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Kenny Chesney signs on for Waterfront Concerts’ ‘biggest show to date’

Matthew Emmons | US PRESSWIRE
Matthew Emmons | US PRESSWIRE
Kenny Chesney performs at halftime of the game with the Dallas Cowboys playing against the Washington Redskins during a game on Thanksgiving at Cowboys Stadium on Nov. 22, 2012.
By Andrew Neff, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The man who Billboard calls “the biggest ticket seller in country music” is coming to Bangor, and Waterfront Concerts officials expect him to sell out Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion.

“It’s the biggest show in our four-year history to date,” said Alex Gray, Waterfront Concerts chief promoter. “This is as big as it gets. He sets the bar as far as playing all over, with a country music record, playing 85 stadium shows in his career.”

Chesney wasn’t even a pipe dream, let alone an option three years ago when Bangor’s outdoor concert series was readying for its first season. Now he’s a done deal.

The man who has played a country music-record 85 stadium shows in his career and produced 14 gold albums and 30 top 10 singles will bring opening acts Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves with him for a Wednesday, Aug. 7, show on the waterfront.

Tickets — $91.50 and $81.50 each for reserved seats and $41.50 for lawn or standing room (not including applicable fees) — for Chesney’s “No Shoes Nation Tour” show will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, March 15. They are available for purchase locally at Mark’s Music store at Penobscot Square in Brewer, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, online at www.waterfrontconcerts.com or at all Ticketmaster outlets.

In a way, the third time was the charm for Waterfront Concerts and Chesney.

“When the traditional offers started coming in initially [two years ago], we were asked if we wanted the support acts on the Chesney tours, like Zac Brown Band, to come play here separately,” said Gray. “Last year there was discussion on whether that could happen with Kenny, and not just a supporting band.”

But in the case of the Zac Brown Band in 2011 and Chesney last year, the schedule wouldn’t allow it, as their available dates for Bangor coincided with the annual American Folk Festival in late August. Zac Brown Band was able to play last year.

“In both cases, the Folk Festival was going on that week, which is the one he always plays Gillette Stadium in Foxborough [Mass.],” Gray said.

This year, the calendar was much kinder.

“The routing actually worked where he was going to be nearby the market,” said Gray. “Obviously we’d prefer a Friday, but we got a Wednesday.

“We also have five months in advance of the show to sell tickets.”

Gray is confident the Chesney show will draw fans from all over New England.

“Gillette is darn near sold out already, and this is an extremely more intimate setting than there,” he said.

This will be a return trip to Bangor for Eli Young Band, as they opened for Rascal Flatts last year.

The 44-year-old Chesney has 13 studio albums to his credit in a career spanning two decades. His 14th — “Life on a Rock” — is due to be released in late April.

The Knoxville, Tenn., native and ex-husband of actress Renee Zellweger has a whopping 34 singles that have peaked in the top 10 on the Billboard country music charts in the U.S. Nineteen of those went No. 1. Only five of his 54 radio single releases have failed to peak as high as the Top 20. Nine of Chesney’s 13 studio albums have gone at least platinum (1 million in sales or higher).

Eli Young Band has four studio albums and two No. 1 singles (“Crazy Girl” and “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”) to its credit.

Correction: A previous version of this story said Chesney is married to actress Renee Zellweger. Chesney and Zellweger are no longer married.

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