Aftermath: Kenny Chesney - No Shirt, No Shoes, Big Problems At RodeoHouston

Aftermath is not a hater. We are not elitist (that we know of). We understand that reviewing a concert does not give us license to make value judgments about the audience, and that's perfectly fine. We wish that were true about Kenny Chesney and his songs, because all his "Poets and Pirates" ain't gonna like what we have to say about Chesney's performance at RodeoHouston Thursday night.

Please bear in mind that, once again, we were watching this show from behind the glass walls of the press box. Up there, way up there, it's almost impossible to gauge what kind of connection, if any, the entertainers are making with their audience beyond the post-song screams and cheers that sound like they're originating somewhere in Sunnyside. (To give credit where it's due, Chesney is a very charismatic individual - that much did come through.)

The press box's piped-in sound mix is also hit and miss. Chesney's fiddle player, for example, might as well have taken the night off. None of that mattered, though. We're fairly certain we would have come away from Thursday's concert with the same conclusions if we were standing 20 feet away from Chesney and his band at House of Blues, or sitting a dozen or two rows back at Jones Hall.

In a word, the show was lethal, and not lethal in a good way. Lethal as in Chesney's tepid arrangements, hackneyed scenarios and brain-numbing lyrics made Aftermath wonder where the stadium's nearest kitchen was so we could go stick our head in an industrial-size oven. And as pointless as it may be because it's 2010 and not 1975 and because, well, he's dead, we got so bored about halfway through the set that we made up a new game.

With apologies to Jesus and Bruce Robison, we called it "What Would Waylon Do?"

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray