EMOTIONAL TRAFFIC TOUR’S LAST SHOW
Tim McGraw’s Emotional Traffic Tour came to a close in Bristow, VA on August 13, 2011 and it was full of surprises.
Opening act The Band Perry is a delightfully energetic, entertaining group of siblings who have honed their craft to perfection. As they sang “If I Die Young” the air was filled with voices singing along with The Band Perry bringing a smile to their faces. They thanked Tim McGraw for the opportunity and experience of opening his show and are poised for headlining a tour of their own this fall in addition to opening for Reba and Keith Urban.
Luke Bryan brought levity and laughter to the stage as he sang and danced his way through “Country Man” and “Rain Is A Good Thing” but it was the song “Country Girl Shake It For Me” that really stirred things up. Bryan was “pranked” by male tour mates who paraded around in short-shorts and tiny pink shirts that exposed bare midriffs causing Bryan to fall on the stage laughing uncontrollably. The stunt left him momentarily speechless. Bryan eventually gathered himself enough to finish the song to a roar of applause from the audience.
As the lights dimmed the crowd was caught off guard to find Tim McGraw in the back of the pavilion to open the show singing “Something Like That.” He continued with “Where the Green Grass Grows” and finally began to make his way down to the front while singing “Down on the Farm” shaking hands all along the way. When he finally reached the main stage to perform “Last Dollar (Fly Away)” a young fan was lifted onto the stage to join him and sing along.
Throughout the evening McGraw walked back & forth, and up & down along the catwalk slapping hands raised high, signing posters and connecting with fans almost to the detraction of his songs. I’m sure those fans who captured his attention would disagree with me.
First The Band Perry and later Luke Bryan returned to sing selections with McGraw. It was Bryan’s humorous serenade using a version of Taylor Swift’s “Tim McGraw” that made it difficult for McGraw to transition to a more serious performance of “Better Than I Used To Be.” After three false starts the band and McGraw finally settled into the song.
It was obvious that the artists were having fun with each other, especially since this was their final performance on tour together. As audience members it felt a bit special to be witnesses to the jokes, pranks and camaraderie that often occur among tour mates. It was definitely a one-of-a-kind night.