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Kenny Chesney Delivers the Hits at Country Jam 2017 [Pictures]

There are a number of reasons Kenny Chesney is a country music icon: His string of hit songs. His stadium-filling summer tours. His ability to take a night that gets off on the wrong foot and turn it into a party, as he demonstrated on Saturday night (June 17) at Country Jam 2017.

Sound issues marred the first few songs of Chesney’s headlining set at the annual festival — he mentioned something about a mixing board crash — leaving the country star and his band at first unaware that the crowd couldn’t hear them properly, then unsure if they could. As they tried to fix the issues, Chesney did his best to keep the crowd engaged and amped up.

“Why don’t we just take this back to the campground?” he joked, adding a little later, “So … Does anybody got a beer? I’m gonna need one in a minute!”

Once the sound was back, Chesney worked his butt off to give the crowd the show they came to see, the sort of high-energy party he’s known for. During hits such as “Summertime,” “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” and more, the singer worked the stage end to end, waving to the lucky fans watching from side-stage platforms and getting the crowd out in front to dance along.

“What an audience! Thank you so much for being patient with us,” Chesney said from the stage, reminiscing about the last time he played Country Jam (by his estimate, around the year 2000). “We’re gonna crank it up from here on out.”

The hits came in succession during Chesney’s 90-minute set; in fact, it wasn’t until almost a dozen songs in that he played a song from his most recent album, Cosmic Hallelujah. That song — “Noise” — and “Setting the World on Fire” were the only two tracks from the disc that Chesney included in his set list on Saturday night; in place of pop star Pink on the latter song, he gave his bassist a chance to show off her vocal chops.

Chesney’s other special guests of the night were Old Dominion‘s Matthew Ramsey and Brad Tursi. The two helped write Chesney’s hit “Save It for a Rainy Day,” and after playing the Country Jam stage before Chesney, they joined him onstage to help sing the song. Other highlights included a particularly epic crowd singalong on the final chorus of “American Kids” and a version of “You and Tequila” that Chesney began alone on his guitar after talking about how he began playing music in college, just himself and an acoustic guitar on a barstool.

Country Jam 2017 concludes Sunday (June 18) with a headlining set from Thomas Rhett.

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