. And there is just something stage-appropriate about him.
He and the band did a cover of the Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” as part of its encore set, opening it with a smooth piano vibe and kicking up the rock factor on the chorus. And Big Kenny from Big and Rich came out to singe with McGraw on one encore number. That’s about as surprising as it got. But, when you’ve got the product that the market wants, maybe you don’t have to do crazy marketing stunts to sell it.