It took three stops, countless routings and re-routings, two names and a whole lot of patience; but in the end, Kenny Chesney’s record-shattering Here And Now 2022 Tour was one coast-to-coast stadium-sized revival. Having shared the stadium experience with the reigning five-time Academy of Country Music and four-time Country Music Association Group of the Year Old Dominion, Chesney thought their multiple stadium summers should be celebrated.
“There are people you meet and just click,” Chesney says of the five-piece who share his good vibes feel. “Matt (Ramsey) and Brad (Tursi) have been singing ‘Save It for a Rainy Day’ with me on all these tours, and that’s always – every single night – one of the highlights of the show for me. You can feel the energy, so I started thinking we better catch that while we can.”
“Beer With My Friends” embodies that kicking back, letting go reality with a thumping back beat and the kind of savor-the-revel chorus that’ll have fans singing along from the second round. Opening with a big electric guitar riff, Chesney and Old Dominion directly drop into a gang-chorus to kick-off what’s destined to be a working class, whistle blowing anthem.
“We’ve all been there,” Chesney offers with a laugh. “It doesn’t matter if it’s four years or yesterday, there’s nothing like hitting that local bar with your friends. That’s what this whole tour has felt like – every city, every face, every song – as we’ve taken it back out to No Shoes Nation. It’s so much more than a show or a concert, it’s really letting go – and I wanted to capture that in a song. ‘Beer With My Friends’ is all of it.”
With fist-pumping exuberance, the David Lee Murphy/Shy Carter/Bryan Simpson industrial shuffle promises, “We’re gonna get that old jukebox working hard / Before it’s over I’ll know everybody in this bar…” as it slides into the happiest kind of happy hour. Life affirming, the opening verse stacks all the good things in life, but when the chorus swings around, Chesney confesses, “Sometimes I need to slip away and get a different view / There’s really something to that honky tonk attitude / It pulls me out of that everyday sinking sand…”
Ramsey gets his own turn to witness to the redemptive glories of drinking with buddies, confessing, “After I work my poor fingers down to the bone / Last thing I wanna do is go home and drink alone.” Then the all-sing chorus swoops back in, as the tourmates raise their voices in praise of fun, fellowship and a few cold ones.
With Chesney showing up semi-regularly at Old Dominion’s surprise pop-up shows along the Here And Now 2022’s stadium cities, “Beer With My Friends” was almost inevitable. More than the memories, jamming onstage and backstage mischief, “Beer With My Friends” distills coming together, hanging out and forgetting about what bothers you – the feel that’s defined this entire summer’s reality.
“I’ve never seen anything like this summer,” Chesney marvels. “Before it’s over, I wanted to give everyone something to remember it by, a song that we can all sing wherever we are – and know there’s nothing like these moments we’ve shared. All you gotta do is put it on, turn it up and we’ll all be right back there; bringing OD in reinforces it all. So, here’s to kicking it all off at Gillette Stadium this weekend.”
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