Pandora Presents Tim McGraw
A LocalBozo.com Concert Review
Edison Ballroom, New York, NY
November 11, 2015
Concert Review: Tim McGraw at Edison Ballroom
In the midst of a career that spans three decades, country music heartthrob Tim McGraw returned to New York City on Wednesday evening to celebrate the release of his 14th studio album “Damn Country Music” to a sold out crowd of just 500 lucky fans. The entertaining showman backed by a loud and powerful band leaned on a good portion of the new album during an hour long set that saw McGraw alternate between singing, playing guitar and doing both at once. While the performance itself was but an abbreviated glimpse at the frontman’s immense talents, the appetite of the rabid and often excitable audience enhanced an already energetic show to feverish levels.
The 7:30pm start time would be bit misleading given that McGraw and his bandmates wouldn’t take the stage until nearly an hour later. Nevertheless, throngs of fans began lining up in front of the Edison Ballroom entryway hours earlier to set themselves up for prime positioning inside of the standing room only space typically reserved for the likes of weddings and catered affairs. Fittingly, a sea of servers would walk around the room doling out passed hors d’oeuvres while other guests headed toward the free open bar for drinks of their choosing.
Donning a black cowboy hat and a tight button down shirt to match, Tim McGraw would be the final member of the band to strut out to the slightly elevated stage, rousing the live crowd to a deafening ovation before finally acknowledging them. Despite the fact that the evening would officially be dubbed an album release party- “Damn Country Music” dropped on November 6th- McGraw made sure to tap tracks from his storied catalog to the delight of the audience amid the especially intimate setting. Crowd pleasers like the recently released “Truck Yeah” and “Shotgun Rider” were seamlessly placed around some of McGraw’s biggest hits to date- “Where the Green Grass Grows” and a particularly rousing version of “Something Like That.”
Though McGraw’s daughter Gracie was noticeably absent from the performance of the album’s title track “Damn Country Music,” the singer was more than capable of handling the brunt of the vocals on his own. Despite being in his late 40′s, it’s uncertain whether McGraw has ever sounded better. His deep, crooning voice is intensely familiar but at the same time, it’s also one that is entirely energizing- evidenced by the non-stop party vibe inside the ballroom by the roomful of McGraw’s faithful fanbase. Other new tracks like “California” and “Here Tonight” allowed the talented band to shine, despite the fact that eyes rarely wavered from the singer’s stance in the spotlight.
2004′s “Live Like You Were Dying” has proved to be Tim McGraw’s most lasting commercial single and as such, its semi-permanent placement as his set closer seemed entirely appropriate. Fans collectively belted out lyric after lyric along with the smiling singer, basking in every remaining moment of the show’s final minutes. As the band eventually wound down, guests leaving the venue were handed special gift bags, filled with plain white t-shirts with the “Damn Country Music” moniker pasted right across it’s front side. Turns out that New York City folk know a thing or two about country music after all- punctuated by a wild and vociferous group of Tim McGraw’s most avid fans.
- Dave Gendelson