Kenny Chesney Proves He’s Still One Of Country Music’s Best Entertainers On The I Go Back Tour

Presented by Blue Chair Bay Rum, the I Go Back Tour finds Chesney returning to the markets that helped launch his career.

Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney; Photo Courtesy of Allister Ann

Kenny Chesney kicked off his much-anticipated I Go Back Tour on Thursday (Mar. 23) at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Presented by Blue Chair Bay Rum, the I Go Back Tour finds Chesney returning to the markets that helped launch his career in an effort to honor his fans – No Shoes Nation – in the best way he knows how.

Took Fans On A Journey Of His Iconic Career

The tour also finds Chesney taking fans on a journey throughout his award-winning career with performances of songs from the early days of his catalog, including tunes such as his 1999 chart-topper, “How Forever Feels,” to other favorites like “Don’t Happen Twice,” “The Good Stuff,” “Big Star,” and more.

For approximately two hours, Chesney expertly offered a lengthy set that included three decades of hits and fulfilled his promise to include some surprises within his nearly 30-song set list that spanned across much of his discography.

“Charlottesville, Virginia, this is the opening night, the first night of the I Go Back Tour!” Chesney told the sold-out crowd. “Thank you for the welcome, thank you for the love. Me and my band and my road crew… We have been playing this music to each other for two months and it’s good to see humans out here tonight Virginia!”

Proved He’s Still One Of Country Music’s Best Entertainers

Proving that he is one of the best performers in the business, the eight-time Entertainer Of The Year was high-energy from the moment he took the stage, only slowing down in the early part of his set to high-five the fans who had waited 17 years for him to return to this venue.

After Chesney opened the show with the carefree anthems “Til It’s Gone” and “Beer In Mexico,” fans sang along in unison to the road anthem “We Do” as the King Of No Shoes Nation waved the official flag of his fan base. “Get Along” allowed the native fans the opportunity to excitedly shout along as the song opens with “met a man wearin’ a t-shirt, said ‘Virginia is for lovers’.”

After several more lively songs and a quick slowdown for “Somewhere With You,” Chesney brought the already spirited crowd to another level with his self-penned hit and tour namesake “I Go Back.”

Kenny Chesney; Photo Courtesy of Allister Ann
Kenny Chesney; Photo Courtesy of Allister Ann

kenny Chesney Is The King Of No Shoes Nation

Throwing it back nearly 2 decades proved to be a highlight of the night for fans as Chesney also delighted the crowd with “Big Star,” “Young,” “When The Sun Goes Down” and “The Good Stuff,” the latter surely bringing a high point of the night for the superstar entertainer.

With the crowd singing along and cell phones lighting up the arena, Chesney appeared surprised by the reaction as he told the crowd “I guess we should play that one more often!”

After delivering a nearly hour-long opening set of her own, Kelsea Ballerini surprised the capacity crowd when she joined Chesney to perform “Wild Child,” a tune that originally features Grace Potter. The East Tennessee natives then teamed up for their sentimental chart-topping hit “half of my hometown.”


@kennychesney and @kelseaballerini performed #WildChild tonight in Charlottesville, VA, during the #IGoBackTour kick off show! #KennyChesney #KelseaBallerini

♬ original sound – Music Mayhem

Performed “Wild Child” And “Half Of My Hometown” With Kelsea Ballerini

Combining two unlikely fan bases, the pair’s high energy performances rooted in great songwriting and grounded by their connected country roots proved to fans why these two on a ticket just makes sense.


@kennychesney joined forces with @kelseaballerini to perform their chart-topping duet, HalfOfMyHometown, during the #IGoBackTour kickoff in Charlottesville, VA!

♬ half of my hometown (feat. Kenny Chesney) – Kelsea Ballerini & Kenny Chesney

After spanning several decades of his career with hit after hit song, Chesney closed out his set by once again throwing it back to the earlier part of his career with “How Forever Feels,” before leaving stage briefly and returning for an encore of perennial fan favorites “Anything But Mine” and “Don’t Happen Twice.”

Flawless Vocals

Although at one point early on in the show he told the crowd that he was losing his voice, Chesney’s vocals sounded strong throughout the show.

Known for decades of chart-topping hits, sold out shows, and being one of the biggest entertainers in all of music, Chesney’s vocals are often overshadowed by all of his accomplishments. Despite rarely stopping as he constantly shimmied to all corners of his extensive stage, Chesney’s vocals sounded as strong and smooth as they ever have.

“I wanted to bring all the power and all of the passion that we have at those stadium shows,” Chesney shared post-show. “I want every single person who’s in the room to know how much we love them, to feel as good as they’ve ever felt and to go home hoarse from the cheering and singing. Charlottesville, Virginia sure made the opening night feel like the biggest stadiums.”

Kenny Chesney; Photo Courtesy of Allister Ann
Kenny Chesney; Photo Courtesy of Allister Ann

The I Go Back Tour Is A Must-See

Backed by his catalog of hits and captivating stage presence, Chesney’s I Go Back tour promises to be another must-see trek for fans. While the venues may be smaller than the massive NFL stadiums he played last summer, Chesney brought the same energy and the same large-scale production to the stage, once again making his ticket a must-buy for all country fans this summer. 

Additionally, Kelsea Ballerini served as direct support on the show and delivered a 50-minute set that included her earliest radio hits like “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Dibs,” as well as several tracks from her latest project, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, such as “Penthouse” and “Blindsided.”

Kenny Chesney’s I Go Back 2023 Tour Dates


30 – Wichita, KS – INTRUST Bank Arena


1 – Oklahoma City, OK – Paycom Center

6 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena

8 – Wilkes-Barre Township, PA – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

12 – Birmingham, AL – Legacy Arena at the BJCC

14 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place Amphitheater

16 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Tortuga Music Festival*

22 – North Little Rock, AR – Simmons Bank Arena

25 – Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena

27 – Greenville, SC – Bon Secours Wellness Arena

29 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum


@kennychesney kicked off his #IGoBackTour tonight in Charlottesville, VA with a nearly 30 song set!

♬ original sound – Music Mayhem


4 – Moline, IL – Vibrant Arena at The Mark

6 – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena

9 – Grand Forks, ND – Alerus Center

11 – Sioux Falls, SD – Denny Sanford Premier Center

13 – Lincoln, NE – Pinnacle Bank Arena

18 – Fort Wayne, IN – Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

20 – Evansville, IN – Ford Center

25 – Charleston, SC – Credit One Stadium

27 – Orange Beach, AL – The Wharf

23 – Endicott, NY – En-Joie Golf Course*


22 – Des Moines, IA – Hy-Vee Indy Race*

*festival/one-off show dates

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