Kenny Chesney launches new SiriusXM channel at The Stone Pony (Video)
Kenny Chesney celebrated the launch of his new SiriusXM station, "No Shoes Radio," by playing to a packed audience at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey on Thursday night.
"There's something about playing a real live bar," Chesney said. "The audience is so close, so ready for the music, it's like the night explodes. For something being broadcast live across America, I can't think of a better place to celebrate No Shoes Radio on SiriusXM."
The show -- which was broadcast live on Sirius -- was a private affair for satellite network subscribers who won tickets. Several hundred fans who couldn't score an invite stood outside the venue, but were able to hear the entire set. It included a selection of covers reflecting the eclectic playlist listeners will enjoy on the station, an eight-year labor of love Chesney said will "blur the lines between my records and everything from reggae to rock to bluegrass." The channel airs on Channel 62.
PHOTOS: Kenny Chesney in concert
Members of Chesney's band each got a moment in the spotlight during the event. Multi-instrumentalist Jon Conley paid homage to Willie Nelson with "Whiskey River," bassist Harmoni Kelley ripped into AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie" and guitarist Clayton Mitchell's cover of Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Pride And Joy" featured a harmonica cutting contest between tour coordinator Robin Majors and photographer Danny Clinch.
After treating the audience to a rare performance of "This Life," "Save it For a Rainy Day" and "Noise" from his forthcoming record, SomeTownSomewhere, the Knoxville, Tennessee native strapped on an acoustic guitar and paid tribute to Jersey institution frequented by Bruce Springsteen with his take on The Boss' "One Step Up" from the album, NoShoes, NoShirt, NoProblem.
"Part of me thought it was cliché, part of me wanted to pay respect," he told the crowd about playing the Springsteen cover. "This song was on my No Shoes album, and I got an amazing letter from my friend from Asbury Park. It was one of the highlights of my life. I believe Bruce is in Barcelona, so Bruce, greetings from Asbury Park!"
Also included in the set were the songs "When I See This Bar," "Young," "'Til it's Gone," "I Go Back," "American Kids" and "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem," which he dedicated to his long-time fans from "everywhere from Maine to Malibu."
"Everyone out there in the No Shoes Nation, this is your anthem - and has been since 2002," Chesney proclaimed. Chesney reportedly enjoyed his visit to the seaside town, grabbing breakfast at Frank's Deli on Main Street and kicking off his shoes for a walk on the beach. And his summer is just getting started. The country star-who won the 2015 Billboard Touring Award for Top Package for his Big Revival Tour-- is kicking off his Spread The Love Tour, which heads to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut for two nights this weekend.
Watch a snippet of Chesney leading the sweat-soaked crowd during "Young" below: