Tim McGraw - Salt River Fields - 8/10/13

Categories: Last Night

Tim McGraw (Caleb Haley 2013)
Photos by Caleb Haley
Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw
Salt River Fields
August 10, 2013

Tim McGraw delivered a concert nothing short of excellent Saturday night, when he brought his highly anticipated and publicized Two Lanes of Freedom Tour to Salt River Fields. The country veteran proved he still has what it takes to excite fans with a live performance that propelled him enthusiastically from one side of the stage to the other while firing off a greatest hits montage spanning his 20-year musical career.

By 6 o'clock the baseball field was noticeably crowded, but by 8 there wasn't any room left to move. The attendance was higher than I had ever seen at the field. Fans stood in lines for vendors and sat on blankets in the grass while cooling themselves and each other with cardboard fans from the KNIX 102.5 and KMLE 107.9 booths.

The crowd had all the necessary attributes of a country concert: The beer flowed freely; bikini tops, cowboy boots and hats were spread as far as the eye could see; women competed to see whose cut-off shorts could be the shortest. I stepped in wads of chewing tobacco on multiple occasions.

Accompanying McGraw on the bill were country newcomers Chelsea Bain, who kicked off the evening, and Dakota Bradley. Both acts fit into the evening smoothly and delivered solid performances to round out the show.

Bradley explained during the performance that it was his 20th birthday, and when the massive audience wished him a happy birthday while he walked the stage, guitar slung at his side, it was obvious he was smiling uncontrollably. For good reason: opening for Tim McGraw is a hell of a birthday present for anybody. He then dove into a mature and introspective original song about never wanting to grow up.

A few minutes before nine the lights went down on stage. A wave of cheers swept across the field as fans rose to their feet and stood on their chairs in anticipation for Tim McGraw.

McGraw charged out of the darkness to the front of the stage, clapping his hands and tore into the opening verse of "Where the Green Grass Grows". By the third song he'd climbed off of the stage and was shaking hands and giving high fives to his fans standing in the first few rows.

Between songs, McGraw drank a seemingly endless supply of Red Bull and joked with the crowd by telling them the louder they were, the longer he'd play. Toward the beginning of his set he introduced the eight other members of his band who were on stage with him to piece all the music together.

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I definitely felt cheated and wrong by Tim McGraw and management or whoever booked this venue in the summer. If the ticket says 5pm show, please start at that time and learn some good time management skills. Seriously, this concert was very poorly put together. I know I will never go to one of his concerts again in the future if this is the tone Tim McGraw is setting. I love his music but come on....where’s the love back for his fans!!!


The lawn seat ticket I purchased at $37 that said the concert events would start at 5pm. I made sure to get there on time so I arrived by cab ($27 cab ride) at 4:45. Gates didn’t open until a little over 5pm. The opening act didn’t start until around 6. By then myself and a few friends were dripping of sweat, I even had to take off my cowgirl boots! BTW It’s a bad sign when you see the Phoenix Fire department and paramedics walking around just waiting for someone to drop like flies. I was so hot I didn’t even feel like buying a beer, the reason why I took a cab to the concert and trying to be responsible. Instead I bought 3 bottle waters at $9 a bottle ($27 for water)!!! Seriously $9 for water!!. That price is understandable for alcohol but WATER!?!?!  By the time the opening act finished around 8:30ish I was feeling light headed and punkie (a sigh of heat stroke)...i didn’t even make it to see Tim McGraw perform because he didn’t start until 9PM and I heard he only performed for an hour and a half!! I ended up leaving around 8:45 and taking a cab home (another $27)! Total spent on a concert I didn’t even get to enjoy because of the extreme heat and bad time management= $118.


Tim McGraw didn't show up on staqe for 4 hrs.  Our tickets said 5 p.m. and the radio DJs said show up early to maybe get your seat upgraded if you're lucky.  The gates didn't open until 5 p.m.  The vendors weren't ready.  The water bottles were hot water and cost $6 and they had NO ICE!  People were burning in the sun.  I had purchased seat tickets.  I did not sit in them.  The concert employees didn't know where anyone's seats were.  They said first come first served, so sit anywhere.  My ticket showed the row and seat number, but no one knew where it was.  Tim McGraw didn't sing 1 1/2 hrs either.  He was good, but major disappointment that Talking Stick wasn't ready for 5 p.m. nor told us that the concert wasn't starting until 9:02 p.m.  We were suffering.  I will never attend another concert there or w/Tim McGraw.  After each one of his songs, the stage went black.  The prior bands were EXCELLENT.  They sang in the sun and didn't complain and kept on going. 

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