It's so nice that with Covid over bands are touring again. Alone at the Beach saw a couple solid shows lately! We start in Lake Tahoe for Kenny Chesney at the outdoor amphiteater at Harvey's Casino at Stateline.
This was a bro-sis outing with my fabulous younger sister Alexandra Silber! Al was a good sport, because walking into this, she was not so versed in country music - and especially with a quite outrageously fun and extraverted crowd (at Chesney shows often the crowd is singing louder than the band...). She's also a theater actress, singer, author and so forth. So a nail biter for me: would she like it? We had such a great time. She was such a good sport that on her concert tour some months later, she worked a Kenny Chesney song into a cabaret routine (go figure)!
Kenny Chesney owns a rum brand (Blue Chair Bay) and the show was casino-adjacent, so pregaming was in order. Al certainly enjoyed the Jello shots. Eventually sunset approached, and we made our way in to see a little bit of the opener, Kelsea Ballerini.
Then time for Kenny, who played for well over two hours to a rambunctious and very energized Friday night crowd. Love that he signs things for people...like, anything. Mostly hats. A family seated next to us had a couple teenage daughters and one managed to get her hat signed - to such excitement as to cause crying.
We couldn't leave before taking advantage of a beautiful Saturday in Lake Tahoe to do some boating. The clarity of the blue water just never ceases to amaze.
It's also a very oppotune time to bring a professional sound system on board and...crank it up! We were redlining a pair of these awesome Bose speakers in pretty much the dead center of Lake Tahoe for hours on end.
Tommy is an Australian transplanted in recent years to Nashville. Please check him out if you have not. To me, he is one of the technically greatest guitarists alive today, but with the soul and personal charisma to go along with it. I managed to have a chat with Tommy preshow and he was generous enough to let me grab a photo.
He is a fingerpicker in the vain of Chet Atkins, and in fact recorded a terrific album with Chet in 1997. Chet as you may know also intersects with Mark Knopfler, another of Alone at the Beach's favorite guitarists. The common element of all of these lads is the fingerpicking.
After a warm up set by Jerry Douglas (a virtuoso of his own accord on the dobro), Tommy put on a heck of a show, winding through several hours of amazing guitar work, sometimes accompanied by Jerry and in the end, also by Jerry's band. But for the lion's share - Tommy is a one man show. If you listen to him on recordings, you'll never believe it. You can see above some of his style to be able to have drum-like sounds coming from his interaction with his guitar.
Especially special were the interactions of Tommy and Jerry. These guys have played a lot together and really had it down.
The night closed out with Waltzing Matilda, maybe the most special and recognizable of all Australian songs?
Truly a treat to see Kenny and Tommy recently!